Comparison between Cat 5e and Cat 6 Structured Cablings

The Cat 5e have been replaced the Cat 5 standards as the default standard and Cat 5e cabling is able to take care of various network application needs of organization.

Streaming media applications such as multimedia and video become spawn new applications and commonplace, organizations will have the need for the higher bandwidth which is offered by Cat 6. Like this, same thing had happened in the early ’90s when the higher bandwidth of Cat 5 cabling compared to Cat 3 that had caused most LAN applications to choose the better media to allow cost-effective, simpler, higher-speed LAN applications such as 100 BASE-TX.

Standards committees are already working on 10G BASE-T and they have ruled out Cat 5e as the underlying support infrastructure, as far as LAN is concerned. Today, Cat 5e or Cat 6 UTP is the most popular horizontal cabling system. Both these systems are capable of carrying data in the gigabit speed range. Cat 5e is also a very reasonable solution, something that is a major criterion in most projects. Fiber (two-core) is also seen in a few applications in the form of fiber-to-the-home.

Cat 5e versus Cat 6: Cat 6 cabling is taking a major ground as against Cat 5e. It would fully dominate in near future. But major deployments of Cat 5e cabling products are still going on. So, Cat 5e is gaining continuing popularity day-by-day and may be attributed to its capacity to deliver the gigabit speed.

Cable Cat5e Specifications:

  • Insulation – Solid Polyethylene or FRP (Plenum)
  • Conductor – 24 AWG Bare Solid Copper

Applications of Cat5e:

  • 100Vg-AnyLan (IEEEE802.12)
  • 1000 Base-T
  • 10 Base-T (IEEEE802.3)
  • Token Ring (IEEEE802.5)
  • FDDI/CDDI 100 Mbps
  • 100 Base-T (IEEEE802.3)
  • ATM 155, 622 Mbps

Industry Standards:

  • UL/CSA approved
  • ISO/IECC/1801
  • ETL Verified to ANSI/TIE/EIA568A

Newer applications begin pushing the limits of Cat 5e, the standard may not prove it a good enough. Some vendors have packed more enhancements into this standard and so these installations can service the needs in better way but then that is not going to be a very long term solution.

So, if users are satisfied with today’s LAN technology then Cat5E is adequate for their needs, with its max speed of 1000 MB/s and 100 MHz bandwidth.