If you are considered a structured cabling installation, you may be thinking about your cable options. Until 2001, Cat 5E was considered the best type of cabling available. Cat 5e Cable is a twisted pair-type of cable, which can be used for telephone, video, and computer network applications.
In fact, it is suitable for most Ethernet-over-twisted-pair applications, though, because it is an unshielded type of cable, which relies on the balanced line of twisted pair design for noise and interference-reduction, it is not appropriate for all applications.
Cat 5e is no longer the highest standard type of cabling, and has been superseded by Cat 6 cable, however if you are integrating a new system with an old system, then you may be dealing with a Cat 5 or Cat 5e infrastructure. In addition, Cat 5e is still used in new installations, even though it does not have the same performance as Cat 6 or Cat 6e cabling.
Choose the right Cabling for Your Business
Cat 5e is no longer the highest standard type of cabling, and has been superseded by Cat 6 cable
For users, the different cable designations probably mean very little, but they actually have a tremendous impact on performance, making your installer’s choice of cable critical to how your office functions and runs. Cat 5 Cable, which is not used in new installations, can handle 10/100 Mbps speeds at up to 100 MHz bandwidth. While those numbers were once impressive, they are far slower than the speeds needed for modern applications. Cat 5e, or Cat 5 enhanced is faster than Cat 5 cable, and can handle up to 1000Mbps speeds at 100MHz. However, its real advantage over Cat 5 is that it is designed to reduce crosstalk between cables, so you have a much lower level of interference with Cat 5e installations than with older Cat 5 installations.
While Cat 5e cabling installations are still done, the choice of cabling really needs to reflect your current and future business needs. Even if you do not expect your business needs to evolve, you have to look ahead to potential changes in devices and user expectations and consider whether Cat 5e cabling can continue to meet those needs. Cat 6 cabling is not significantly more expensive than Cat 5e, but offers some significant advantages over its predecessor. It can carry up to 10 gigabits at 250 MHz. Even more significant, it has an internal separator that isolates cable pairs from each other, which virtually eliminates the possibility of crosstalk.