5 Things to Know About Cat5e Cables

Before there were Cat6 Ethernet cables, Cat5e cables were the top-of-the-line when it came to network Ethernet cables. The Cat5e cables were an improvement upon the standard CAT5 cables at the time but are very similar in design and makeup. One of the best things about these type of cables is their strength and durability. Cat5e cables constructed of top grade materials can be expected to last five to 10 years, just like the Cat5’s.

While man people are familiar with the many different uses for these handy networking cables, you may not know much more about the details behind them. For instance, you may know that Cat5e cables can be used for networks and multi-line phone systems, but did you know they a maximum frequency of 100 MHz and can transmit up to 10/100/1000Mbps? The newer Cat6 cables are just ahead in frequency at 250 MHz.
Here are a few other aspects of the Cat5e cable.

    As mentioned above, the Cat5e cable is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. The most common use for this type of cable is plugging a computer or laptop into a router/modem to carry internet connections.

    Typically Unshielded
    Most of the time, these kinds of cables do not utilize electromagnetic shielding and instead rely on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection.

    Cable Segment Length
    While the actual length of the cable cord can vary, the maximum length for a cable segment is 100 m per TIA/EIA 568-5-A. Any longer than that and you will need to need to use something like a switch or repeater to ensure a quality connection.

    The amount of crosstalk is one of the primary differences between Cat5 and Cat5e cables. New specifications were implemented in these newer cables that improve the quality slightly, but the fact of the matter is many high-quality Cat5 cables could pass for their higher ‘e’ standard if they were properly certified as such.

    Insulation, Conductors and Twist Length
    Usually, these kinds of Ethernet cables are insulated with PVC or LSOH material. The standard for conductors is currently set between 22 American Wire Gauge (AWG) and no thinner than 24 AWG (26 for some shorter cables).

    Ethernet cables are some of the most prevalent and useful ways to network various devices, and the CAT5e is one of the higher end choices you can go with.

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