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Difference between CAT5e and CAT6

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  • Last Updated : 25 Oct, 2021
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1. CAT5e :
Cat5 or Category 5 cable is a twisted pair cable used in computer networks. The most commonly used variant of Cat5 cable is Cat5e (Category 5 Enhanced) specification. Cat5e aims to reduce the overall interference between the wire pair (also known as crosstalk). They are quite flexible, so it’s easier to bend them.  

2. CAT6 :
Cat6 cable is derived from Category 6, it is a twisted pair cable for ethernet that is backward compatible with Cat3, Cat5, and Cat5e cable standards. It is designed for more improved performance as compared to Cat5 and it is also better at handling crosstalk.

Difference between CAT5e and CAT6 :





Cheaper.  Costlier.


 It has a thinner copper wire. Comparatively, it has a thicker copper wire.


Frequency is up to 100 MHz.  Frequency varies (Minimum: 0-250 MHz, Maximum: 500 MHz)


It can have a maximum cable length of around 100 meters. Cable length varies; for slower networks, it’s around 100 meters and for gigabit ethernet, it is around 33 meters and 55 meters in case of low crosstalk.


It doesn’t use a spline. It uses a spline.


Offers slower speed. Offers better speed.


More Flexible. Comparatively less flexible.


Higher crosstalk. Provides significantly lower crosstalk.

Cat5e cables are fairly cheaper as compared to the Cat6 cables. Speed of Cat5e cable is limited to around 1 Gbps, Whereas Cat6 cables can be used for up to 10 Gigabit networks. Cat6 cable is also backward compatible with lower category cables, a big plus point of Cat6 cables. The overall construction of Cat6 is more robust as it has a spline inside its jacket. Both Cat5e and Cat6 works on reducing the crosstalk issue but Cat6 is better at managing it. Since all networks can’t support the high speeds of Cat6 cable, it all comes down to which cable is compatible with your device. 

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