Some Before there were Cat 6 Ethernet cables, Cat 5e cables were the top-of-the-line when it came to Ethernet cables. Even though more networks cables are released, Cat 5e cables are still welcomed by many users.They can be used in myriad ways, including networks, multi-line phone systems, CCTV system, Internet connection between a computer or laptop and a modem, etc. They have a maximum frequency of 100 MHz and a capability of transmitting up to 10/100/1000Mbps data, compared with the newer Cat6 cables which are just ahead in frequency at 250 MHz.
More people have an idea of the different uses of these Ethernet cables than actually know the details behind them. Let’s take a closer look at Cat 5e Ethernet cables, something that you don’t know about.
The meaning of “Cat”
You have probably noticed that Ethernet cables have been classified as Cat 5 or Cat 5e or something similar, as you browse cables online. In fact, “Cat” has nothing to do with the specific animal. It is short for “category” and the number that follows refers to the specification specifications to which the cable was manufactured.
A general rule of thumb is: higher numbers account for faster speeds and higher frequency. For example, VN-L151 is a Cat 5e Ethernet Cable launched by VNZANE, a professional cable manufacturer in China. This series of cables support 100 MHz data communication and therefore increases the downloading speed.
The difference between Cat 5e and Cat 5
The “e” in Cat 5e stands for “enhanced.” As the name implies, Cat 5e cables are an improvement upon the standard Cat 5cables.There are no physical differences between Cat 5e and Cat 5 cables, but the former is built under more stringent testing standards to eliminate crosstalk — i.e., the unwanted transfer of signals between communication channels. The greatest strength of Cat 5e cables is the durability. The top-grade materials used to make these cables make it possible to last five to 10 years, just like the Cat5’s.
The high-performance cables are currently the most common type of Ethernet cables, mainly due to the low production cost and ability to support faster speeds than the original Cat 5 cables.
Ethernet cables are typically unshielded
In most cases, Cat 5e cables do not use electromagnetic shielding and instead depend on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection. But they are also available with shielding.
Cat 5e Ethernet cables have a maximum length of 100 meters
The length of Cat 5e Ethernet cables varies, but the maximum length is 100 meters per TIA/EIA 568-5-A. If you are using a cable that exceeds the length I mentioned here, you might have to use a switch to ensure the quality of the connection.
Cat 5e Ethernet cables have reduced crosstalk
Crosstalk is a fundamental aspect that distinguishes Cat 5 from CAT 5e cables. New specifications have been adopted in these newer cables so that the quality has been improved a lot. If Cat 5e cables are certified, they can pass for their higher “e” standard.
Insulation and Conductors
Typically, this type of Ethernet cables is insulated with PVC or LSOH materials. The standard for these conductors is currently set between 22 American Wire Gauge (AWG) and not less than 24 AWG (some shorter cables are 26 AWG).
Available in multiple colors
Since Cat 5e cables are available in many different colors, it is easy to identify the purpose of each connector. This is particularly true for companies with large IT infrastructures because they don’t have much time to troubleshoot. Therefore, network personnel who install these cables can arrange them according to their functions. Take VN-L151 as an example. You can use the blue-white pair for the connection and the green-white pair for the access point.
Knowing more details about Cat 5e cables will help you understand their utility better. If you want to network various devices, Cat 5e Ethernet cables will be a high-end choice, particularly VN-L151, which is unmatched in terms of strength and durability.