In today’s world, one needs to have a strong internet connection and try different ways to establish good internet speed. So, people prefer using optical fiber [optical communication] or ethernet cable.
The transmission of data through light is very safe, and there is less chance of data leakage, but it is hard to afford optical fiber. To overcome this issue, cables like CAT5 and CAT6 are very affordable options.
These cables are available in nearby stores and at economical prices. Unfortunately, we are unaware of these terms and use the names of these cables interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between cat5 and cat6.
To solve this confusion, we decide to write about these terms. Fortunately, you are at the right place to learn about the different ethernet cables.
Table of Contents
What are CAT5 and CAT6?
In a LAN network, your priority is to obtain internet speed. You have to choose a reliable cable to connect to internet speed. There are two main cables to get an internet connection.
- Cat5 is a pair of four copper wires. It can handle speed up to 10/1000 at 100 MHz. There are two categories of cat5 cables that are cat5 and cat5e. In this modern age, most people prefer to use cat5e. It provides much better speed than cat5. Its rate is ten times faster and can transfer data over a long distance without any crosstalk or interferences.
- Cat6 is similar to cat5 cable. It is much more functional than other cables. The only difference between these cables is the speed of the internet. The bandwidth for this cable is 250 MHz. Cat6 cables are a few years less than cat5e cables. This cable carries 10 gigabits of data. The bandwidth is about 164 feet.
- Cat6A is the newest version in the market and utilizes a thick plastic casing to reduce crosstalk and data leakage due to hindrance. Such cables can maintain 10 gigabits speed for the 328feet of ethernet cables.
Difference Between Cat5 and Cat6
The differences among the cat5 and cat6 cables are due to their performance, type of cable, type of jacks, and costs.
- Cat5 cables have one and a half, and Cat6 has two twists per centimeter.
- Cat5 supports 10/100 Mbps at a 100 MHz bandwidth, and cat5e supports 100/1000 at a 350 MHz bandwidth. On the other hand, cat6 cables support 1000Mpbs[1GbE].
- Cat6 cable has two or more twists per centimeter.
- Airflow is the primary consideration. When more data flows in the patching area, it controls the airflow needed to cool the server and equipment. The cat6 cable has a thick diameter of 0.250 inches maximum, while the diameter of the cat5 is 0.204 for these reasons. However, the diameter fluctuates according to the brand.
- According to length and brand, the price of cables may vary. Cat6 cable is 10 % to 20% more expensive than cat5e cables.
- If we see the similarities, both the cables terminate with RJ-40.
Physical Differences Between CAT5 and CAT6 Cables
Let’s see the differences in the physical structure.
- Cat6 wires are thicker to avoid interferences. The cat5 cables are not as thicker as cat6.
- There are five input wires in cat6 and four input wires in cat5.
- Cat5 is unshielded. It does not save the network from hindrance, while cat6 has an insulator coating to safe crosstalk. Cable twisting length is not standardized but 1.5 -2 twists per centimeter in cat5, while two or more twists in cat6 per centimeter.
- Cat6 includes a nylon spline that eliminates crosstalk. It protects against Near-End Crosstalk [NEXT] and Alien Cross Talk [AXT].
- Cat6 cables have thick gauge plastic to make them more compatible than Cat5.
Difference Between Cat5 and Cat6 Jacks
There are slight differences between these jacks. These differences are:
- Cat6 has thicker copper wire and insulation. This coating makes it more reliable than Cat5.
- Cat6 jack is staggered, while on the other hand, cat5 jack is straight.
- The cable is thicker and also found with the help of a jack.
Cat5 VS Cat6 Speed
Cat5 can support 10/100 Mbps at a 100 bandwidth. Cat6 can offer a speed of 1000Mbps at a 250-band width. The new version of the cat6 cable has a bandwidth of about 1GbE at the bandwidth of 500 MHz
Difference Between Cat5 and Cat6 Wiring
- The only difference between cat5 and cat6 is the amount of data they carry. Cat6 has higher bandwidth as compared to cat6.
- Cat5 covers a distance of 100 m
- The diameter of the cat5 cable is 0.250, and the diameter of the cat6 is 0.204.
- The twist in cat5 wire is one and a half and two twists, while the twist in cat6 cable is two or more.
Cat5 VS Xat6 Connectors
At first sight, they both look similar as they both have an 8P8CRj45 connector but are different from the inside. In a cat5 and cat5e connector, the wire lines up in a straight row. Cat6 wires have a zigzag pattern.
Cat5 VS Cat6 VS Cat7
We have discussed the difference and comparison of cat5 and cat6 cables. In this section, we will discuss only cat7.
- Cat7 cable supports 10Gbps, but laboratory experiments show it carries 40Gb at 50 meters and 100 Gb at 15 meters.
- These cables have extensive shielding to protect interferences.
- Giga gate 45 connector is present to enjoy better performance of cat7 cable.
- Cat7 has a speed of 10.000 Mbit/s at 1.000 bandwidth. As a result, cat7 has a high frequency.
It is good to use such cables because they can fulfill your internet speed requirements. As from comparison, you come to know the cat7 is better among all the wires.
No doubt, this topic is a little tricky, and most people are unaware of the main differences among these Ethernet cables, mostly the difference between cat5 and cat6.
Hopefully, this article is a source of knowledge. If you still have any issues, let us know in the comment section.