Classification of Network Cables

Comparison of properties of Category 5 and Category 6 cables

Category 5 cable (CAT5): Transmission frequency of 100 MHz, used for voice transmission and data transmission at a maximum rate of 100 Mbps, mainly for 100BASE-T and 10BASE-T networks. This is the most commonly used Ethernet cable. This type of cable has increased winding density and a high quality insulation material.

Super Category 5 (CAT5e): Transmission frequency of 100MHz, mainly used for Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps). With low attenuation, less crosstalk, and higher attenuation to crosstalk ratio (ACR) and signal to noise ratio (StructuralReturn Loss), and smaller time delay, the performance is greatly improved.

Category 6 wire (CAT6): transmission frequency of 250MHz, most suitable for applications with transmission rates higher than 1Gbps, mainly for Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps). Category 6 twisted-pair cable differs from Category 5 or Super Category 5 twisted-pair cable in appearance and structure. Not only does it add an insulated crossbone, placing each of the four pairs of twisted-pair wires in the four grooves of the crossbone, but the diameter of the cable is also thicker.

Classification of Network Cables1

Super Category 6 or 6A (CAT6A): The transmission frequency is 200 to 250 MHz, and the maximum transmission speed can also reach 1000 Mbps, which is mainly used in gigabit networks. Super Category 6 cable is an improved version of Category 6 cable, which is also an unshielded twisted pair cable specified in ANSI/EIA/TIA-568B.2 and ISO Category 6/Class E standards, with significant improvements in crosstalk, attenuation and signal-to-noise ratio.

Category 7 cable (CAT7): With a transmission frequency of at least 500 MHz and a transmission rate of up to 10 Gbps, it is primarily designed to accommodate the application and development of 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology. This cable is the latest type of shielded twisted pair in the ISO Category 7 / Class F standard.


The difference between Super Category 5 and Category 6 cable

The difference between Category 6 and Category 5 cables is an important difference in terms of improved performance in terms of crosstalk and return loss. It is recommended to use Category 6 cables directly for home decoration.

The difference between the two: the thickness of the core is different, the core of the super five network cable between 0.45mm ~ 0.51mm, the core of the six types of network cable between 0.56mm ~ 0.58mm, the appearance of the six types of network cable to be much thicker than the super five;

The difference between the third: wire structure is different, the outer skin of Category 5 cable has a “CAT.5e” logo, Category 6 cable is the most obvious is the “crossbones”, the skin by the “CAT.6 CAT.6” logo.

Classification of Network Cables2

While Category 5 unshielded twisted-pair cables can also provide transmission bandwidths of up to 1000 Mb/s, they often require the support of expensive special equipment.

Classification of Network Cables3

“Category 6” refers to Category 6 unshielded twisted-pair cable (CAT6). Category 6 unshielded twisted-pair cable has significantly improved all parameters, and the bandwidth has been extended to 250MHz or higher. Category 6 twisted-pair cable has certain differences in appearance and structure from Category 5 or Super Category 5 twisted-pair cable, which not only increases the insulated crossbones, placing the four pairs of twisted-pair cables in the four grooves of the crossbones, but also has a thicker cable diameter.

Classification of Network Cables4

The cross skeleton in the center of the cable rotates at an angle with the change of length to snap the four pairs of twisted wires into the grooves of the skeleton, maintaining the relative positions of the four pairs of twisted wires and improving the balance characteristics and crosstalk attenuation of the cable. In addition, ensure that the balance structure of the cable is not damaged during the installation process. Category 6 unshielded twisted pair bare copper wire diameter is 0.57mm (wire gauge is 23AWG), insulation wire diameter is 1.02mm, UTP cable diameter is 6.53mm. of course the thicker the better. Signal stability.

The difference between Super Category 6 and Category 7 cable

Super Category 6 cable: up to 500MHz, twice the transmission frequency of Category 6 cable, mainly used for 10 Gigabit (10G) networks, the outer skin is marked “CAT.6A”, in addition, Super Category 6 cable supports 10G Ethernet, there will be a similar logo on the appearance of 10Gigabit.

There are two types of Category 6 wire, generally a single strand of bare copper wire diameter of 23AWG, about equal to 0.573 mm, there are also 24AWG Category 6 wire, the thickness of about 0.511 mm.

Category 7 cable: Category 7 cable is close to the performance of super category 6 cable, using pure copper 8-core, with shielding layer, more powerful performance, transmission rate can reach 10Gbps, used in data centers and other occasions.

Classification of Network Cables5

Each pair has a shield (typically a metal foil shield) and then a shield (typically a Braided Shield) outside the 8 cores, with the same interface as RJ-45. Total shield (generally braided shield) + pair shield (generally foil shield) Category 7 cable S/FTP Cat.7 (HSYVP-7) Maximum transmission frequency 600MHz, Super Category 7 cable transmission frequency of 1000MHz, Category 7 fully supports 10 Gigabit.

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The seven types of wire core is nearly 0.58mm diameter high-quality oxygen-free copper for the transmission conductor, slightly thicker than the 6 types of wire, the choice of chemical foam insulation, greatly improving the single conductor transmission capacity.

From the point of view of the core of the network cable, Category 5, Category 6 and Category 7 cables, the diameter of the core has increased, and the better the quality of copper used, the faster and more stable the transmission rate.

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