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Difference Between Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet Cable

Selecting the right cable between Cat5e & Cat6 for the home & business network is quite difficult as Cat5e & Cat6 both look similar to each other in appearance as well as they both can be plugged into an ethernet port. Still, both of them have some differences from the inside. 


Cat5e is an advanced version of Cat5 cables & the oldest cabling category on this list. Also, it is the cheapest network cable. Moreover, it was the first network cabling type to deliver 1 Gigabit network speed. 24 gauge twisted pair wires of Cat5e offer a Gigabit ethernet of up to 328 feet. The Cat5e enabled CPU can process up to 100 million commands per second. 


Cat6 consists of a 23 gauge conductor & gives Gigabit ethernet of up to 100 meters. Also, the Cat6 supports the speed which is required by a 10 Gigabit network. Therefore, it is the current standard for high-speed ethernet networks. It has a limited higher standard support of up to 164 feet, after that, the high-speed distance offered by Cat6 cable is the same as Cat5e network cable. 

Main Difference Between Cat5e & Cat6 Ethernet Cable

  • Till 100 meters, Cat5e offers a speed of upto1 Gb/s whereas the speed offered by 

Cat6 is up to 10Gb/s till 55 meters.

  • Cat5e has a frequency of 350 Mhz while Cat6 network cable has a frequency of 550 Mhz.
  • Due to the construction of the cable, there is less crosstalk in the Cat6 network cable than in Cat5e. 

Crosstalk is nothing but just the inference between different cables which is near one another as they emit electromagnetic signals. So, crosstalk is one of the reasons for signal or data loss during transmission.

  • There are chances that Cat5e might be replaced in the future with faster networks. On the other hand, the Cat6 cable is more future-proof because of its faster network capabilities. 


Obviously, Cat6 is better than Cat5e when we are talking about technical specifications. But, there is no “one size fits all” way in networking. The honest explanation for the question, “Which is best?” is for which purpose you actually want the network cable. As everyone is having different requirements so, the selection of cable depends on the requirement. 


Published by fruitycables

We are a leading networking solution provider that offers a wide range of wall cabinets, data cabinets, floor standing server cabinets, & many other cables along with installation services.

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