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Cat5 vs Cat5e vs Cat6: Which Do I Run In My Home?

You may not even know what Cat wire is. Cat wire, or “category wire” is a twisted pair cable that carries signals. You use this in your own home to connect computer to a network for example. The difference between Cat5, Cat6, and Cat6e is the bandwidth they offer. Cat5 has become almost obsolete due to the other Cat wires being faster and more efficient.

Category 5 is the slowest out of the bunch, offering the slower speed of 10/100Mbps at 100MHz. Length of this cable cannot exceed 100m to reach this speed.

Category 5e (the e means enhanced) has basically replaced Cat5 wire in new installations. It is designed to reduce crosstalk and other signal interruptions, and can handle 1000Mbps at 100MHz. If you want to compromise on price yet still receive a great speed/signal, this may be the best option.

Category 6 has been commonly used in networks, while being able to handle 10 Gigabits of data, at 250 MHz. Cat6 wire is also more expensive to use, and can at times be difficult to install. If you are running cat wire through the walls, this may be the best option for you.
The “crosstalk” or interference has gone down due to the wiring updates. This reduces signal interruption and maximizes speed. You want to future proof your home and not go backwards with technology. When you are ready to install wire in your home, make sure to call Gamma Tech! Our AV wiring team knows everything there is to know about Cat wire. We are ready to serve you!