Cat5 Data Wiring

Cat5 Data Wiring

Ethernet Cables Overview

Based on different specifications, Ethernet cables are standardized into sequentially numbered categories (“cat”) like Cat4, Cat5, Cat6 and etc. Each cable with a higher number is a newer standard, and these cables are backwards compatible. Sometimes the category can be further divided by clarification or testing standards, such as Cat5e and Cat6a. According to these different categories, it is easier for us to know what type of cable we need for a specific application.
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Cat5 (Category 5) cable serves as an older type of Ethernet network cable. It is designed to support theoretical speeds of 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps. Cat5 cable is capable of operating at gigabit speeds as well, especially when the cable is shorter, however, this cannot be guaranteed. Currently, Cat5 cable is rarely seen in the store, but there are still some with an older router, switch, or other networking device.

Cat5e (Category 5 enhanced cabling) cable is known as an improved version of Cat5 cabling. And with the enhanced signal carrying capacity, it is faster than Cat5 cable. Cat5e was made to support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet speeds over short distances and is backward compatible with Cat5. Meanwhile, it decreases the chance of crosstalk, the interference you sometimes inevitable to get between wires inside the cable. Cat5e cable also features improved durability because of improvements in the quality of the PVC protective jacket. It is more than suitable for most data cabling requirements.

Cat6 (Category 6) cable is the next step up from Cat5e. and it was specifically designed to consistently deliver 1 Gigabit Ethernet. When it comes to interference, Cat6 cable has even stricter specifications. Since the improvement in interference makes no big difference in regular usage, there is no need to rush out to Cat6 upgrade. However, when you propose to buy a new cable, you could try Cat6 because it is an improvement over the former types.

Cat6a (Cat6 augmented) is designed to 10 Gigabit speeds and is backward compatible with all the existing standards. Besides, it can be used in industries utilizing high-performance computing platforms to support very high bandwidth-intensive applications. Server farms, storage area networks, data centers and riser backbones are common 10G/Cat6a applications.

Additional information

Installation Location

Open Ceiling, Ceiling Grid, Sheetrock Ceiling

Number of outlet jacks

Up to 5, Up to 10, Up to 15, Up to 20, Up to 25, Up to 35, Up to 40

average distance per run

60 ft, 80ft, 100ft, 150ft, 200ft, 300ft, 400ft, 500ft