What is The Difference Between Cat5e And Cat6 Ethernet Cables

When using Ethernet Cables, we hear the definition of CAT5e Cable and CAT6 Cable, so what is the main difference? Both of these cables are called twisted-pair copper cable, both of them have 8 individual insulated copper wires and are both normally terminated by having an RJ-45 connector.

The original Ethernet data standards used a copper coaxial cable to transfer data about the early packet-switched networks. 10Base5 networks used fairly stiff 0.375 inches, 50-ohm impedance coaxial cable, and was often characterized by its Creamy Yellow external insulated coating. It was often coupled to the wall similar to a Dado Rail and was referred to as Thick Ethernet. It was made to pass Ethernet signals at 10 Mbps on the maximum distance of 500 meters, which could possibly be extended up to 2500 meters using 4 repeaters. 10Base2 10Base2 networks utilized 50-ohm impedance coaxial cable which was much thinner and much more flexible than 10Base5, nevertheless, the Ethernet signals were still meant to be transmitted over this medium at 10 Mbps, albeit over a much shorter distance of around 185 meters, which could possibly be extended around 925 meters with the addition of 4 repeaters.

Both the 10Base5 and 10Base2 standards have grown to be largely obsolete and twisted pair cable is the most popular wired network medium. Twisted Pair Ethernet Cable 10BaseT originated during the early 1980s also it mainly used Category 3 cable for transmissions up to 10 Mbs over distances up to 100 meters.

Ethernet standards evolved to feature faster data rate transmission and the 10BaseTx 100 Mbps and 1000Baset 1000 Mbps standards were introduced. Cat3 cable was no longer had sufficient bandwidth a reaction to handle these faster technologies and so the Cat5 and Cat5e cable standards were introduced which allowed data speeds at up to 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps respectively. The original Cat5 standard was acceptable for the 100BaseTx transmissions but was quickly superseded by Cat5e as the 1000BaseT standard became commonplace.

So what is the gap between CAT5e and CAT6 Cable?

Well, the cables are constructed in a similar way with 4 copper pairs, making 8 wires as a whole. Each pair of wires are color-coded and twisted around each other in lessening Crosstalk. The Cat5e cable is rated up to 100Mhz and supports up to 1 Gigabit Ethernet, whilst the Cat6 cable is rated up to 250Mhz and may support 10 Gigabit Ethernet signals. Cat6 Ethernet Cable has over 2 twists per centimeter whereas Cat5e Ethernet Cable only has 1.5 to 2 twists per centimeter. The result is that Cat6 Cable better protects against Crosstalk. Another difference would be that the sheath thickness is also greater low-priced Cat6 with Cat5e. Some of the Category 6 cables actually have a Nylon Spine and the blend of this spine along with the thicker sheath protects against Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT) and Alien Crosstalk (AXT), which may increase because of frequency increases.

Most Ethernet Cables in use are UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) because these would be the cables recommended to be utilized involving the peripheral devices for example computers and also the wall socket. STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) Cables are recommended for use for outdoor installations and for cable runs inside internal walls.

Stranded cables will be more flexible and are more often employed for the computer to wall socket and then for general home network use, but often businesses usually choose solid cables with regards to the wiring inside walls and wiring ducts because of its superior strength and enhanced network performance.

In summary, Category 5 enhanced cables are sufficient for many applications for speeds approximately 1 Gigabit per second, but if you anticipate the application of 10 Gbps Ethernet down the road then Category 6 cable will future proof your investment. Also Category 6 cable, even in the 1 Gbps speeds will give enhanced protection against errors.