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What is the difference between a CAT5e CAT6 Cable?


What is the difference between a CAT5e network cable and a CAT6 network cable?


CTC Connexions is a manufacturer of network cables, wires and coaxial cables for 17 years.

"Category 5e" refers to Category 5e unshielded twisted pair.

Let's take a look at the difference between the Super Category 5 network cable and the Super Category 6 network cable.

The unshielded twisted pair cable is composed of multiple twisted pairs and a plastic sheath. Category five refers to the five different quality levels defined by the International Electrical Industry Association for twisted-pair cables.


Category 5e unshielded twisted pair cable is a cable that appears after improving part of the performance of the existing Category 5 shielded twisted pair. Many performance parameters, such as near-end crosstalk, attenuation crosstalk ratio, return loss, etc. Improved, but its transmission bandwidth is still 100MHz.


Category 5 twisted-pair cable also uses 4 winding pairs and 1 tensile wire. The color of the pair is exactly the same as that of Category 5 twisted pair, which are white orange, orange, white green, green, white blue, blue, and white. Brown and brown. The diameter of bare copper wire is 0.51mm (wire gauge is 24AWG), the diameter of insulated wire is 0.92mm, and the diameter of UTP cable is 5mm. Although Category 5e unshielded twisted pair can also provide up to 1000Mb/s transmission bandwidth, it often requires the support of expensive special equipment. Therefore, it is usually only applied to 100Mb/s fast Ethernet to connect the desktop switch to the computer. If you are not going to upgrade your network to Gigabit Ethernet in the future, you might as well use Category 5e unshielded twisted pair in the horizontal cabling.


"CAT6" refers to category six unshielded twisted pair


The parameters of the six types of unshielded twisted pairs have been greatly improved, and the bandwidth has also been extended to 250MHz or higher. Category 6 twisted pair cables are different from Category 5 or Category 5 twisted pairs in appearance and structure. Not only does the insulated cross frame increase, the four pairs of twisted pairs are placed in the fourth of the cross frame. Within a groove, and the diameter of the cable is also thicker.


The cross frame in the center of the cable rotates with the change in length, and the four twisted pairs are clamped in the groove of the frame to maintain the relative position of the four twisted pairs to improve the balance characteristics and crosstalk attenuation of the cable. In addition, ensure that the balance structure of the cable is not damaged during the installation process. The diameter of the bare copper wire of Category 6 unshielded twisted pair is 0.57mm (the wire gauge is 23AWG), the diameter of the insulated wire is 1.02mm, and the diameter of the UTP cable is 6.53mm.


Which is better, CAT5e network cable or CAT6 network cable?


According to the different electrical performance, twisted pair can be divided into three types, five types, super five types, six types and seven types of twisted pairs. The prices of different types of twisted-pair cables are quite different or even disparity, and the scope of application is also very different.


Except that the traditional voice system still uses Category 3 twisted pair, network cabling is currently basically using Category 5 or Category 6 unshielded twisted pair. Although the Category 5 unshielded twisted pair cable can still support 1000Base-T, it has gradually faded out of the cabling market because it is almost the same as the Category 5 unshielded twisted pair cable in terms of price.


   Although the price of Category 6 unshielded twisted pair is relatively high, it is slowly becoming the new favorite of integrated wiring due to its very good compatibility with the Category 5 cabling system and the ability to support 1000Base-T very well. CAT7 shielded twisted pair is a brand-new wiring system. Although it has excellent performance, it is expensive. The construction is complicated and there are fewer products to choose from, so it is rarely used in wiring projects.


CAT6 unshielded twisted Cable can support Gigabit Ethernet very well and achieve a transmission distance of 100m. Therefore, the Category 6 wiring system is widely used in the wiring of the sub-server computer room and the horizontal wiring that retains the ability to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet. According to the international cabling standard ISO 11801, the life expectancy of a cabling system is at least 10 years. As a long-term basic investment, integrated cabling should fully consider the potential needs of the network and the development of the cabling system. Therefore, it is recommended to choose six types of products to build the cabling system under the condition of capital permitting.


If you consider the future application requirements of the network, theoretically the most advanced wiring products should be installed, because it is often difficult to update and replace after the installation of cables. Basically, a wiring system must be used as a standard for at least 10 years and can support 4 to 5 generations of networks The performance of the equipment is updated, if the future network equipment needs a better cable to increase the data speed.


So, it is inevitable to use Category 6 cables to replace Category 5e cables, but these cables are very expensive to rebuild, so even if the price of Category 6 products is slightly more expensive than Category 5 products, in order to reduce future network upgrade problems, Six types of products are still worth considering.