CAT5 vs CAT6 cables

CAT5 vs CAT6 Cables | What Are The Differences? With Details

Cat5 and cat6 cable is the well-known and most popular cable around the world. These cable is not only higher speeds but also it reduced “crosstalk” in time of data speed.  You will get here the CAT5 vs CAT6 differences with definition details. Speed ​​is limited to a maximum of 100 Mbps for Cat 5 cables of 100 MHz bandwidth.

These cables are almost obsolete today and have been replaced by Cat5e cable. As well, if you can get your hands on them, you may not want to use them once the new options get better.

Cat5e’s considered as advanced. The enhancements include reduced crosstalk and greater speed, up to 1000 Mbps, also known as Gigabit. The bandwidth of these cables is 100 MHz

Cat6 cables are at the top of the Ethernet cables with a speed line of 10 Gbps and 250 MHz bandwidth, which is more than twice the Cat 5 bandwidth. The Cat 6 cables also have internal separators to reduce interference and crosstalk. Also, you can learn difference between cat5 and cat6 cable. In this article you can get all information about cat 5 and cat 6 cable below.

What is cat 5 and cat 6 cable?

Definition of Cat 5 cable

Cat 5 cable means refer is a computer network cable that consists of four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated. The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz also is used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.

This cable is commonly connected using punch-down blocks and modular connectors. It is unshielded, relying on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection.

Definition of Cat5 cable

Cat 6 cable is a computer network cable that consists of four twisted pair wires, it is data rate of 10,000 Mbps, and it’s used in Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

Difference between Cat5 and Cat6

These are just in the number of wire joints and shielding. The signal cleaner is the more twisted the wiring pair. This is because wiring harnesses cancel interference or “bleed” / “crosstalk”; This allows more information or “bandwidth” to flow through the cable.

The Cat6 cable has more twists than the Cat 5 or Cat 5e wires; Therefore, it uses more copper wire and solder so it usually costs additional.

Cat 5 cable

  1. This is the most basic data cable and common Fast Ethernet cable. It is rated at a speed of 100 Megabits per second. Cat5 cable can support 10 or 100 Mbps data speed, and it has ability of up to 100MHz data Speed.
  2. The Category 5 cable are either solid or stranded. Through cat 5 cable is transmitted over a long distance, solid Cat 5 is a more suitable choice as it’s more inflexible.
Cat5 cable connector
Cat5 cable connector
  1. Cat 5 is very flexible and most perhaps this cable used to connect to a nearby network hub, switch, router, etc.
  2. New and improved cable version is Cat 5e of Cat5. Its features included 1000 Mbps and Crosstalk caused from exposed or touching wires.
  3. The Cat5e cable is still proper for most home networking work and regular use for home computer, you wouldn’t notice a large difference between performance of cat5 and cat6 cables.
  4. It is High-Performance Data Communications Cable and Suitable for fast ethernet also excellent attention and crosstalk characteristics cable.

Cat 6 cable

  1. Cat 6 cable is the standard for any Gigabit Ethernet connection and similar in structure to Cat 5 cable, it is made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire. Cat 6 is Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. It is evaluated at a speed of a Gigabits but may reach speeds up to 10 Gigabits.
  2. It is mostly used in large corporate commercial business when transferring large amounts of data from server to server – onsite. Its service charges are more.
  3. Using it cabling without having Gigabit infrastructure (routers, jacks, network cards, etc.). it can make fast network.
Cat6 cable
Cat6 cable
  1. The mainly difference within cat 5 and cat 6 cable is a longitudinal separator, which isolates the pairs from one another, reducing crosstalk also allowing for faster data transfer.
  2. It is Ultra-High-Performance Data Communications and suitable for Indoor Installations Suitable for 550MHz High-Speed Applications, Critical Network Applications, Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Broadband Audio and Video, 155Mbps ATM, and 100Mbps TP-PMD/CDDI, NEXT, ELFEXT.

CAT5 vs CAT6 Technical differences and Physical differences

There are two types of differences about cat5 and cat6 cables. Now, see here details about the differences with them technically and physically.

Difference between Cat5 and Cat6
Difference between Cat5 and Cat6

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Cat5 vs cat6 physical difference

It does a physical cable eliminate interference and allow for faster speeds. It does this through wire twisting and disconnection. Detection of wiring wires in 1881 Alexander Graham Bell invented the use of telephone wiring that was carried along the power line.

He discovered that with every 3-4 utility pole wiring, it reduced the interference and increased the span. The turning pair becomes the basis for Ethernet cables to eliminate interference between the internal cable (XT), and the external cable (AXT).

There are two Cat5 vs Cat6 physical difference the type of twists per cm in the wire. This cable twisting length is not standardized but typically there are 1.5-2 twists per cm in CAT5 (e) and 2+ twists per cm in CAT6.

Many CAT6 cables include a nylon spline that helps eliminate crosstalk. Although the Spline is not required on the CAT5 cable, some manufacturers include it anyway. On CAT6 cables, the spline is not required as long as the cables are tested as standard.

The nylon spline helps to reduce crosstalk within the wire, protecting against thicker sheets near end Crosstalk (NEXT) and alien Crosstalk (AXT), both of which often occur with increasing frequency (MHz). The CAT5e size contains the thinnest sheet than the CAT6 but it was the only one with nylon splints.

Technical differences of Cat5 and Cat6

The difference in specifications for the Ethernet cable is not as simple as the physical changes, so let’s take a look at what each section does and does not support. Below is a chart for reference only when selecting for your application based on the category values.

Product name Data Speed Bandwidth Shielding Performance
Cat 5 10 Mbps to 100Mbps 100 MHZ (up to 350) UTP good
Cat 6 1000Mbps to 10 Gbps 250 MHZ (up to 550) UTP better


You may notice that as the number of sections increases, so does the speed and the MHz of the cable. This is not a coincidence, as each section undergoes a more rigorous test to eradicate crosstalk (XT) and add separation between cables.

In this article, I shared about the differences between Cat5 vs Cat6 cables. We provided you with a detailed cat 5 and cat 6 cable and major differences of the respective cables, and when they should each be used. I hope that from this article you have learned how to tell the difference between cat5 and cat6 connectors and enough insight about CAT5 and CAT6 cables. Comments bellow if you have any query.

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