Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a, Which Shall I Choose?

Differences among Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a

1 Cat5e

A Cat5e (Category 5 enhanced) cable costs the least. However, it is also the slowest. It can transport data at speeds of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps) at 100 MHz up to 328 feet and there is less interference and a lower likelihood of transmission error.

While Cat 5e will provide enough performance for the majority of today’s applications, it also limits future upgrade options.

2 Cat6

Cat6 is a higher standard to transmit more gigabytes of data, but it is also more limited in terms of distance. Because of the enhanced insulation, Cat6 can sustain data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps @250 MHz (about MHZ) with significantly less (or no) crosstalk interference. Cat6 cabling is better suited to the high-speed demands of Gigabit Ethernet networks.

3 Cat6a

Cat6a (Category 6 augmented) is the best solution for establishing a long-term effective Gigabit Ethernet network. Yes, it is more expensive than Cat 5e or Cat 6, but the gear you will be connecting to your network will only get more sophisticated as technology advances.

Cat6a supports a bandwidth of 10 Gbps as Cat6, but a greater distance and a higher frequency of 500 MHz. And, naturally, it’s better protected from interference.

Original post: Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a, Which Shall I Choose?