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What is the difference between Cat6, Cat5e and Cat5 cables?

Update:12-05-2020
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What is Category 5 cable? Category 5 also has 4 pairs o […]

What is Category 5 cable?
Category 5 also has 4 pairs of twisted-pair copper cable wire, which are terminated by RJ45 connectors. Category 5 cables have a bandwidth of up to 100 MHz and speeds of up to gigabit (1000 Mbps). Category 5 cables can be used in ATM, token ring, Ethernet 1000Base-T, 100Bast-T and 10Base-T networks. Cat5 is one of the five levels of UTP cabling described in the EIA / TIA-586 standard.
There are two versions of Category 5 cable: UTP cable (unshielded twisted pair) and ScTP cable (shielded twisted pair). Category 5 UTP cables are commonly used in the United States, while ScTP Category 5 UTP cables are only common in Europe.
What is Cat5e cable?
Category 5e is an enhanced version of Category 5 (Cat5) cable, developed by TIA / EIA to improve certain cable characteristics that are important for Gigabit Ethernet operation. For example, it adds specifications for far-end crosstalk. It supports 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 5e (representing category 5, enhanced) cable runs along the same lines as the basic Cat 5, except that it meets higher data transmission standards. Although Cat 5 is common in existing wiring systems, Category 5e has almost completely replaced it in new installations. Cat 5e can process data transmission at 1000 Mbps, suitable for Gigabit Ethernet, and its near-end crosstalk (NEXT) level is much lower than Cat 5.
Cat5 and Cat5e cables look the same, but Cat5e cables are manufactured to a higher standard to allow higher data transmission rates. The most commonly used type of cable in the network is Cat5e. Cat5e cable was formally defined in the EIA / TIA-568B standard in 2001, which no longer recognizes the original Cat5.
What is Category 6 cable?
Category 6 cable is also called Cat6, and its bandwidth is up to 250MHz. It is the sixth generation twisted pair Ethernet cable defined by ANSI / EIA / TIA. It has 4 pairs of copper wires, all of which are used for Gigabit Ethernet applications. The Cat6 cable is backward compatible with Catetory 5, Caetory 5e and Category 3 cable standards.
Category 6 cable construction standards are even higher than Cat5e. Category 6 cables may have a central divider to separate the pairs within the cable.
Category 6 cables are ideal for supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Because technology and standards are constantly evolving, Cat 6 is a wise choice for cables when considering possible future network updates.


If you compare Cat6 with Cat5 and Cat 5e, you will find Cat6 has stricter crosstalk and system noise specifications. Cat6 can be used for 10BASE-T Ethernet, 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet, 1000BASE-T / 1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet) and 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet).
During horizontal wiring, up to 100 meters of Cat6 cable can be used in 10Base-T, 100Base-TX and 1000Bast-T applications. This 100-meter-long patch panel includes a Cat6 solid cable up to 90 meters long and a 6-meter Cat6 stranded cable from the work area socket to the computer or server.
For 10GBase-T Ethernet applications, up to 55 meters of Cat6 cable can be used in horizontal cabling.
Some businesses and homes have installed Cat6 cables to prepare for future bandwidth requirements. Applications such as video, video conferencing, and games take up a lot of bandwidth.
What is Cat6A cable?
When used for 10GBASE-T Ethernet, Cat6 cable supports a maximum length of 55 meters; Cat6A cable (or enhanced Category 6) has passed the 500 MHz bandwidth certification and has improved alien crosstalk characteristics, so that 10GBASE-T can 100Base-T, 100Base-TX and 1000Base-T run 100m Ethernet at the same distance.

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