09-Dec-2014 18:02

What Is The Difference Between Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 Cable?

Cat 5 is the slowpoke of the bunch. It can handle 10/100 Mbps speeds (Fast Ethernet) at up to 100 MHz bandwidth. That's a lot of numbers, but what it means is "slow and obsolete". New installations don't even use it, and it's on its way out, sadly...that's sadly for the cable, not for you. For the savvy cable connoisseur there are newer, better, faster, stronger options out there. That's why we at SimplyFone try not to install Cat 5 cable…

Cat 5e (Cat 5 enhanced) is currently the most commonly used in new installations. It’s designed to greatly reduce crosstalk. If you just read that and then nodded while slowly saying "Yeah...crosstalk..." don't worry, that's why you're here: to learn! It basically means the Cat 5e is better at keeping signals on different circuits or channels from interfering with each other. A step above Cat 5, it can handle 1000 Mbps speeds (gigabit Ethernet) at 100 MHz.

Category 6 is a major improvement over Cat 5e. It's suitable for up to 10 gigabit Ethernet at 250 MHz. Cat 6 cable has an internal separator that isolates pairs from one another. For those who want to "future-proof" their residential or commercial network as much as possible without a significant cost increase, Cat 6 is a great choice.

Hopefully, this brief guide helped you get to know your Cat cables.

If you require further assistance, or indeed any cabling jobs, please feel free to call us at 020 3191 9988.

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