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The Similarities and Differences Between Cat5 and Cat6 Cables Cat5 and Cat6 cables are applied in a variety of functions where electromagnetic networks are used. They serve the same purpose, to connect devices to a network, whether internal or to the internet. Generally speaking, Cat5 and Cat6 connections are used to connect servers and computer to modems as network cables, and finally, they also link ISPs.

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The Similarities and Differences Between Cat5 and Cat6 Cables

Cat5 and Cat6 cables are applied in a variety of functions where electromagnetic networks are used. They serve the same purpose, to connect devices to a network, whether internal or to the internet. Generally speaking, Cat5 and Cat6 connections are used to connect servers and computer to modems as network cables, and finally, they also link ISPs.

Category 5eCategory 6
Rated up to 350MhzRated up to 550 Mhz
1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet)10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet)
Tested to 328 feet (100 Meters)Tested to 328 feet (100 Meters)
Usually 24 AwgUsually 24 Awg
Available in all Colors and LengthsAvailable in all Colors and Lengths

Many buyers of Ethernet cables face some confusion regarding the differences between Cat5 and Cat6, and whether one is better than the other. The confusion results from the mistaken belief that Cat6 cable reuslts in a Gigabit network. The theory is hardly right because for that to happen, all the components in the system must be gigabit rated because the speed of your network will function at the speed of the slowest device in the network. Most networks do not have all components that are rated for Category 6 so they end up not working at that speed anyways.

Both cables are backwards compatible. So you can use Category 6 cables with Category 5e jacks and vice versa. The cables are also durable because their PVC jackets are thick and are of a high quality. The thick plastic of Cat6 serves to minimize the levels of crosstalk. Crosstalk just means the degree of interference when so many cables are placed nearby due to the emission of electromagnetic signals. The standard of crosstalk can lead to increased lost packet and errors in data transmission. Cat6 cables have twisted cable design and improved shielding which reduces the effects of crosstalk.

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Thomas Supplier
Datacomm Cables is a distributor and manufacturer of fiber optic, networking, and ethernet cable and stocks cabinets, racks and patch panels.
Datacomm Cables Inc. 120 Marcus Blvd Deer Park, NY 11729 Ph: 1-631-617-5190