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Quick View of Ethernet Cables Cat5, Cat5e And Cat6

Ethernet cables are widely used in wired networks. Usually these cables connect devices in local area networks like Ethernet switches, routers and PCs. If you’re researching the different types of twisted-pair copper cables used to transmit data in a network,product directory making the choice between Category 5 (Cat5), Category 5e (Cat5e) and Category 6 (Cat6) cables can be a rather confusing one. In the following part, I will introduce the differences between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables.Category 5 and Category 6 are both made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire for carrying signals, used mainly for Ethernet computer networks. Cat5 is the older variation of the cables, especially as compared to Cat6. Cat6 is currently the most advanced one among the three types of cables, works faster than Cat5 or Cat5e. And it also can support higher frequencies.

Category 5 (Cat5) has four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connector. Category 5 cable has a bandwidth of up to 100 MHz, support 10 or 100 Mbps. Category 5 cable can be used for ATM, taken ring, Ethernet 1000Base-T, 100Bast-T, and 10Base-T networking. Cat5 is one of five grades of UTP cabling described in the EIA/TIA-586 standard. Cables belonging to Category 5 are either solid or stranded: solid Cat 5 is more rigid, and the better choice if data needs to be transmitted over a long distance, while stranded Cat 5 is very flexible and most likely to be used as patch cable. And the maximum length (maximum certifiable length) for Cat 5 patch or crossover cables is 100 meters.Category 5e (Cat5e) is an enhanced version of Category 5 cable, developed by TIA/EIA in 2001 to improve certain cable characteristics important to Gigabit Ethernet operation. It was made to support 1000 Mbps “gigabit” speeds, so in theory, it’s faster than Cat5. Cat5e ethernet cables are deployed in many places. For example, it can be used in the home networking environment with various lengths. Another common use of Cat5e is premise wiring.
Cat6 ethernet cable is being made with 23guage conductor wire as opposed to the slightly smaller 24guage for Cat5e. And it also has a separator to handle crosstalk better. This separator isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, which reduces crosstalk, allows for faster data transfer, and gives Category 6 cable twice the bandwidth of Cat 5! Cat6 cable is ideal for supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and is able to operate at up to 250MHz.