CAT5 and CAT6 cables, commonly used as network cables, are designed to connect computers, network equipment, and devices to modems, servers, and switches. The demand for higher bandwidth has increased over the years. As a result, so has the development of these cables. Newer cables have been brought to the IT industry and with greater capabilities, such as higher performance and reduced crosstalk.
First of All, What Is a Cat5 Cable?
For many years, most people used a Cat5 cable to connect to the internet. This type of cable is made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire. You probably have a few Cat5 cables in your office.
“Computers hooked up to LANs are connected using Cat5 cables, so if you're on a LAN, most likely the cable running out of the back of your PC is Category 5,”
Recently, however, new technology has replaced the Cat5 cable. Cat5E cables, for example, provide you with faster speeds. The 'e' in Cat5E stands for“enhanced.”
“Although the Cat5 ethernet cable can handle up to 10/100 Mbps at a 100 MHz bandwidth (which was once considered quite efficient), the newer versions of Cat cables are significantly faster,”
And What's a Cat6 Cable?
A Cat6 cable is similar to a Cat5 ethernet cable — it consists of four pairs of twisted copper wire. However, it provides you with much more functionality. A Cat6 cable has a bandwidth capacity of 250 MHz, for example, and it offers you speeds of up to 10 Gbps. It’s also compatible with both Cat5 and Cat5E cables.
Which to Buy?
There are two types of applications that require network cables; residential and commercial.
Within the residence, smart TV's, gaming consoles, computers, printers and similar devices require network cables. CAT5e is more than capable of supporting the required bandwidth for all of them. In fact, CAT5e is likely to support speeds faster than what the internet connection can provide.
In commercial applications, there is a high demand for fast internet speeds, as well as internal speeds. When transferring large files, editing video, audio and photos, 3D rendering AutoCAD files, and processing similar tasks, CAT6 is the best choice. CAT6 will quickly transfer large amounts of data and better service the bandwidth requirements.
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