General discussion

Cat6 cable to Cat5e Keystone Jacks

Apr 2, 2007 4:24AM PDT

Hey all,

My Project - I am wiring my house with CAT6 cable, due to increasing bandwidth needs, I decided CAT6 would be best for future applications.

I bought CAT5e keystone jacks, assuming they would work (that and at the time I couldn't find CAT6 keystone jacks anywhere, so I just figured they were one in the same). I already opened the keystone jacks, so returning them is out of the question. Can I still wire a CAT5e keystone jack with CAT6 cable? Do you know where any wiring guides are? I can only find guides for wiring CAT5e into a keystone jack. Also, I don't understand this: on the keystone jacks, they have 2 options for wiring - 568A and 568B. What does that mean? I am under the assumption that one is straight through and the other is crossover, but if I'm wrong then please let me know.

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Cat5e and Cat6
Apr 2, 2007 7:05AM PDT

The Cat 5e jacks will work with Cat6 but the Cat6 will only function at Cat5e level. Usually the 110 punchdowns are color coded so you shouldn't need any wiring guide. Just wire both ends according to one of the standards -568A or 568B. If you make a cable with 568A on one end and 568B on the other, you create a crossover cable. This isn't what you want.

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I thought so
Apr 2, 2007 8:39AM PDT

Yea, thanks for that info, looks like I was correct in my assumptions. I knew the jack would dumb the speed down to CAT5e, but I can always just spend $1.50 on new CAT6 keystone jacks later on, I just want SOME type of wired connection right now.

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Apr 2, 2007 9:06AM PDT

I was so stupid, I didn't realize that the colors on the keystone jack were for the wires. Well, thanks for helping me. I am actually using one of the cables for the internet connection right now! Now all I need is a gigabit router and some CAT6 keystone jacks and I'm ready to surf (as fast as my ISP allows, which is currently slower than CAT5e, but maybe some day . . . )

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568A and 568B
Apr 2, 2007 9:31AM PDT
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Cat6 cable to Cat5e Keystone Jacks
Feb 25, 2009 4:10AM PST

There is no need to worry

The Cat6 is the newer version of Cat 5e, therefore, the Cat 6 would just lower it speed to the Cat 5e standards.

So you have to options:

You can either buy a new keystone jack like:


Stay with the Cat 5e for a little while but watch out.

Sometimes I don?t know why but once you keep the cable in this or any other configuration, the cable gets somehow used to it and sometimes latter on when you want to upgrade your wiring to the newer Category 6 style, you may have problem that the cables would not work. In this case I would recommend to completely change your wires for the brand new and your whole system will be working fine.

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re Cat6 cable to Cat5e Keystone Jacks
Apr 1, 2009 4:05PM PDT

I wouldn't worry about making the change any time soon. Using Cat5e jacks with Cat6 cable will indeed downgrade the link performance to Cat5e.

But... The Category 5e standard was written to support Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Megabit). Even a very fast internet connection (at least here in the US) will only be about a 15 Megabit per second connection.

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