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example of inside cat6a cable

Cat5 vs Cat 6 Cabling – Pros, Cons and how it will help your business

Mar 1, 2022

When choosing which type of cable will work best for your business, several factors to consider. In this article, we take a look at some of the critical differences between cat 5 and cat 6 cabling so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your needs.

What is cat5 cabling?

Cat-five cabling is a type of wiring used to connect devices like computers and printers to a network and provide an Internet connection. Cat-five cabling has five wires inside the cable, which allows for faster data transfer speeds than some other types of cabling.

What are the benefits of using cat-5 cabling?

Some benefits of using cat-5 cabling include:

  • Faster data transfer speeds than other types of cabling
  • Used to connect devices like computers and printers to a network or provide an Internet connection
  • It has five wires inside the cable, allowing for faster data transfer speeds
five wires inside a category 5 cable

Showing the five wires inside a category 5 cable

What are the disadvantages of using cat-5 cabling?

The major disadvantage of cat5 cabling is that it is now outdated and rarely used in new installations. Category 5 was deprecated in 2001 and replaced with cat5e; we do not recommend using this type of cabling in new network installations. Please note: we’d recommend a minimum category 6 types of network cabling.

Other disadvantages of using category five cabling include:

  • Not as fast as some other types of cabling, such as fibre optic cables or coaxial cables (RG-59)
  • Must be installed properly to ensure proper performance and avoid short circuits. You may need professional help with this

How far can you run cat5 cable without losing performance?

The maximum length of an unshielded twisted pair cable is 100 meters (328 feet). Before this distance, the attenuation and delay skew becomes too great for reliable operation before this distance. CAT-V wires can be up to 350 meters long. The cable length limit for Ethernet over copper cabling is 100 meters.

What’s the difference between cat5 and cat5e cabling?

Category 5 cabling is the most common type of cabling used in businesses today. Cat5 cables use a copper conductor, and support speeds up to 1000 Mbps.

Cat5e cables, which have an enhanced performance, can support speeds up to 10000 Mbps. However, cat6 cabling is becoming more popular in businesses as it can support speeds up to 10000 Mbps.

Any advice or tips or benefits when using cat5 cabling?
Cat5 and Cat5e are now becoming obsolete cable systems, with Cat6 now being the minimum requirement. Cat5e will be adequate for many businesses with low data transfer but would be installed as new by ourselves.

Paul Bradshaw

Network Engineer, TechCare

What is cat6 cabling?

Cat-six cabling is a type of cable used to transmit data. Used in both wired and wireless networks, it offers superior performance compared to other types of cables. Cat-six cabling can transfer data at speeds of up to one gigabit per second, making it an ideal choice for the most demanding applications.

Traditionally made from copper, Category 6 standard cabling uses other materials such as aluminium and plastic. It is commonly used in both wired and wireless networks to connect computers, data transmissions or provide access to the internet.

Cat-six cabling is available in two different connectors, both male and female. If you want a high-speed connection, you need to use a male connector; however, if your data needs to travel slower, you should use a female connector.

example of inside cat6a cable

Example of the inside of a Cat6a twisted pair cable

What is cat6 cabling?

There are many benefits of using cat-level cabling in your business. Some of the most important benefits include:

Increased speed and performance:

Cat-level cabling offers faster speeds and more bandwidth than traditional telephone wiring, which means you can transmit more data at once. This is essential for businesses that rely on the internet or network connections to function.

Greater reliability:

Data cables are less likely to experience interference or interruption than traditional phone lines, meaning your business will be able to stay connected even during a power outage or other emergency.

Enhanced security:

By using dedicated data cables instead of relying on shared lines, you can help safeguard your company’s confidential information from prying eyes.

Is cat6 cabling better than cat5 cabling?

There is a lot of debate surrounding the use of cat cables, with some people insisting that cat-six cabling is always better. The reality is that both types of cabling have their benefits and drawbacks, so the best kind of cable to use depends on your specific needs.

Here are some things to consider when deciding which type of cabling to use:

The distance you need to cover:

You will likely need a higher-grade ethernet cable like cat-six if you need to cover a long distance.

The amount of data you need to transfer:

If you need to transfer a high volume of data, you will also need a higher-grade cable.

The speed at which you need your data to transfer:

Some cables can only support certain speeds, so that some lower grade cables may be faster than high-grade ones depending on the bandwidth of each cable. If this is important for what you’re doing, then make sure that whichever type of cabling you choose has enough capacity for your needs.

The amount of noise you’re dealing with:

If there is a lot of noise in the area where you install the cabling, you may want to consider using a higher grade cable like cat-six. The higher grades of cabling are better at rejecting interference.

Your budget:

Higher grade cables usually cost more than lower ones because they have extra features such as shielding (which reduces interference and noise) or twisted pairs with foil insulation around each pair, making them less susceptible to electrical currents.

Also, keep in mind that some types of cable can only support certain speeds, so even though your network may not require anything above 100mbps now but might do later on down the line when you upgrade hardware/software etc., it’s essential to choose wisely!

Any advice or tips or benefits when using cat6 cabling?
Cat6 easily handle moderate to large data transfer for all sizes of businesses. If you are a graphics or a media business the chances are the data transfer will be extremely high so a Cat6a or Cat7 may be more beneficial.

Paul Bradshaw

Network Engineer, TechCare

In Conclusion

In conclusion, there isn’t much difference between cat-five and cat-six cabling, so the best type to use will come down to your specific needs. If you’re not sure what those are, and would like some advice on the best cable management system to suit your business, please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.

example of cat 6 cables into a patch panel

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