I'm building a new house. Can someone recommend some brands of Cat5e spools and jacks? What to look for, what to avoid, etc? Thanks!
(And I should probably add, if you were building a new house you plan on staying in and were going to run HDMI and such through Cat, would you go ahead and pay the extra to get Cat6? Mix it up and run Cat6 and Cat5e depending on what it's sending?)
I would buy CAT5e unless CAT6 was the same price. I use the stuff from Home Depot, which is Leviton connectors and whatever brand of cable. I've done many homes and just finished a new construction small office building and the stuff works fine.
The biggest thing is to insure that it is installed properly and not damaged -- avoid crimping, excess bending and pulling on cables, keep it at a distance from power line runs (I generally try to keep it a foot away and cross over where required at 90 degree angles). Also test all the cables with an Ethernet tester before putting on the drywall.