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Your Guide to Cat5 Cable Technology

A Cat5 cable is a wire that is terminated at both ends with an RJ-45 jack which means that it can be plugged into most devices that are set up for Ethernet connections. A Cat5 data cable is used to convey data communications at high speed, often between a computer terminal and a router, however, all sorts of other applications are possible with them. Inside of each cable is a set of smaller wires, known as twisted pair EIA/TIA cabling.

Can you use a Cat5 cable with a Cat6 cable?

Other connections with RJ-45 jacks are available to purchase at eBay. When you have a patch bay with lots of these cables plugged into them and a network switch to provide data communications around an office, for example, it is possible to use different combinations of cables along with Cat 5 ones. The main compatible cables are:

  • Cat 3 - 16 MHz bandwidth
  • Cat 4 - 100 MHz bandwidth
  • Cat 5 - 100 MHz bandwidth
  • Cat 6 - 250 MHz bandwidth
  • Cat 7 - 600 MHz bandwidth
How fast is a Cat 5 cable connector?

The speed of any Ethernet cable is affected by how close it is installed to mains electrical supplies. Even tight bends or kinks in a cable can slow its speed down. That being said, a Cat5 cable that is in good condition and properly installed will allow for extremely fast flows of data communications that can reach anything up to 100 Megabytes per second which is rapid enough for most applications.

How long should a Cat5 cable be?

There is no set length that a Cat5 cable ought to be - you simply need to order one from eBay that is long enough to reach between the two devices you are plugging into one another. Cat 5 patch cables may be as short as 50 centimetres or so. The maximum length that a Cat5 data cable is designed for is 100 metres.

Do you need a Cat6 or Cat 7 cable instead?

In terms of its bandwidth and speed, a Cat5 data cable is all that you will probably ever need for a local area network, whether it is for work or for your home. Only specialist data communications set-ups will require faster speeds and greater bandwidth than that offered by Cat5.

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