CAT5e or CAT6 Network Wiring


Whether you are wiring your business or your home with network wiring, you will want to know which kind to use.  Should I use CAT6 or is CAT5e alright?  Some people think that they need to have the latest and greatest cabling standard and just CAT5e-RJ45bite the bullet on the cost.  In this post, we are going to discuss some differences between CAT5e and CAT6 network wiring and which one you should choose for your network cabling needs.

CAT5e as well as CAT6 wiring support Gigabit or 1000 Mbps speeds.  To obtain those speeds, all portions of the network must be able to support Gigabit speeds; the wiring, as well as the Patch Cables, Switches, and Network Cards in the computers.  If any one of those items is not Gigabit, then the speed will get bottlenecked or throttled at that point.  Most wiring being sold today is at least CAT5e, and most Network Cards sold in computers today are Gigabit rated, but there are many switches being sold that are only 100Mbps rather than Gigabit.  If you are going to do your own network, be sure to get a Gigabit Switch.  The price for these items are very affordable. You can get a Netgear 5-Port Gigabit Switch like this GS105 model for around $50.00.

CAT6 may offer a little better protection from interference and cross talk, but the speeds are similar to CAT5e and the price is Netgear GS105 5-Port Switchmore for CAT6.  Best bet is to install the CAT5e wiring; the cost will be less and parts are easier to source locally as well.

As a side note, you can use either CAT5e or CAT6 wiring for phone use as well.  Although more expensive than CAT3 phone wiring, it would give you better flexibility for using that old phone wire for something else later.

In future posts, we will be discussing how to run the network wiring, terminate at the patch panel and wall jacks, and how to keep the wiring nice and tidy.

As in all the articles here on, we strive to educate and inform you about technology so that you can perform basic tech projects if you so desire.  If you would rather have us do the task, please feel free to submit a proposal request to us for your data or phone wiring project, by clicking here.

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