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CAT6 Network Cables Explained

CAT6 cable has been available for many years and is preferred in larger businesses as well as homes that may require more bandwidth than the average user. It is sometimes installed as a bit of an overkill but to accommodate future needs which of course is not a bad idea given the speed at which the technology evolves. CAT5 Cabling can handle on average 1GB of data where CAT6 can transmit up 10GB. It is able to do this through several means, first thicker gauge wires which can transmit more data, second by a X shaped plastic divider inside the cable that keeps the 4 twisted pairs separate thus reducing cross talk and noise in addition they have a thicker jacket and insulation which also helps with the integrity of your data.

So while CAT6 is able to to deliver higher speeds by using the measures mentioned above those same measures can make it more expensive and a bit harder to work with. Of course it’s a given that with the thicker gauge wires used with CAT6 all of the tools and accessories such as the punch down blocks and patch panels will need to be designed to work with CAT6. One thing worth pointing out is that your connection is only as fast as the slowest piece in use. For example if you actually manage to crimp a CAT5 end on a CAT6 cable (not easy but we’ve seen it done) while you may or may not notice a difference chances are it won’t be as fast as it should or could be. Still CAT6 cable is widely used today and with a complete set of tools and connectors available to work with is not as hard as one would think, it simply take a bit more time to work with and of course the investment is a bit more as well but not being able to predict the future many people are going this route so they are set for years to come and we can’t blame them. 

CAT6 comes in the same options as CAT5 above yet each is rated for higher speeds.


Category 6 Networking Cable:

Cat6 – Solid The most common form of CAT6 cabling in use, ideal for in wall installation in the home or office.
Cat6 – Stranded  Stranded CAT6 cable is not very widely used as it can be rather difficult to work with if you are inexperienced or do not have the right tools for the job.
Cat6 – Shielded CAT6 STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) comes in both solid and stranded versions and is ideal for installations that deal with high interference and data loss from nearby electrical lines or other devices.
Cat6 – Plenum Plenum rated CAT6 cable comes in the regular solid version as well as shielded for the utmost assurance that you’ve got the best stuff out there.