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CAT5e vs CAT6e

Network Installations Network Installations

The Difference Between CAT5e and CAT6e Cabling

Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit" network. This is not the case. Unless every single component in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device. Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speed.

  http://www.cat-5-cable-company.com/faq-cat6-v-cat5e.html 

The choice between the 2 comes down to a matter of price and future-proofing.  CAT6 can be up to 3 times as expensive as the more common CAT5e cabling but in order to properly future proof your network cabling infrastructure we would suggest going the CAT6 route.  For Small office and home installations CAT5e will suffice but for large networks we would suggest CAT6.

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