What are the differences between Cat5, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cables? | PC Gamer
CAT5, CAT5e and CAT6 share a few common requirements. Among those things are the RJ45 connectors (clear plastic male plugs as well as. Why Your "Cat6" Cable Might be Cat5e -- Or Not Even That To perform reliably and up-to-spec, network cabling needs to be able to meet some rather So, the difference between Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cable is not so much in the basic. If you are reading this article, then you are the beneficiary of Cat5 and Cat6 cables. The difference between a Cat5 vs Cat6 cable is not only higher speeds but If you're a residential user, Cat5E is going to be more than capable of meeting.
Difference between Cat5 and Cat6
In particular, due to the unfortunate decision made long ago to make network cable pinouts compatible with telephone wiring pinouts, the pair which is split between pins 3 and 6 green, in TB tends to have higher crosstalk with the pair it passes around, which is on pins 4 and 5 blue, in TB.
Return loss is the loss caused by signal reflecting when it hits impedance discontinuities in the cable. Both crosstalk and return loss are heavily affected by cable manufacturing quality, and in particular by the internal layout of the cable, the consistency of the dimensions of the pairs, and the consistency of twist rates and spacing.
Both crosstalk and return loss are also affected by termination; the worst impedance bump in any cable, well-made or not, is encountered at the connector, and the worst crosstalk performance occurs at the connectors as well because conductors need to be straightened out and, in the case of the pair, split up. So, the difference between Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cable is not so much in the basic design as it is in the tolerances.
As the bitrate, and correspondingly the frequency, of the signal increases, smaller and smaller discontinuities and inconsistencies in the cable become relevant. Cat 5e is required to meet certain specs for signals up to MHz one "Hertz" is one complete wave, e.What Ethernet Cable to Use? Cat5? Cat6? Cat7?
Cat 6 is required to meet tighter specifications, and to meet those specs to MHz. Cat 6a must meet the same specifications as Cat 6, but must also meet similar specification limits all the way out to MHz.
So, while the basic cable architecture doesn't change between Categories, the demand for consistency and quality in manufacturing does; for example, a sloppy connectorization that's "just good enough" for a Cat 5e cable will almost certainly cause the cable to fail at Cat 6. The Slippery Side of the Cable Business The fact that it's hard to tell the difference between Cat 5e, Cat 6 and Cat 6a by looking at them opens the door, unfortunately, to some deceptive practices in the industry.
The door is further opened by the fact that, unlike some specifications which have a licensing agency and an enforcement squad e. If a manufacturer wants to sell "Cat 6" cable, all he has to do is change the jacket lettering on his Cat 5e cable to read "Cat 6. The idea that somebody would just change the jacket lettering on his Cat 5e cable and call it "Cat 6" might seem just a bit too brazen, even for a sharp operator.
If you have just a bit of faith in humanity, you'd think that nobody would label a cable "Category 6" on the jacket and sell it in a major national store chain without ascertaining that the cable actually met Category 6 specifications--but if you thought that, you'd be wrong.
This can be a severe problem in data networks, even when the permanent link cabling is of high quality -- for more detail on this point see this excellent Fluke online presentation. The Ugly Truth When we began work to develop our own Cat 6 and Cat 6a cables, we knew we would need to test every assembly; while Cat 5e cables are easy to assemble without a lot of cause for worry over compliance, Cat 6 and Cat 6a are another matter.
Defects in assembly that one barely notices when putting the connector on -- things like just a bit too much split of the members of a pair, or too-abrupt bends in conductors as they route into the connectors -- can cause failure. Near-End Crosstalk and Return Loss are both sensitive to termination quality, and a failure of either means failure to meet spec. Accordingly, we invested in a Fluke "certification tester," model DTX The DTX is basically a purpose-built network analyzer programmed to evaluate network cables; instead of needing to do four passes through a network analyzer to evaluate return loss on the pairs, and then six more passes to evaluate crosstalk between all pair combinations, the operator can just press a button and the DTX runs all of those tests, sweeping through the whole range of frequencies and measuring the cable's compliance with relation to the specification.
You can see a sample report, and explanation of what it means, at this page. The Fluke is a lovely piece of gear. With the DTX on the desktop, this became a fairly easy question to answer, and we decided to go shopping. Now, let's have a look at some Ethernet cables in common circulation. We've gone around and purchased a variety of patch cords that were labelled "Cat 6" and "Cat 6a" from four brick-and-mortar and four online vendors, and we've tested these on the DTX against the actual spec.
We don't want to get a sheaf of letters from lawyers threatening litigation over our publication of these results, and so have made the decision to keep the vendors, and the brand names, anonymous and please don't ask us about it over the phone; the individual who performed the testing has intentionally not informed the others at our office as to who these vendors are, or which results correspond to which vendor.
What we will say, however, is that this is very, very far from being a list of no-name fly-by-night offshore vendors. These are serious, large companies with well known names and with reputations to lose, and if you are a US resident familiar with places to buy cable on the street and online, you know and probably have purchased something even if not a cable from most if not all of them. We did not cherry-pick these results; every cable we tested is shown. FireFold offers a variety of tools from across the field to help you get the job done.
Close Cat5 vs Cat6 Cables: What are the Differences? If you are reading this article, then you are the beneficiary of Cat5 and Cat6 cables. Although these cables are used for a variety of purposes, they are most commonly used as network cables, i.
Like virtually everything else in the technology sector, these cables have undergone significant development over the years, and the newest cables are capable of significantly greater performance than previous cables. Unsurprisingly, electronic equipment including cat cables emit electromagnetic signals.
Cat5 vs Cat6 Cables: What are the Differences? – FireFold Blog
When lots of cables are near one another, these cables can interfere with one another. Crosstalk increases errors and lost packets among other issues. Newer versions of cat cables i. Cat6 and Cat6A cables reduce the impact of crosstalk through a variety of methods, including improved shielding and twisted cable design.