Ethernet Cables are categorized (cat) into various parameters; which distinguishes them from one another. This category is subject to change with the addition of new testing standards and the introduction of new cable features. It’s through these categorize you can quickly place each cable to its specific application. These cables include Category 5 (cat5) cable, Category 5 Enhanced Cable (cat5e) and Category 6 cable (cat6).
These Ethernet cables are manufactured differently, but they all consist of 4 twisted pairs of wires, which helps to prevent any current and interruption that might occur in the pairs.
Cat5 Ethernet Cable
As earlier mentioned, this cable consists of four twisted pairs of copper wire with an RJ–45 connector at the tip. This network cabling option covers a maximum length of 100 meters, anything thing above this length without the support of a bridge could result in network interference. Among the three ethernet cables, cat5 cable is the slowpoke of the bunch, but it handles speeds of 0.1 Mbps at up to 100 MHz bandwidth. Now, this is slow, a really slow connection. Over the years, there has been an introduction of faster and durable cabling options, which render obsolete all cat5 cables out there.
Most cat5 cables are unshielded; they depend on the twisted pairs of copper in mitigating crosstalk and signal interference. In fact, they are connected through a quick connect block, and a modular connector makes it possible to transmit telephone and video signals. Due to the slow connection this cable offers, it was superseded by other better and faster options, cat5e and cat6 cable.
Cat5e Ethernet Cable
A bulk cat5e cable is the most commonly applied network cable in first-time installations, and just like the other three cables, it’s made of twisted pairs of wires with a bandwidth of 100 Mhz. The physical design of Category 5 enhanced cable is similar to that of cat5, but now with other specifications, crosstalk is significantly reduced. Why is this cable so popular? It’s because is suitable for keeping signals on various channels from disrupting each other.
Additionally, this cable offers superior transmissions speeds of 1000 Mbps at 100 MH over distance 328 feet. However, Cat5e cable lacks tighter twists than its successor, Cat6 cable. These twists favor a too and from communication on each pair, something that a bulk Cat5e Ethernet cable fails to support. Generally, Cat5e tend to produce high delays and skews than Cat6 cable.
Cat6 Ethernet Cable
Category 6 is the latest improvement of the bulk Cat5e cable. At 250 MHz, this cable can connect up to 10 gigabits, and it offers the fastest and the most secure network cabling solution. With the internal separator built in this cable, pairs of wires are distinctively identified, and the perennial nuisance of crosstalking is eliminated. Experts recommend Cat6 as a lifetime ethernet cable for all network connection demand.
Whether you choose a snail-speed cable, Cat5 or a lighting cable, which is Cat6, it’s important that you find a cable that offers high-speed network signals with less interference and at a reasonable price. With individuals and companies shifting from a bulk cat5e cable to the super fast, cat6 cable, categorize will render each other obsolete.
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