There are many differences between all the network cables. They may look very alike from the outside and any of them can be connected to an Ethernet port via connector but they do have some dissimilarities from the inside. Category 5 and Category 5e cable have many differences but the most important are discussed as follows:
- Support for Network: Category 5 cable support 10/100 Ethernet i.e., Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. Category 5e cablesupport Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. Category 5e Cable is quite compatible and upgrade of Category 5 cable and can be used in any application in which you would normally use Category 5 cable.
- Cross Talk Factor: Cross talk is the electrical interference such as noise that occurs when one wire’s signal effects another wire’s signal. Category 5e cable has been developed over Category 5 cable in this respect and reduced cross talk greatly.
- Bandwidth: This factor is directly related to network support as bandwidth is the information carrying capacity of a system I.e., how many information bits can pass through medium simultaneously, more the bandwidth, more the information carrying capacity in a given period of time. Category 5e cable is rated at 350 MHz, and due to this increased bandwidth that allows it to support Gigabit Ethernet (compared to category 5).
Category 5 Cable is still be sufficient for many applications especially for Home Network. Some Companies are there which are still operating network with Category 5. There will be the exceptions of course, because almost all new installations are being done with Category 5e. The only reason is improved signal carrying capacity of the cable.Category 5e Cable also has better durability, due to improvements in the thickness and quality of the PVC protective jacket. Category 5e is more than suitable for most data cabling requirements.