The trend is towards higher speeds, of course. Offices have faster computers, faster Internet and more demanding applications. But does this translate into a need for Cat6 cable
Category 5e and Cat6 Cable
Cat 5e cable is an enhanced version of Cat 5 that adds specifications for far end crosstalk. Cat 5e cable does not enable longer cable distances for Ethernet networks: cables are still limited to a maximum of 100m (328 ft) in length. Each Cat 5e cable can carry up to 100mb/sec of data.
Cat 6 cable carries 1gb/sec of data
and therefore has 10 times the data capacity of Cat 5e.
The Decision Considerations
Cat 6 will not make your Internet speeds faster. Even at fiber speeds, the Internet still only runs at a fraction of Cat 5 speeds. Cat 6 will also not make VOIP phones were better because VOIP uses only 60-90k per phone line. So, VOIP is a very unlikely reason for using Cat6 cabling
The only reason for using Cat 6 is because you are pushing a lot of data over your cable. This is true when you are running applications off of a server as in the case of a virtual PC environment where applications do not reside on the local desktop system. It is also true when you have applications that have very large data files as in CAD/CAM and other demanding graphic design
A secondary, yet important, consideration is cost. Cat 6 cable is twice as expensive as Cat 5e and it also r
equires Cat 6 jacks, inserts, patch panels and switches. This can add considerably to the overall cost of a project. Any Cat 5 component will slow the connection down to 100mb.
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