Cat5e vs Cat6 vs Cat6a Ethernet Cable: Ultimate Comparison

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Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a Ethernet cables are used to connect computers and other devices such as printers, routers, etc. to the internet. While similar in appearance, these three types of cables perform very differently and each has advantages over the other. What is the difference between them? Which cable do you need? Let’s go over these questions to explain the difference between Cat5e vs Cat6 vs Cat6a. By the end of this article, you will be able to choose the right cable for your network.

What is an Ethernet Cable?

An Ethernet cable is a type of wire that can be used to connect multiple devices in your home or office. They carry digital signals and can send data, sound, and video between devices.

There are many different types of Ethernet cables with varying levels of performance. The standard for most home networks is the Cat6 cable, which meets the minimum requirements for up to 1 Gigabit network speed.

For more advanced setups, a higher-quality cat6a cable may be necessary. If you’re looking for ultimate performance and future compatibility with faster gigabit speeds as well as 10GBASE-T support, the cat6a ethernet cable is the way to go.

What is Cat5e Ethernet Cable?

The cat5e cable is a pretty common ethernet cable, and it’s also the least expensive type. This is because it has some limitations compared to the cat6 and cat6a cables.

For instance, the maximum length of a cat5e cable is only 100 meters, which can be reduced even more if the network contains gigabit ethernet components. The bandwidth capacity of this cable is 350 MHz and it can relay signals at 100 MBit/s over standard lengths.

What is a Cat6 Ethernet Cable?

Cat6 ethernet cable is an advanced type of ethernet cable. It has a few advantages over its predecessor, including better performance. This means that it can transmit data more quickly and with less interference than other types of ethernet cable.

Another advantage is that Cat6 cables are less likely to develop crosstalk problems. So you’ll be able to send data faster without having to worry about your connection slowing down or being lost altogether.

This cable has a data transfer rate of 1 GBit/s over 100 meters with 550 MHz bandwidth.

What is a Cat6a Ethernet cable?

Cat6a ethernet cable is the most advanced among the three ethernet cables. It is exclusively made in only limited variants. The Cat6a plenum and riser are used in almost all high-speed LAN networks around the world.

With the Cat6a cable, you can get a data transfer speed of up to 10 GBit/s over 100 meters. And the bandwidth capacity is a whopping 750 MHz.

This cable is also specially equipped to resist interference and crosstalk. So even in high-density networks, you can expect flawless communication with it. However, it is a bit expensive compared to the others. Keep that in mind.

What is the Difference Between Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a?

When buying ethernet cables, you will find yourself wondering what the difference is between Cat5e cable, cat6 cable, and cat6a cables. The answer is that there are a few differences between these three types of cables.

One main difference is that cat6 and Cat6a cables use more copper wires for their transmission. This means that they will have faster data speeds.

The other major difference between these two types of cables is that cat 6 and cat 6 are more expensive than cat 5 e cables because they require more materials to produce. This means there can be a significant cost difference if you do not need high data speeds in your home network.

Is Cat6a better than Cat6?

Yes. The performance of the Cat6a cable is better than the Cat6 cable 1000ft. That is of course because of the fact that the 6a was rolled out as an improved version of the regular 6.

However, the price difference between the Cat6 and Cat6a is also significant. The 6a costs more and you can get its counterpart at a lesser cost.

What is the difference between Cat5e and Cat6a?

The difference between the Cat5e cable 1000ft and Cat6a is quite huge.

First, the Cat5e is produced without shielding. Whereas the 6a ethernet cable is available in both shielded as well as unshielded variants.

Second, the bulk cat5e cable does not come with a spline or wire separator. The Cat6a does come with one which keeps the conductor pairs apart. This ultimately translates into a better performance without EMI or crosstalk.

The third difference between these cables is that the 6a has 23 AWG conductors whereas the 5e comes with 24 AWG conductors.


Ethernet cables are the essential medium of data transmission, which is why it’s important to know the difference between cat5e cable, cat6 cable, and cat6a cable. If you can only purchase one type of bulk Ethernet cable, go with cat6. However, if you want to future-proof your network investment then consider going with the more expensive but faster cat6a cables.

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