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CAT5 & CAT5e?

by Walt H / March 13, 2008 8:41 AM PDT

Is there a difference between Ethernet Cables CAT5 and CAT5e?

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e just means enhanced
by Steven Haninger / March 13, 2008 9:11 PM PDT
In reply to: CAT5 & CAT5e?

The specs are a little tighter...maybe more twists per inch. I believe the wiring pinout color code might be a bit different. There an "A" and a "B" standard but either type works find in most uses. Cat5e is probably preferred for longer cable lengths. Unless you stretch to the 100 meter limit, you're probably ok. If you need gigabit, you're looking at Cat6. Hope that helps

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(NT) Thanks
by Walt H / March 14, 2008 5:05 AM PDT
In reply to: e just means enhanced
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Not Completely True...
by Dahlgren / March 14, 2008 1:20 PM PDT
In reply to: e just means enhanced

The basics are more or less correct, but Category 5E is recommended for up to Gigabit Ethernet. Unless you want to somewhat futureproof your installation, Category 6 is not required for Gigabit Ethernet. Category 6 is backward compatible, however for Standard compliance it will require greater care in installation as well as different RJ-45 connectors. Depending upon your supplier, the cost of going with Category 6 can be up to twice that of Category 5E.

A very good tutorial on Category 5/5E & 6 cabling can be found at:

Good luck! Hope this helps.

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I understand that.....but
by Steven Haninger / March 14, 2008 8:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Not Completely True...

From what's available to read on the subject, for one who is wanting to implement gigabit ethernet, it's recommended to go Cat6 rather than 5e. Yes, original 5e spec was to support gigabit but it wasn't really up to snuff for longer runs...just as Cat5 with it's 100m spec was iffy when that limit was pushed and/or the environment the wire was strung through contained potentials for signal induction from other sources. For someone who's just running patch cable in a home system, I see Cat5 as quite adequate but not sure what the poster had in mind. Of course everything you buy now is "e" or better but Cat6 is a little more costly. Unless someone just wanted the best available with a 10/100 system with shorter cable runs, Cat6 would be a waste of money. If someone was considering that faster speed would eventually be needed, going with Cat6 now would probably be a wiser choice.

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while we're talking about Gigabit Ethernet...
by confuxion / March 15, 2008 1:21 PM PDT

I hate to sort of get off the topic originally posted, but can someone tell me exactly what is needed for me to upgrade my home LAN to Gigabit Ethernet? I'm planning on getting an NAS device soon, and I'm quite sure that one of the connectivity options on the NAS will be Gigabit Ethernet. I'd like to take full advantage of it, assuming that it is the fastest possible connection that I can transfer data over (is it, or is eSATA faster?). I really need to know all the types of equipment (w/ links to particular products would be a bonus) I need in order to have my entire, wired network running Gigabit Ethernet. Anything anybody has to add would be greatly appreciated.

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Only know what I've read
by Steven Haninger / March 15, 2008 9:09 PM PDT

and a google search will get you what you need. Basically, however, a full implement of gigabit Ethernet will require that all devices and connections that you desire to transmit at that speed be compliant with gigabit standards. This means the cables and connector too. Any hardware in the high speed path needs to support gigabit. Now, you will read that there is hardware that supports gigabit and that which is certified for it. One difference between Cat5e and Cat6 is that 5e supports it but Cat6 is certified for it. This isn't going to mean that things such as printers and devices that are branched on the LAN and run at 10/100 are going to pull down the whole network. But, if you want to send/receive data from one PC to another on your home LAN at the gigabit rate, both PCs will need NICs that support it as well as the cabling and switch between them. You're not going to pick up any internet speed, however, as even today's broadband available for homes (with the possible exception of fiber optic systems) runs at speeds even base 10 can handle. Hope that helps.

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by DeepPurple23 / March 17, 2008 1:41 AM PDT


While I believe that Giganet could possibily transfer data faster (someone would need to check my math), I had gone the external drive route for my home LAN and in the end the eSATA drives were by far the fastest. I had a NAS box and it may have been the box, but it was slower than my USB port. USB 2.0 and firewire are also not bad options, but I personally perferred the eSATA.

Good luck.

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