Should you use Cat5e or Cat6 for the business?

The decision to choose the type of cabling system to use is often a daunting one, and requires balancing your today’s technological needs and those of the future. You have to decide whether you want to remain relevant with today’s LAN technology or to invest in something that will see you through the future and encompass the future’s LAN technology—without the need to re-cable. But to achieve this, it is vital to clearly understand the capabilities of each system.

Category 5e (or Cat5e) and category 6 (Cat6) are the most widely used Ethernet cables today. Looking at the two, it is difficult to tell the difference, apart from the names printed on their covers. However, below their outer coverings are small differences that can have a big impact on their performance. While many people consider Cat6 as the Ethernet cable of the future, Cat5 is your cheapest option and still suffices for most networking needs today. But before making the hard decision, here is an overview of the pros and cons of the two options:



  • It is on average less expensive when compared to Cat5e and Cat6. This is the main reason why many people connect their PCs to the internet using Cat5e cables.
  • It is easy to install: there are no special tools required for installation
  • High-Transfer Speed: the cable is certified to transfer up to 4 signals at ago
  • It is versatile: it can be used as solid conductor form or stranded conductor form


  • You won’t be able to move your computer one location to another
  • It is prone to radio and electrical interference
  • It cannot effectively transfer data over short distances which may cause a lot of troubles in your network connection



  • Can handle speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which is truly fast
  • Has advanced insulation system to protect wiring inside it from crosstalk or system noise
  • Work with compatible hardware which result into high quality data transferred through the network
  • It is backwards compatible with other lower options (Cat5e, Cat5 or Cat3) and there is no need for replacements in case you want to upgrade to Cat6


  • Expensive: cost more than Cat5e and Cat5
  • Can only work with hardware that meets its strict specifications which can make some hardware in your network incompatible

Summary: Cat5e or Cat6?

Generally, Cat5e is recommended for computer cabling which require lowest cost materials. This versatile cabling option can handle all the basic networking needs. The only issue that may worry you if you opt for Cat5e now is the fact that you may need to redo your cabling in the near feature.

On the other hand, Cat6 is recommended if you want to invest in a solution that will provide you with the fastest speeds now and into the foreseeable future. So if top performance is a must for your business, then you can go for this cabling option. Less noise, fewer errors, and faster data transmission make this option worth the 10 to 20 percent extra cost for most office or corporate environments.

Data Installers, Inc. is a reputed IT infrastructure design and structured cabling Montclair CA Company. We specialize in CCTV, Audio/Video, Business Phone Systems, all types of structured cabling, Fiber Optics systems, and IT Service as well as other support needs. Our electricians are ready to help you figure out the cost of cabling your property with any type of structured cabling Montclair CA. We will take you through the process of understanding the costs and the benefits of each option and to consider the duration you want your network cabling to last.

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