Cable Guide

Here at CAT5 Direct, we’re experts in all things cable and pride ourselves on our product knowledge. We’ve written this guide to give you all the technical information you need to make the right decision when choosing Premium Cable from CAT5 Direct.

  • What are CAT5 & CAT6 cable?
  • What's the difference?
  • Which cable do I require?

‘CAT’, short for ‘CATEGORY’, is a specification for data communications.

This category specification relates to the different characteristics of the cable including but not limited to:

Wire Twists
Insulation Quality
Conductor Size

Before CAT5E we had CAT5. Physically there’s no difference between the two types of cable but the difference becomes apparent with the testing. CAT5E cable has more stringent requirements than its predecessor. CAT6 cable is the successor from CAT5E that performs at a much more efficient rate, transferring data up to 10GB.

The CAT5E, CAT5 Internal & CAT6 Network Cable comprises of 4 pairs of copper cable that are twisted throughout to reduce interference within the cable. The more twists, the greater signal integrity. The Network Cable is then terminated with RJ45 connectors after installation.

Let’s kick off with the 2 types of cable we stock here at CAT5direct:

CAT5E & CAT6

The different types of cable have varied speed, frequency & applications (see table below) so it’s essential to make sure your cable is fit for purpose.

CAT5E CAT6

Length

305m / 100m

305m

Speed

1GB

10GB

Frequency

350mhz

550mhz

Colour

Black

Black

Now, let’s take a look at the physical differences between the 2 types of cable:

As you can see above, the CAT6 cable includes a plastic core meaning the cable is rigid therefore making it more durable during cable installations when running cable in walls or external installations, whereas the CAT5E cable doesn't have a core within its centre.

All our cable is made up of:

Insulator
Conductor
Jacket to Protect the Cable
Rip Cord to Easily Expose the Cable
Plastic Core (Cat6 only)

Selecting the right cable for the application is incredibly important to avoid wasting time on site & labour cost.

CAT5E is our usual recommendation and is suitable for almost every type of application, however you would need CAT6 cable when faster data transfer rates are required or if you need to install the cable outdoors in tougher conditions.

Now that you know the differences between the types of cable we offer at VueNet as well as where the cable should be installed, you can head over to the product pages where you’ll find product data sheets and all the information you need to place an order.