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   ► KBComputer TechHardwareCables and C...Tech Downloads  Print This     
 
Tech Cables and Connectors:
Know Your CAT Cables
 
Posted 7 years ago on 4/17/2012
Take Away:

Here is an overview of some of the most common ethernet over twisted pair cables (or CAT cables) currently used.

 A file from our File Library ► Tech Downloads

KB102376

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The CAT6 FAQ Page

A spline was initally intended to meet certain requirements for how much "cross-talk" was al
--Eric Prestwood

Q. What is the difference between CAT5, 5e, 6, and 6a?

A. The simple answer is quality. Here are the rated speeds:

  • CAT5 = 100 Mbps
  • CAT5e = 100 Mbps *
  • CAT6 = 1000 Mbps (or 1 Gb)
  • CAT6a = 10 Gbps
  • CAT7 = 100 Gbps

*better then CAT5 and can sometimes be pushed to CAT6, but it is NOT as good as CAT6

Q. Does CAT 6e exist?

A. No, just CAT6a (augmented). The confusion is because of CAT5e (enhanced).

Q. What does UTP vs STP vs FTP mean?

A. unshielded twisted pair vs shielded twisted pair vs foiled twisted pair.

Q. What does shielded cable do?

A. The metal shielding allows longer runs due to its shielding from electromagnetic interferences caused by structures like powe lines.

Q. What is plenum?

A. Cable with a fire-retardant plastic jacket.

Q. Is plenum shielded?

A. Plenum is a clasification of wire; it can be combined with the clasifications UTP and STP. CAT-6 STP Plenum would be shielded.

Q. Why does some CAT6 come without a spline nowadays? 

A. A spline was initally intended to meet certain requirements for how much "cross-talk" was allowed on a cable. Other methods have been created to meet those standards which do not require a spline in a cable.

Q. What is bonded pair CAT6 cable?

A. Two CAT cables bonded together and run side by side. Bonded means it can be more than two as well. Here is a picture of 6 CAT6 bonded.

Bonded CAT6 cable

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