This article will deal with the similarities and differences between category 5 (CAT5) cable, Category 5e (CAT5e) cable, Category 5e (Category 5 enhanced) Ethernet cables are newer than category 5 cables and support faster, more reliable data transmission through networks. CAT5 cable is able to transmit data at 10 to 100Mbps speeds, while the newer CAT5e cable should be able to work at up to 1000Mbps. The CAT5e cable is also better than the CAT5 at ignoring “crosstalk,” or interference from the wires within the cable itself. Though CAT6 and CAT7 cables exist and can work with even faster speeds, CAT5e cables will work for most small networks.

cat5 and cat5e cable pictures comnen patch cord manufacturer


difference between cat5 and cat5e cable

How to Identify

Most Ethernet cables have the cabling category printed on the cable, with the print typically displaying how much bandwidth the cable can transmit. Telling cable categories apart by coloring or thickness can be difficult and unreliable. To be certain of which cable category you are buying, check the printed information.

cat5e printed on the patch cables comnen



Neither a CAT5 cable nor a CAT5e cable will make your internet connection faster. Rather, these cables are used to send and receive data at the speeds your internet is capable of (as per your internet provider) or from one computer to another in a network, in which case hardware can affect speeds.
CAT5 cables will work for network connections that are under 100Mbps, while a CAT5e cable can work up to 1000Mbps, a gigabit. CAT5 cables are more prone to interference issues, meaning they can struggle to transmit data even up to 100Mbps. Therefore, for a faster, smoother experience, you should use or upgrade to a CAT5e cable or better.



CAT5 and CAT5e cables should not exceed 328ft (100m) in length, and even at this length, the cables may transmit data more slowly or result in internet “drop out.” To get around this, you can use a switch or hub as a repeater to amplify signals, which will help you transmit up to 590ft (180m). Beyond this, fiber-optic cabling may be required, as fiber-optic cables experience no interference across long distances; however, fiber-optic cabling is expensive.  It is possible to buy CAT5 and CAT5e cables that are much longer than the recommended length. You may experience poor or unreliable data transmission when using them.