What is Cat5e?
The term Cat5e refers to the Category 5 Enhanced cabling standard for networks. Cat5e cables are often utilised within Ethernet infrastructures to support 10BASE-T (Ethernet), full-duplex 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet) networks. Cat5e technology provides a performance of up to 100MHz. The Cat5e cable standard shares similarities with the earlier generation Cat5. Both of these cable categories contain twisted pairs of copper wire for transmitting signals. Their bandwidth is also the same. The difference between the Category 5 cable and Category 5 Enhanced cable is in performance specifications. The Cat5e twisted pair technology meets stricter specifications regarding factors such as crosstalk (signal interference between lines) and loss of signal strength.
Cat5e Cabling for Networks
The Cat5e network cabling standard is backwards compatible with the original Cat5 and Cat3 standards. Patch cables that connect network devices will be labelled according to their Categories, such as Cat5 or Cat5e Ethernet cables. Category 5 cabling is also used in telephone and video applications. Cat5 and Cat5e network cables have a maximum 100-metre run length. If an installation requires a longer cable run, a switch or a repeater will be needed.
Why Use Cat5e?
Though Category 6 cables have been developed, the Enhanced Cat5 cable continues to be a highly popular choice for wired LAN and telephone connections. It is available in stranded or solid formats. Compared to Category 5 Enhanced cabling, today’s fibre optic cables provide higher bandwidth with reduced interference. However, CAT5e cables are more affordable than fibre optic.
For more information on the difference between Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables.
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