Diferencia entre Cat5 y Cat6

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Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace and is always changing and adapting to meet our needs today. This ecosystem in constant evolution has given rise to the digital era that is constantly updated, so it does everything together with it. Take data capacity, for one that has already reached new heights and the amount of processing power required to handle that amount of data has also increased and the speed at which the data is produced, there is no easy way to process requests of such large data.

Cat5 and Cat6 are, by far, the most efficient and fastest wiring systems used to establish networks worldwide. Cat5 and Cat6 are standardized twisted pair cables used for Ethernet and other network installations.

What is Cat5?

While the most advanced wireless devices continue to proliferate in this digital era focused on technology, cables have always been the backbone of any network system that requires large-scale data communication.

In order to keep up with the evolving network ecosystem for faster and more efficient data communication, more appropriate cabling is required. Cat5 has been in the network space for quite some time. Also going through the “Category 5”, Cat5 comes unshielded with a twisted pair configuration that is a common Ethernet standard cable for computer networks. It is quite the obsolete version of the twisted pair cables that are currently used, although it can efficiently handle speeds of up to 100 Mbps and supports frequencies up to 100MHz.

To meet the needs of modern network infrastructures, an updated specification for Cat5 was subsequently introduced. Due to its limitations, the Cat5 configuration has become obsolete and the more improved “Cat5e” appears in the image. The “e” in the “5e” means improved, which as its name implies, is designed for a higher standard for more reliable networks. Cat5e significantly reduces signal and noise interference with more stringent specifications for “crosstalk”. The interference created by a cable network is known as crosstalk. The new specifications can mitigate the impact of crosstalk. The bandwidth remains the same at 100MHz, but with an increased transfer rate of up to 350 Mbps,

What is Cat6?

Then come the most advanced Cat6 cables, which are more reliable and faster than the Cat5 and Cat5e configuration cables. While both specifications are connected to the same ports, Cat6 adheres to the new industry standard network specifications. It is the next version of network cables that uses a thick-gauge plastic housing to reduce signal interference, and is exceptionally faster than Cat5 and Cat5e. Unlike Cat5, it handles data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps and supports frequencies up to 250MHz. The idea was to reduce crosstalk to create a more reliable network. It practically eliminates crosstalk that limits older wiring standards. As a result, speeds are maintained at distances greater than 100 meters. However, for 10GBASE-T,

In order to meet the standards of global networks, an enhanced version of Cat6 was introduced later, Cat6A. It is an industry-standard enhanced between twisted pair cable configurations and the future of data. The Internet is flooded with high-definition video transmissions and websites with lots of media, such as social networking sites, and to handle such massive data, a more future-proof cabling system is required. This is where the Cat6A specification comes to the image. It is capable of maintaining speeds of 10 Gigabits for extended lengths, but lacks the flexibility that is required for a residential implementation. Cat6A is ideal for industrial network solutions.

Difference between Cat5 and Cat6


  1. Bandwidth of Cat5 and Cat6

    – While both are standardized twisted pair cables that use copper cables for Ethernet, both differ dramatically in the performance of the transmission. The main difference between the two is the total bandwidth available in the cable. While Cat5 has a transfer speed of 100 Mbps, Cat6 can reach up to 10 Gbps, which is a more reliable specification for residential installations.

  2. Frequency of Cat5 and Cat6

    – Both Cat5 and Cat5e operate at 100MHz frequencies, which was ideal for previous models, but the more advanced Cat6 supports frequencies up to 250 MHz, which is significantly faster than previous specifications. While the Cat5e only adheres to the 1000Base-T / TX standard, Cat6 adheres to the industry standard 10GBASE-T much faster.

  3. Security margins

    – Cat6 uses a thick-gauge plastic housing that can travel longer distances without interfering with the signal, thus reducing crosstalk problems that would limit previous Cat5 configurations. Cat5 is not the ideal cabling system to address crosstalk problems. In addition, speeds are maintained at longer distances without affecting speed.

  4. Compatibility with previous versions

    – Cat6 is compatible with the Cat5 and Cat5e standards, so there will be no problems of compatibility with Cat6, which represents almost 90 percent of the cable installations of the current network infrastructure.

  5. Future of the data

    – Cat6 es el futuro de la infraestructura de red que se adhiere a las más altas especificaciones estándar de la industria para garantizar el futuro de cualquier establecimiento comercial en los próximos años. Cat5, por otro lado, es un sistema de cableado obsoleto que una vez fue la columna vertebral de la infraestructura residencial. Las aplicaciones a gran escala requieren una configuración de red más estricta y Cat6 ofrece.

Cat5 vs. Cat6: Gráfico comparativo



Admite transferencias de datos de hasta 100 Mbps en una red Ethernet. Puede ir hasta 10 Gbps en velocidades de transferencia de datos en una red Ethernet.
Está limitado a una velocidad de 100MHz y permite longitudes de hasta 100 metros. Admite frecuencias de hasta 250MHz con 10 veces la velocidad de Cat5.
Cat5e es una versión mejorada del Cat5 que se adhiere al estándar 1000BASE-T / TX. Cat6A es el modelo aumentado del Cat6 que se adhiere al estándar 10GBASE-T mucho más rápido.
No es capaz de abordar problemas de diafonía debido a sus limitaciones. Reduce significativamente los problemas de diafonía, gracias a la protección de blindaje.
La velocidad no es óptima para carreras más largas. Las velocidades se mantienen a distancias más largas.
Ideal para instalaciones residenciales. Ideal para instalaciones industriales a gran escala.

Resumen de Cat5 frente a Cat6

Cat5 no es ideal para redes comerciales que requieran una instalación de red rigurosa, permitiendo una velocidad de transferencia de datos de hasta 100 Mbps a frecuencias de 100MHz. Cat6, por otro lado, se adhiere al estándar 10GBASE-T mucho más rápido, por lo que es ideal para aplicaciones industriales a gran escala. Cat6 admite velocidades de transferencia de datos de hasta 10 Gbps y permite un rendimiento de hasta 250MHz. Mientras que Cat5 permite longitudes de hasta 100 metros, Cat6 está limitado a 55 metros cuando se utiliza para el estándar 10GBASE-T. Si bien ambos estándares de cableado utilizan el mismo sistema de cableado de par trenzado, las especificaciones de Cat6 permiten una mejor configuración para problemas de diafonía.


[0] Wells, Quentin. Guide for the Integration of Digital Home Technology. Boston: Cengage, 2008. Print

[1] Wells, Quentin. Guide for the Integration of Digital Home Technology. Boston: Cengage, 2008. Print

[2] Ivens, Kathy. Domestic networks for fools. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print

[3] Spurgeon, Charles E. Ethernet: The definitive guide. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, 2000. Print

[4] “Image credit: https://serverfault.com/questions/350240/why-would-cat6-connectors-not-work-with-cat5e-patch-cable/647852”


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