List of Basic Differences Between Cat6 & Cat5e Ethernet Network Cabling?


Category 5 versus category 6 is one of the most debatable questions in the networking industry. Many people prefer category 5 Ethernet network cabling, while others choose cat6. Furthermore, cables like cat6 plenum and cat6 solid copper give you lower crosstalk and electromagnetic interferences. You can use them even for gigabit Ethernet applications.

On the other hand, cat5e is well-suited for home networks. You can use it for commercial purposes, but it will not fulfill all your networking requirements. In addition, if you genuinely want a cable for your future, you should choose category 6 cables. In this article, we’ll discuss comparing these two categories. Furthermore, we’ll also discuss the similarities and differences.

Comparison Between Cat5e & Cat6

There are many factors to consider when it comes to comparison between these two categories. In addition, you need complete information about these two cat6 plenum cables to make a well-informed decision. We’ll start with the frequency. Cat5e can offer up to 100MHz frequency. In comparison, category 6 cables would give you a 250MHz data transfer rate.

Furthermore, if you are using cat6 in an ideal condition, you can get up to 500MHz data transfer rate. The maximum cable length for cat5e is 100 meters. On the other hand, you can use cat6 for various lengths like 55 meters and 33 meters for high-speed networks.

Price is yet another basic difference between these two cables. Every manufacturer has a different price for these two Ethernet cables. In addition to that, you should remember that cat6 has a higher price as compared to the cat5e Ethernet network cabling.

Ethernet Network Cabling Internal Construction 

The internal structure of these two cables is almost the same. There are eight conductors in each of this cable. In addition, these conductors create four pairs by twisting them together. These conductor pairs are tightly twisted to avoid crosstalk and other interferences. Crosstalk is a phenomenon that happens when signals from two passing by cables interact with each other. This can compromise your data integrity. Furthermore, you will also face issues with your connection.

Another difference between these two cables is the wire gauge. Cat5e has 24 AWG, while cat6 has 23 AWG. It means that category 6 has thicker copper wires inside it. The theoretical top speed of cat5e Ethernet network cabling is 1Gbps. On the other hand, cat6 can offer a 10Gbps data transfer rate at certain lengths.

Cable Identification

One of the simplest and easiest ways to identify a cable is by checking its outer jacket. There is always a name printed on it. In addition to that, you will get all the necessary information you need about that cable. Cable thickness is one aspect to differentiate. Even though cat6 bare copper is a thicker cable, you can still not make sure by thickness. Lastly, cable termination is also not an effective way to identify a cable. Both of these cables use an RJ45 connector on both ends.

Ethernet Network Cat5e Cabling Jacket

Like any other network cable, cat5e has three types of jackets; plenum, riser, and PVC. You can use any type based on your deployment location. In addition, you need to ensure that you are getting the right jacket for the right place. For example, you cannot use a riser-rated cable in a plenum space. It can be highly dangerous to do that.

Plenum Cables – cat5e plenum would be useful for the plenum spaces of your building. These spaces have airflow all the time, which makes them dangerous in the event of a fire. Plenum-rated cables would be well suited for this kind of installation. You can also cat6 plenum based on your requirements.

Riser Cables – as the name indicates, these cables are ideal for riser spaces of your building. These are the vertical spaces like an elevator shaft. You can use plenum-rated cables in these spaces as well.

PVC Cables – polyvinyl chloride or PVC is for outdoor uses. You can install that cable in areas with extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions.

Ethernet cat5e network cabling technology is always the best solution for small networks like a domestic networks for gaming. You will get enough speed for a smooth and stable connection. Furthermore, this cable will be well within your budget.

A cable is a physical connection between two devices. In networking, the cable connects computer systems together using copper wire or fiber optics to transmit data at high speeds over long distances (up to 100 km). Network cables are generally categorized according to their size and speed of transmission.

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