We elaborate that what is the difference between CAT5 and CAT6 cables? with definition and In tabular form to better understand the concept. Lets read…
What is CAT5?
CAT5, also known as catergory5, is a standardized twisted-pair cable that connects network equipment, computers, and other devices to switches, servers, and modems. It consists of four pairs of twisted copper cables that terminate in an RJ-45 connector.
These eight cables must be arranged in a specific order. T568A and T568B are the two standards for the order of the cables.
Due to the massive evolution of technology, these cables have become more or less obsolete. To keep up with the changing times, a new version of the cable called CAT5e was released. This cable can support up to 100/1000 Mbps at 350MHz, while the original CAT5 cable only supports up to 10/100 Mbps at 100MHz.
CAT5 and CAT5e are generally used in homes and small offices. The ‘e’ in CAT5e stands for ‘enhanced’. CAT5e network cable is designed to run faster than CAT5 and also reduces crosstalk by a significant amount. However, CAT5 does not address crosstalk issues at all.
What is CAT6?
CAT6 was launched four years after CAT5 entered the market. Like the latter, CAT6 is a network cable used to connect computers and other devices to switches, modems, and servers.
CAT6 cables are available in two versions: CAT6 and CAT6A. Both versions are faster and improved compared to CAT5 and CAT5e cables.
CAT6A cables cover a distance of approximately 328 feet. This makes it the perfect option for large industries. In contrast, CAT6 cables are perfect for residential use as the distance traveled is significantly less than CAT6A.
The diameter of CAT6A cable is about 0.250, which is wider than CAT5 and CAT5e. A wider cable allows a greater amount of data communication to flow for a specified period of time, also at a faster speed.
Apart from this, CAT6 addresses network and crosstalk issues exceptionally well. This is due to its heavy gauge plastic casing. CAT6 cable can handle up to 1GbE (1000Mbps) with a 250MHz bandwidth, while CAT6A can handle up to 1GbE with a 500MHz bandwidth.
CAT5 and CAT6 are twisted pair cables that serve various purposes, but are mainly used as network cables. They are made of four twisted pairs of copper cables that allow for faster and more efficient data communication.
The difference between CAT5 and CAT6 is that CAT5 has a lower bandwidth than CAT6. This means that CAT6 can send a greater amount of data than CAT5 during a specific period of time.
CAT5 supports up to 10/100 Mbps at 100MHz bandwidth, while an improved version of the cable, CAT5e, supports up to 100/1000 Mbps at 350MHz bandwidth.
On the other hand, CAT6 can support up to 1GbE (1000Mbps) in 250MHz bandwidth, which is significantly faster than the latter. The upgraded version of the cables, CAT6A, supports up to 1 GbE with a 500 MHz bandwidth.
Besides performance, CAT5 and CAT6 also differ in use, amount of twist in cable, size, cost, etc.
CAT5 vs. CAT6 Comparison Table
Category 6 or Cat6 cables provide less interference and a higher signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, they are compatible with the 10-Gigabit Ethernet or 10GBASE-T Ethernet standard. On the other hand, Category 5 or Cat5e cables only support 1000BASE-T. Looking to the future and supporting your own networks, Cat6s are a better option. In fact, they are worth paying more for.
Both Cat5 and Cat6 are inter-compatible. This means that, for example, Cat6 are compatible with equipment designed for Cat5e, Cat5 and even Cat3.
CAT5 CAT6 Comparison Parameters
|Broadband||10/100 Mbps at 100MHz bandwidth.||1GbE (1000 Mbps) with a bandwidth of 250MHz.|
|Use||Par excellence for residential use (small area).||Par excellence for industrial use (large area).|
|Coverage||Covers a length of up to 100 meters.||Significantly higher speed as well as greater distance covered than CAT5.|
|Wire diameter||Approximately 0.204 inches (narrowest)||Approximately 0.250 inches (widest)|
|Number of turns (wire)||CAT5 cables have one and a half to two turns per centimeter.||CAT6 cable has tightly wound wires that feature two or more turns per centimeter.|
|cost||Moderate price, less expensive than CAT6.||Generally 10-20% more expensive than CAT5.|
|Velocity||Less speed compared to CAT6.||Faster internet and internal speed than CAT5.|
|Crosstalk||It does not solve crosstalk problems.||CAT6 has a protective shield that is designed to significantly reduce crosstalk.|
|Performance||They have less interference and noise than Cat5 but more than Cat6.||Better signal-to-noise ratio than any previous version.|
|Frequency||It reaches up to 100 MHz.||The Cat6 reach up to 250 MHz.|
|Maximum wiring length||The maximum cable length supported by this standard is 100 meters.||For intermediate speeds (1000 Mbps) 100 meters are good. If more speed is needed, shorter lengths are desirable.
To have Gigabit Ethernet, a maximum of 55 meters is recommended. If interference conditions exist, a maximum distance of 33 meters is recommended.
CAT6 cable has a higher bandwidth than CAT5 or CAT5e cable. Main Differences Between CAT5 And CAT6
- CAT6 enables faster data transfer and communication than CAT5.
- CAT5 and CAT6 cables are perfect for residential use, while the upgraded version of CAT6 can be used for industrial purposes.
- CAT5 covers a distance of about 100 meters while CAT6A covers a greater distance, which also with higher speed.
- CAT6 can address crosstalk issues exceptionally well due to its protective casing, while CAT5 is not designed to handle crosstalk issues.
- CAT5 cable has between one and a half and two turns per centimeter, while CAT6 cable has two or more turns per centimeter.
- CAT6 cables are more expensive compared to CAT5 cables.
CAT5 and CAT6 cables can be seen almost everywhere, from homes to large-scale industries. These are twisted pair cables that support a fast and efficient Ethernet connection.
The difference between the two is that CAT6 is a more advanced version of CAT5. It was released four years after CAT5. It was designed to keep up with constantly evolving technology.
Unlike CAT5, CAT6 comes with good safety margins. The thick plastic housing in CAT6 allows you to cover longer distances while tackling crosstalk issues.
CAT5 is perfect for use in homes, offices, and other small spaces within a 100 meter radius. In contrast, CAT6A cables are designed to cover long distances. This makes it perfect for large-scale and industrial use.
CAT5 has become more or less outdated nowadays. The cable can support only 10/100 Mbps at 100 MHz bandwidth. CAT6 cables have easily taken over CAT5 cables as they provide 1 GbE in 250 MHz bandwidth.