What is the difference between Cat 5e vs Cat 6 Ethernet cables

Arguably, there is one common question with a lot of confusion that about, which cable is better and for what reason. There is no such way to see the physical difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables. So, all the Ethernet cable have their alone creation. You can find a lot of Ethernet cable groups in a simultaneous numbered category (Cat) made of different colour code, testing standard and specification. However, the Ethernet cable group is updated for the clarification and sometimes for a particular application. Those cable wires used to work on different of purpose. Commonly used as network cables like computer and server to the router with your Internet service providers.

Cat 5e Vs Cat 6

Technically both Ethernet cable Cat 5e and Cat 6 twisted with a different colour of pair cables that used to Copper. Both the cable utilizes for the same end port piece that commonly known as RJ-45. It is surely capable of plugging into any of Ethernet Jack either on a computer, router, smart TV or another similar device as a wireless HDMI extender.The difference in between a Cat 5e Cat 6 Ethernet cable is not only for just a higher speed but reduced crosstalk/interference.

Effect of Crosstalk

An electronic instrument emits electromagnetic signals by an influence of EM impulse. In reality, lots of cables are very close to one another; these cables can make a interfere diffraction with one another by radiation. This total full wave noise interference referred to as “crosstalk”. Crosstalk increases errors, noise, ping reply lost and lost packets data bandwidth ( with other issues). Upgraded versions of Cat ethernet cables (i.e. Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables) reduced the nature of crosstalk through a variety of methods with spin rotation, upward and downward helical path, including improved coating with minimum refractive index insulator with shielding and twisted moderate design.

How to identify quickly

The category of Ethernet cables almost always printed on the surface with a black dot. It is not possible to make any difference in between cable groups by colour because they are often same Sky blue or green or yellow colour. But if you make good observations, then you defiantly check that Cat 6 cables are usually thicker than Cat 5e because it used to contain thicker copper wires with the more helical twister. Also all the manufacutrers always print the type of cable on the cable. In other words, you can find the cable name on the cable itself.

Cat 5e: Reliably fast with Less Interference

Cat 5e, known as Category 5 enhanced. It can handle 1000 Mbps speeds at up to 100 MHz bandwidth in Gigabyte Ethernet. These Ethernet Cat 5e cables provide Gigabit Ethernet up to 328 feet. These are typically made up of 24-26 gauge copper twisted wire pairs. Cat 5e is such a high-speed Ethernet cabling is an improved version of legacy Cat 5 cables, but it has still been around for over 10 years to 15 years. Nowadays it is currently most regular; you used in a new server installation process. Due to rotational design, substantially reduce crosstalk. So theoretically it is better than Cat 5e. Both of the improvement help it to reach up to 10 times faster speed than old Cat 5 cable and make significantly the ability to carry an excellent potential signal without less interference.

Cat 6: Futur-Proof with Less Crosstalk

Cat 6 technically known as category 6 ethernet cable came in front of us in just around a few years back than a significant improvement on Cat 5e cables that better tackle the issue of pesky crosstalk. It has a high index internal separator which makes isolates each a pairs from one another inside the wire. It has been modifying standard cabling only for the Gigabyte Ethernet networks.Perhaps it primarily worked as the backbone of the server, in the place of the run to workstation themselves. Cat 6 is capable of over 10 Gbps super high speed in some cases with 250 MHz.

However, there is some limitation on the bandwidth-distance between a host and server at approximately 110-165 feet- anything distance beyond that will annihilate the bandwidth to only 1 Gbps. Cat 6 cable is an excellent choice for them who want a future protection proof home or business for the long-lasting network.But that does not mean; it protects you from the Cyborg comes from the future!

Which one should we use

Most of the time when the Internet service provider installs a new network for home purpose, they always use cat 5e. But keep in mind that it will carry 1000 Mbps speed which run your system slowly. In another hand Cat 6 able to achieve 10 Gbps bandwidth over 33-55 meters (110-165 feet) of cable. If you want to get faster performance, then we recommend you to invest in the cat 6 cable to help future ready for your network. Cat 6 will enhance your system with super speed.

Comparison between Cat 5e and Cat 6 Ethernet cable

What is the difference between Cat 5e vs Cat 6 Ethernet cables

 Point of concernCat 5eCat 6
SpeedUp to 1000 Mbps over maximum 100 meters of cableUp to 10 Gbps (10GBASE-T) over 55 meters
FrequencyIt has a bandwidth frequency up to 100 MHzIt has a bandwidth frequency up to 250 MHz
Maximum Cable length on coilMore or less 100 metersSuch as for high-speed network Gigabit Ethernet, it should be 55 meters maximum, with 33 meters in super crosstalk and impedance conditions. Now 100 meters for slower megabyte speeds (up to 1000 Mbps)
PerformanceEventually more interference than a Cat 6 cable. As Less interference crosstalk/ than a CAT 5 cableSignal to noise ratio (truncated SNR or S/N) is too much higher
Gauge on each node24 to 26 AWG (American wire gauge) wire22 to 24 AWG wire
Protection about coatingUnshielded twisted pairs (UTP) cablingShielded cabling (STP) over 30%-40% of UTP
CapabilityIt may have to be drained with faster network in futureIt is more future proof for the fast including the networking system with superior capability than Cat 5e
Cost by manufacturer With, $0.20 to $0.30 / foot, concerning different length and manufacturerWith $0.40 to $0.60 / foot as an average; generally, the price is about 20% higher than Ca t5e, Varies by different length and manufacturer companies.


Speed with maximum bandwidth

You know both the cables Cat 5e and Cat 6 are four twisted in pair cable such that is use copper wire. The specification of Cat 6 is much stringent for crosstalk and other bulk network noise issue. In spite of this, it provides performance up to 250 MHz with 10Gbps over 55 meters. Such an enormous huh?

In another side, Cat 5e performs up to only 100 MHz of bandwidth with 1000 Mbps of net speed over 100 meters. It is happening because of achieved by using a longitudinal separator like spline in the coil wiring. These isolated of each four pairs of the twisted cable. However, this technique made Cat 6 Ethernet cable more rigid and reliable and more fixable. With the help of newer cabling technology with packet communication method, it reduces noise issue. Regardless Cat 6 provides significantly very lower interference in near or end crosstalk (NEXT) in transmission. It improves far level end crosstalk (ELFEXT), Insertion and returns loss compared to the Cat 5e cables.

As a result, Cat 6 is less noise, higher data and lower impedance error in the transmission of the upcoming signal. Because of this modernised method Cat 6 cables (250MHz) perform more than twice that of the Cat 5e cable(100MHz).


The price tag of the Ethernet cables varies by the manufacturer sellers alter by length. The main thing is cat 6 cables are comparatively 10% to 20% more expensive and costly than cat 5e Ethernet cables. However, the reasons are less crosstalk interference. Cat 5e cables are cheap in speed and other cases. So cat 6 cables usually make the premium price well worth it. Even it is better to use cat 6 cables instead of cat 5e, for the future proof home network.

Where and what to buy

There are different websites or online retailers where you can buy from. However, Amazon is a good place to check.

Final Word

Cat 5e and Cat 6 both are magnificent networking cable for home as well as commercial purpose. But if your ISP network bandwidth connectivity is indigent ( below 512 Kbps) then no category of cable can survive you from slowness. Considering that, Cat 6 is always better when it comes to speed and stability.

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1 comment

  1. Robert Whitten says:

    The article was very interesting and helpful.
    Suggestion: Although it does not appear to be “dated,” it would be very helpful for you to show the original DATE or the updated DATE (if applicable) on all your articles.

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