Most people are familiar with the term CAT-5e and that it relates to cabling needs,
but as more installers turn to CAT-6 the question is often is asked about the
difference and reason for using CAT-6 over CAT-5e. Today we are going to explore
some common questions and definitions related to the two.
What is the difference between CAT-5e and CAT-6?
The general difference is in the transmission difference of bandwidth. CAT-5 offers
a 100MHz and CAT-6 offers 200. Having a higher MHz allows for better signal to
noise ratio which in turn provides higher readability and data rates.
Will CAT-6 overtake CAT-5e installations?
At some point in the near future, yes. Installers are beginning to use CAT-6 more
and it's becoming readily available with demand increasing as the need for more
Should installers use CAT-6?
For the most part, yes. It's very expensive to tear out walls to replace old cabling
and installers need to consider the impact that the cabling will have 10-20 years
into the future. Installing CAT-6 now will save time and money in short run
reducing the need to cable replacement.
Does CAT-6 cost more to install?
CAT-6 is roughly 20-30% more expensive than CAT-5e. The initial cost of choosing
CAT-5e should be considered along with the length of time the cabling will be
sufficient for the job site. Determining initial cost and cost of re-cabling in the
future will be a decision to discuss with the property owner.