Cat5 vs. Cat6 Gigabit

cburns99n used Ask the Experts™
I will be running a gigbit network is it possible to use Cat5 vsw. Cat6
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Most of the current Gig networking hardware will work fine over Category 5 cabling. Cat5e or better is preferred, but most of the equipment is currently spec'd and tested for Cat5.

Please note: It's got to be a solid Cat5 cabling system - properly terminated, proper components,etc from end-to-end. A poorly done self-installation is going to give you marginal results or outright failure.

Cat5e basically offers a guarantee that what would usually be the unused pairs for 10 or 100BASE-T are also at a level of quality that will support GIG-E (which uses all four pair and communicates both directions on each pair).

Cat6 is a further improvement on the headroom of the cable - capable of higher frequencies with better ACR (Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio) and other specs.

SO, yes, you can use Cat5, but it's got to be a well-done cabling system. Cat5e or Cat6 is recommended.

Good Luck


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