cat5e cat6 ethernet network cable

The categories of Ethernet cables are based on their specifications and capabilities for transmitting data. These categories are defined by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA).


1, Cat5e (Category 5e) Ethernet cable

2, Cat6 (Category 6) Ethernet cable

3, Transmission rate

4, Transmission frequency

5, Transmission Distance

6, Cost

7, Compatibility

8, Construction

1, Cat5e (Category 5e) Ethernet cable

Cat5e (Category 5e) Ethernet cable is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) at a frequency of up to 100 MHz. It is suitable for most home and small office network environments and is relatively inexpensive compared to Cat6 cables.

2, Cat6 (Category 6) Ethernet cable

Cat6 (Category 6) Ethernet cable, on the other hand, is designed to support higher data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps at a frequency of up to 250 MHz. This makes it a better choice for larger network environments and applications that require higher bandwidth, such as video streaming or large file transfers.

Transmission 1000Mbps 1000Mbps
Frequency 100MHz 250MHz
Transmission distance 100m 100m、55m(10GBASE-T)
Q’ty of wires 4P 4P
Guage 22-26awg 22-24awg

We can see from the table the main differences between Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables are their maximum data transfer rates, their frequencies, and their levels of interference protection. Cat6 cables have more stringent specifications for crosstalk, noise, and attenuation, which reduce the risk of data transmission errors and signal degradation.

3, Transmission rate:

Cat6 cables have a higher rate compared to Cat5e cables. This means that they are capable of carrying more data at higher speeds, up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps), while Cat5e cables can only support up to 1 Gigabit per second.

4, Transmission frequency:

Cat6 cables can operate at higher frequencies, up to 250 MHz, while Cat5e cables can only operate up to 100 MHz. This increased frequency allows for more data to be transmitted over the cable.

5, Transmission Distance:

While both Cat5e and Cat6 cables can transmit data up to 100 meters, Cat6 cables can maintain the higher data rates for longer distances than Cat5e cables.

CAT5E CAT6 Ethernet cables transmission

CAT5E and CAT6 Ethernet cables transmission rate comparison

6, Cost:

Generally, Cat6 cables are 35% more expensive than Cat5e cables, due to more use of copper and other materials, and the production speed of cat 6 cables is slower than cat5e ethernet cable.

7, Compatibility:

Both Cat5e and Cat6 cables are backwards compatible with older Ethernet standards such as Cat3 and Cat5, so they can be used in a variety of networking setups.

8, Construction:

The biggest difference between cat5e and cat6 ethernet cable is that there is a filler inside the cat6 cable, to separate the 4 twisted pairs wires.

Cat5e Cat6 UTP FTP SFTP cable construction

Cat5e&Cat6 cable construction

In summary, Cat6 Ethernet cables provide higher performance in terms of bandwidth and frequency compared to Cat5e cables, but they are also more expensive. Choosing between the two depends on your specific networking needs and budget.

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