In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between UTP cable CAT5 and CAT6.
UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cables are a type of network cable that is commonly used in Ethernet networks. They are made up of four pairs of twisted copper wire and are used to transmit data signals between devices such as computers, routers, and switches.
There are several categories of UTP cable, including Cat 5 and Cat 6. The main difference between these two categories is the amount of data that they can transmit.
CAT5 cables are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second). They are typically used in older Ethernet networks and are not suitable for use in modern networks that require higher speeds.
CAT6 cables, on the other hand, are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second). They are more expensive than Cat 5 cables but are suitable for use in modern networks that require high-speed data transmission.
In summary, the main difference between CAT5 and CAT6 cables is the speed at which they can transmit data. CAT6 cables are faster and more expensive but are required for modern networks that require high-speed data transmission.
Is it worth replacing UTP CAT6 with UTP CAT7?
CAT7 cables are a newer type of UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable that is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second). They are more expensive and have a higher performance level than CAT6 cables, which are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Whether it is worth replacing CAT6 cables with CAT7 cables depends on your networking needs and budget. If you have a network that requires high-speed data transmission and you are willing to pay a higher price for CAT7 cables, then they may be a good choice. However, if your network does not require such high speeds or if you are on a tight budget, then CAT6 cables may be sufficient for your needs.
It’s also worth noting that the performance of a network depends on more than just the cables being used. The speed of the network is also influenced by the performance of the networking devices (such as routers and switches), the quality of the network infrastructure (such as the network cables and connectors), and the number of devices connected to the network. So, if you are experiencing slow network speeds, it may be worth considering other factors in addition to the type of cable being used.
Table UTP cable maximum speed by category
|UTP Category||Max. Speed||Max. Length||Application|
|CAT1||Up to 1 Mbps||–||Old Telephone Cable|
|CAT2||Up to 4 Mbps||–||Token Ring Networks|
|CAT3||Up to 10 Mbps||100 m||Token Ring, 10BASE-T Ethernet|
|CAT4||Up to 16 Mbps||100 m||Token Ring Networks|
|CAT5||Up to 100 Mbps||100 m||Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Token Ring|
|CAT5e||Up to 1 Gbps||100 m||Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet|
|CAT6||Up to 10 Gbps||100 m||Gigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet (55 meters)|
|CAT6a||Up to 10 Gbps||100 m||Gigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet (55 meters)|
|CAT7||Up to 10 Gbps||100 m||Gigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet (100 meters)|
CAT6 wire was originally designed to support gigabit Ethernet, although there are standards that will allow gigabit transmission over CAT5e wire. It is similar to CAT5e wire but contains a physical separator between the four pairs to further reduce electromagnetic interference. CAT6 is able to support speeds of 1Gbps for lengths of up to 100 meters, and 10Gbps is also supported for lengths of up to 55 meters.
Today, most new cabling installations use CAT6 as a standard, however, it is important to note that all cabling components (jacks, patch panels, patch cords, etc) must be CAT6 certified and extra caution must be given to the proper termination of the cable ends.
UTP CAT7 for higher speed
CAT7 is a newer copper cable specification designed to support speeds of 10Gbps at lengths of up to 100 meters. To achieve this, the cable features four individually shielded pairs plus an additional cable shield to protect the signals from crosstalk and electromagnetic interference (EMI).