|Question: What is
the difference between CAT 6 and CAT 5e cable?
Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet
cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use
Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by
the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit"
network. This is not the case.
Unless every single component in the network
is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network,
because your network will always run at the speed of your
Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at
gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By
comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is
certified to operate at said speed. It becomes a matter of
whether or not you want to pay all that extra money, for little
or no noticeable improvement in the performance of you network.
In most cases, it makes more sense to go with
Cat5e. It is for this reason that most of your new installations
in the private sector are going with Cat5e. It is more
economical, performs well, and is readily available in many
Many IT professionals when asked about why
they specified Cat6 for a specific job, often responded stated
that they "wanted the best they could get." This is the line of
thought behind many purchases of cable. The average consumer
often times is not aware that there is no real benefit to them
to use Cat6, so they let someone talk them in to buying it.
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