Understanding Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6 Cables
Are you shopping for Cat5e cable bulk prices? Getting the best Cat5e cable bulk prices doesn’t seem like it’s very complicated, right? I mean, you can get toilet paper and coffee in bulk from Amazon these days, placing Cat5e cable bulk orders can’t be much more complicated, can it?
If you are certain it is a Cat5e cable bulk order you need, you might be right. However, Cat5e cables are not always the right choice for the job. If you are more than 24 hours old, you know how quickly technology transforms from one minute to the next. Even though Cat5e cables used to be considered the universal cable for most network setups, it’s not always the case anymore. Sometimes using Cat5 cables will save you a ton of cash. Sometimes your technology needs require Cat6 cables to run at full capacity. Sometimes Cat5e cables are like mama’s porridge in the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, not too hot and not too cold, but just right.
If you feel more confused about your bulk cable needs now than you did before opening this article, we suggest that you keep on reading. Hopefully, by the end of our article, you’ll feel more empowered than ever to go forth and purchase bulk cables.
- Cat5 Cables: Your Grandma’s Choice of Cable.
To fully understand Cat5 cables, you should understand their history (because Cat5 cables really are a piece of history). The “cat” in Cat5 stands for “category.” Back when scientists were developing cat cables, Cat5 were the first ones to really hit the big times and become a household name. Cat5 cables were designed to transfer information that the equipment contemporary to their creation were producing. A Cat5 cable is ideal for transferring data as little as 10 mega bytes per second and as much as 100 mega bytes per second. If the cable is short and therefore doesn’t have to carry packets very far, you might be able to get a gigabit speed from it. You’ll be able to transfer a bandwidth of up to 100MHz with a Cat5 cable.
Using Cat5 cables is an adequate choice if you are using legacy equipment and do not plan to upgrade any time soon. You might have trouble tracking down Cat5 cables in bulk, but if you do, you might be able to get a great deal on them.
- Cat5e Cables: Cat5’s Younger and Hipper Version
Most standard equipment works well with Cat5e cable. The “e” stands for “enhanced” but it could easily represent “everything” as well, since there really isn’t any equipment that exceed the capacity of Cat5e cables yet. Cat5e cables can support up to gigabit speeds (or 1,000 mega bits per second), which is approximately ten times the capacity of their Cat5 cable predecessors, but without ten times the cost.
In addition to transferring far faster speeds, Cat5e cables also offer less crosstalk or interference than Cat5 cables (this means the wires inside the cable don’t make each other fuzzy). Basically, Cat5e cables are not a lot more expensive than Cat5 cables, but a lot faster and more reliable. Cat5e cables are backwards compatible for equipment that was designed in the era of the Cat5 cable, whereas the Cat5 cables can’t be used with equipment are meant for Cat5e cables or above.
In most cases, Cat5e cables will meet your infrastructure and networking needs now and in the near future. If you plan to upgrade your equipment steadily as technology advances, you might want to keep reading about Cat6 cables.
- Cat6 Cables: Where the Future is
If you want the most sophisticated of Cat cables, you’re going to want Cat6 cables. Cat6 cables can relay data packets at speeds of 10 gigabits per second — ten times as fast as Cat5e cables and 100 times faster than Cat5 cables.
Before you run and stock up on Cat6 cables, it should be noted that just because your cables can transfer data at ten times faster than Cat5e cables doesn’t mean your equipment will work ten times faster. Your equipment will only run as fast as it is designed to work, up to the maximum speed of your cables. In fact, if you’re purchasing cables for a home network, you probably won’t notice a lot of difference between Cat6 cables and Cat5e cables.