Distinguishing between Cat5 and Cat6 Network Cables
Network cables connect and transmit information between personal computers, storage area networks and routers. You can now find various models of cables. Your choice may depend on configuration and topology of the system’s architecture. The most common variety is known as twisted pair cable in local area networks. Numerous Ethernet networks use this type of cable. It is composed of four pairs of fine wires or conductors. Each pair is entwined several times to prevent obstruction from other cables and devices.
The CAT5 or Category5 is an example of twisted pair cable
that transmits signals and utilized in structured cabling for Ethernet computer networks. It is hooked up with the use of modular connectors. The outer cover comes in multiple colors although clear blue seems to be the most popular. The twisted pairs are also coated with plastic in a regular color format. These are orange, blue, green, and brown wires looped around white cable mates. Twisting decreases interference and unwanted signals. In fact, everything is coiled with the exception of the termination point.
CAT5 cables replace the CAT3 model. The latter can only hold data with maximum speed of 10 megabits per second compared to CAT5 which has a capacity of 100 mbps and even more. The average CAT5 type extends up to 100 meters. It is also ideal for 100 Base-T networks with lengths of up to 350 meters. This category conforms to a particular standard with the technical nomenclature of “EIA/TIA 568A-5” printed on the outer surface. Modern devices are capable of detecting the type of CAT5 used and along with the route signals.
On the other hand, the CAT6 is a standard twisted cable utilized for Gigabit Ethernet and other physical layers for networks. These should be compatible (backward) with CAT5, CAT5E and CAT3 standards. CAT6 has more rigid specifications with regards to system’s noise and unnecessary signals. This cable is said to be more appropriate for environments which are not compatible with twisted pair cabling. These are places where there is plenty of interference from electric power lines, lighting and machineries for manufacturing.
CAT6 has the solid and standard models. It is perfect for speedy broadband applications and considered as the most popular for modern installation needs. The solid type is intended for extended cable runs in residential units and high-rise structures. The stranded category is more for crossover and patch cabling. Just like the CAT5, twisting should be until the termination point with no more than ½ inch left untwisted. The cables should be covered with cable ties for secured attachment, effective cable management and color coding identification. It is important to conform to building as well as fire regulations and codes for safe installation of cables.