What is network cable?
The term Network Cable refers to a number of types of twisted-pair copper cable, (eg. Category 5 (CAT5), Category 5e (CAT5e) and Category 6 (CAT6) ) used to transmit data in network, CCTV and home theatre applications. Organizations such as the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) and Electronic Industries Association (EIA) set specific product standards, and these guidelines have resulted in cables being classified into various categories based on their performance levels. Just in case you’re not too familiar with cabling terminology. Some straight forward definitions of the three common grades of network cable appear below to help you choose the right one to fit your requirement.
What is difference between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 Cable?
- CAT5: Cat 5 cable is available in two varieties: Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP), the type widely used, and Screened Twisted Pair (STP), which has shielding to provide an extra level of protection against interference. Cables belonging to Category 5 are either solid or stranded: Solid Cat 5 is more rigid, and the better choice if data needs to be transmitted over a long distance, while Stranded Cat 5 is very flexible and most likely to be used as patch cable. Cat 5 cable can support 10 or 100 Mbps Ethernet, and has a capability of up to 100MHz. It has now been practically superseded by CAT5e.
- CAT5e: Cat 5e (which stands for Category 5, enhanced) cable goes along the same lines as basic Cat 5, except that it fulfils higher standards of data transmission. Cat 5e can handle data transfer at 1000 Mbps, is suitable for Gigabit Ethernet, and experiences much lower levels of near-end crosstalk (NEXT) than Cat 5.
- CAT6: Cat 6 is the most advanced and provides the best performance. Just like Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Category 6 cable is typically made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire, but its capabilities far exceed those of other cable types because of one particular structural difference: a longitudinal separator. This separator isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, which reduces crosstalk, allows for faster data transfer, and gives Category 6 cable twice the bandwidth of Cat 5. Cat 6 cable is ideal for supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and is able to operate at up to 250 MHz. Since technology and standards are constantly evolving, Cat 6 is the best choice of cable when taking any possible future updates to your network into consideration. Not only is Cat6 cable future-safe, it is also backward-compatible with any previously-existing Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling found in older installations.
Buy Network Patch Cables at Competitive Prices from MCL Data Solutions.
The choice of network cable can at times be overwhelming and managing these cables onsite can also be problematic. At MCL Data Solutions we offer a wide range of different configurations in standard 1000 foot or 304m boxes along with various network accessories and cable management products to ensure your installation is neater and that day to day management of your copper network cabling is easier.