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Types of network cables and quality.

Last response: in Networking
April 1, 2003 6:18:29 AM

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?
April 1, 2003 8:48:02 AM

UTP = Unshielded twisted pair.
STP = Shielded twisted pair. Better quality, but may be overkill for some networks.

CAT 5 : 100M or 330ft range over ethernet. Up to 100Mbps at these distances.

CAT 5e: Better quality than CAT 5, it should be good for up to 1000Mbps in certain conditions.

CAT 6: Don't think this has been accepted by the standard makers yet, but is good for 1000Mbps.

<b><font color=blue>~ <A HREF="" target="_new">Nice sig 81.</A> ~<font color=blue></b> :wink:
April 1, 2003 10:38:24 PM

Okay so if I were to buy network cable what should I look for? Cat 5e STP network cable?
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April 2, 2003 2:15:16 AM

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.


Yes, I made it past newbie w00t.
April 2, 2003 6:51:15 AM

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?

Is cat5e backwards compatible with cat5?
April 2, 2003 9:28:04 AM

yes to all questions.

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
April 4, 2003 2:50:30 PM

In theory, the best cable for future plans would be CAT 6, and in theory the shielded cable would be best at reducing interference. CAT 6 STP.... :smile: I really dunno if that's necessary though.

<b><font color=blue>~ <A HREF="" target="_new">Nice sig 81.</A> ~<font color=blue></b> :wink:
April 5, 2003 7:20:51 AM

That's true. I was looking at prices for Cat5 STP and that can go into hundreds so not going to bother. But I wonder if wireless will take over anytime soon? Or maybe Bluetooth...
April 6, 2003 9:40:01 PM

If you do not have a long distance to go and you only have one wire (not a bunch tied together) regular unshielded will do.

In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies