Written by Veronika Vigliano

What is Category 5 and Category 6 cable (Cat5 & Cat6) and how it works.

Cat5 Cable

Cat5 cable can be explained in two different categories viz a viz Cat5 and Cat5E cables. The Cat5 cable has gradually gone into extinction in recent years and this is as a result of its impediment in comparison to the Cat5E as well as the Cat6 cables. In retrospect, the Cat5 cable will be able to handle up to 10/100 Mbps at a bandwidth of 100MHz. However, the modern designs of the Cat cables are extremely fast.

Cat5E cable or better known as the Cat5 Enhanced, was the common type of cable 15 years ago and it offered extremely good performance over the old Cat5 cable viz a viz up to 10 times faster in terms of speeds and an extremely great strength to traverse via distances without being affected by crosstalk.

Cat6 Cable

The famous Cat6 cables have been in vogue for just a few years or less as compared to the Cat5E cables. In essence, they have been used primarily as a supporter to various networks, as a substitute to being used at workstations themselves. The reason for this in essence; beyond price, has to do with the fact that, while the Cat6 cables is able to handle up to 10 Gigabits of data, however, the bandwidth is limited to 164 feet and anything above that will increasingly decay to 1 Gigabit which is still the same as the Cat5E cable.

The Cat6A is the latest iteration, which make use of an exceptionally thick plastic casing that assist in further reduction of crosstalk. Essentially, the largest difference between the Cat6 and Cat6A cables is that, this Cat6A is able to maintain a 10 Gigabit speed for a complete 328 feet of Ethernet cable.

However, for those who would want to have the cable of the future that has been tested and trusted, will however, want to subscribe to the Cat6A. Essentially, for both commercial and residential purposes, the Cat5E and the Cat6 cables should be more than enough for use.

Now pay attention, if you are currently reading this article, then consider yourself as a beneficiary of both the Cat5 and the Cat6 cables. Although it is no news that both cables are being used for a variety of purposes, however, they are common and also used as network cables viz a viz used in connecting computers and servers to modems as well as ISPs. Just like everything else in the technology spectrum, these cables have gone through an important as well as a significant improvement over the years since inception, and the latest cables are strong enough to significantly perform better than the previous cables. Note here that, the major difference between the Cat5 and the Cat6 cable is not just in high speed only, but reduces an important feature which is the crosstalk.

What is Crosstalk?

It is no longer news that, electronic equipment which includes the likes of the cat cables, also emit electromagnetic signals. Essentially, when there is a lot of cables being positioned close to one another, these cables have the tendency to interfere with each other. This interference can be referred to as a crosstalk. A Crosstalk helps to boost errors and lost packets found among various issues. The latest set of the cat cables viz a viz the Cat6 as well as the Cat6A cables which will be used to limit the impact of the crosstalk via various methods, these will include; an upgraded shielding and a twisted cable design.

Similarities Between Cat5 and Cat6 Cables

It is worthy for you to know the fact that both the Cat5 and the Cat6 cables, make use of the same end piece that is to further explain that they can be used to plug in on the same ports. However, the variations between each of these cables can be found in their capabilities and their methods as well as the materials being used to create them. In the end, all the cables have something in common which is known as the RJ-45, which is adept enough to plugging into any Ethernet jack on a computer, a router, or basically any other similar device. And one something for you to remember – nobody in this industry considers this to change anytime soon.

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