CAT 5 v. CAT 5e
What's the difference between CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable?
CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable have several differences, the most important are as follows:
Network support - CAT 5 cable will support 10/100 Ethernet. That is, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. CAT 5e cable will support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. CAT 5e Cable is completely backwards compatible, and can be used in any application in which you would normally use CAT 5 cable.
Less cross talk - Cross talk is the electrical interference that results when one wire's signal effects another wire's signal. CAT 5e cable has been improved over CAT 5 cable in this respect, and cross talk has been greatly reduced.
Bandwidth - This is directly related to network support, in the sense that the bandwidth is the information-carrying capacity of a system. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity in a given period of time. CAT 5e cable is rated at 350 megahertz, and it is this increased bandwidth (compared to CAT 5 cable) that allows it to support Gigabit Ethernet.
If you are unsure whether to order CAT 5 OR CAT 5e, we recommend ordering CAT 5e. CAT 5e is completely backwards compatible and we do not charge any additional amount for it. The improvements made in CAT 5e over the original CAT 5 Cable are astonishing, so it will always be the right choice between the two.
CAT 5 Cable will still be sufficient for many applications. In fact, there are still companies operating today that have special requirements for CAT 5. These will be the exceptions of course, because almost all new installations are being done with CAT 5e. The improved signal carrying capacity of the cable is the primary reason.
CAT 5e Cable also has improved durability, due to improvements in the quality and thickness of the PVC protective jacket. It is more than suitable for most data cabling requirements.