There are a number of differences between Cat5e and Cat6 cables to consider before deployment. Both types are twisted pair cables. Cat5 enhanced cables (Cat5e) are able to support Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Category 6 (Cat6) is a standardised cable that moves beyond 5e technology with precise interference specifications and the ability for 10-gigabit speeds. Category 6 cable also provides a greater bandwidth of 200 MHz for media applications, compared to 100 MHz for the basic category 5e product. Cat6 cables feature a higher signal-to-noise ratio than Cat5e. However, Category 5e cabling is more economical. Both categories offer backwards compatibility. Here’s a rundown of Cat5e versus Cat6 cabling:

Cat 5e Features:

  • Affordable
  • Frequency of up to 100MHz
  • Less interference than Cat5
  • Top speed of 1000Mbps
  • Maximum cable length of 100 metres
  • RJ45 Connectors

Cat6 Features:

  • Affordable, but slightly more expensive than Cat5e
  • Maximum frequency of 500MHz
  • Maximum cable length is 100metres for slower network speeds (up to 1000Mbps), or 55 metres maximum for higher network speeds
  • Less interference than Cat5e
  • Top speed of 10Gbps over 55 metres of cable
  • RJ45 Connectors

Applications, such as media streaming, demand faster data rates. Cat5e applications include multimedia solutions and the transmission of large data sets. It is the lowest category cable for Gigabit Ethernet. Cat5e cable can establish a single computer connection or link multiple LAN devices. Within a business network, Cat5e patch cabling can connect a scope of devices, including computers, ports and patch panels.

Companies may choose Category 6 cable when faced with multiple and simultaneous network demands, including large data transfers and video conferencing. To achieve faster, more reliable transmissions, Cat6 applications require patch cables, jacks, and connectors that are rated for Cat6 standards. When installed with compatible equipment, the following Category 6 cable applications are supported: digital audio/video, network security, and high-speed transmissions.

Comms Express offers reliable Cat5e and Cat6 cable for specific applications.

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