What is Cat 5e?

Internet cables come in the Cat 5e (Category 5 Enhanced) variety. Despite supporting data transmission speeds of 1,000 Mbps or one gigabit per second, Cat 5e cables look and are wired similarly to Cat 5 cables. Consequently, Cat 5e lines are also known as Gigabit Internet connections.

Cat 5e lines have the same 100 MHz operating frequency as Cat 5 and can be run for up to 100 meters without the need for a gateway or powered signal amplifier. Cat 5e allows 1,000 Mbps networks, whereas Cat 5 only supports 100 Mbps networks. This is the main distinction between the two protocols.

Cat 5e cables have better insulation that lessens crosstalk, or disturbance from neighboring wire pairs, despite the fact that they are essentially similar to Cat 5 cables in other respects. Strictly speaking, near-end crosstalk (NEXT) readings, which are recorded in dB, for Cat 5e lines, must conform to more stringent IEEE standards.

The interior cables, not the exterior casing or "jacket," are what vary in the protection between Cat 5 and Cat 5e. The IEEE classification is unaffected by an Ethernet cable's exterior jacket's intended use (interior, external, in-wall, etc.).

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