Cable connection

AXISHK used Ask the Experts™
Which cable (CAT5, CAT6 and CAT6A ) should I use for switch, router and servers connection ? Any difference ? Tks
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

CAT5E is rated for Gigabit speeds and may be easier to work with than CAT6.  Links to CAT6 on this page too:
Ganesh AnandLead Technical Consultant

CAT-5 is rated to 100 Mhz
CAT-5e is rated to 350 Mhz
CAT-6 and CAT6e is rated to 550 Mhz or 1000 Mhz depending on your source
CAT-7 is rated to 700 Mhz or 1000 Mhz

Here are the basic difference :
Assuming you are running Gigabit or slower, and have no plans for anything faster, any of these will be fine. Usually, Cat5E is cheapest and easiest.
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Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010


Unless you have or plan to upgrade all networking equipment to 10Gb standard, there is no need to use CAT 6 or above.

CAT 5e and CAT 6 have not much difference if you use them in your server room.
Factors to consider when choosing cable.
Cat 6 costs roughly 30% more than Cat 5e, and Cat 6A 30% more than Cat 6, so cost itself might be the #1 limiting factor.
Also, Cat 6 is thicker and heavier than Cat 5e ( Cat 6A more-so ) and cannot make as tight turns when running the cables.
If are using Gigabit Network or slower, and do not plan to up-grade in the future then choose Cat 5e, for the ability to have a 10 Gigabit network you need Cat 6.
Note that even though both Cat5e and Cat 6 can do 1 Gigabit networks, Cat 5e cable has a tendency to have a higher delay and skew than Cat 6 cable, thus Cat 5e may have a longer delay for the signal to get from one side to the other, giving the appearance that it runs slower.
Also 10 Gigabit network on Cat 6 cables is limited to 164 ft., including patch cables. After that distance, its ultimate speed is 1 Gigabit.
For the full distance of Ethernet (328 ft.) at 10 Gigabit network choose Cat 6A which reduces the crosstalk among the pairs, and reduces the delay.

Information source:
By Steven deSteuben, Nashua Data Solutions on



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