Does anyone know the differences of the CAT cable? I heard of CAT5, CAT5E, CAT6 and there's probably a whole bunch more. I know they are standards but are they all backwards compatible? Are the wires just in a different order?
I'm looking to buy about 250ft of network cable and wondering if there is any high quality cable or is it all just the same?
the one and true answer is that it depends. If you're looking to be cost consience then you need to weigh the needs of the network to the cost of the cable. If your network will not be running gigabit eithernet then no _need_ for cat 5e or cat 6. if you know you are going to be running the cable in a "noisy" environment that could cause line noise then get STP. if you're going to run enough to go between bedrooms then just get UTP. STP is nice if you know you are going to lay the cable next to a power line or across a florescent lamp. Like camieabz said, STP is overkill in certain cercumstances.
Well what could cause noise? I will be running the cable on the side of the wall beneath the carpet so there is no noise at all right? So all I really need is probably regular cat5 utp cable since I'm not running gigabit although what if I were to upgrade to gigabit in the future? Would I have to replace the regular cat5 cable with cat5e?