How are CAT-5, CAT-5e, and CAT-6 Ethernet Different?

Anybody who’s ever tried to change their NAT type to “open” knows how frustrating and complex the world of ethernet and ethernet cables can be.

The whole “CAT” rating system can get pretty confusing so bear with me here.

The first thing that you should know is that the “CAT” is a rating system for ethernet cables and it’s actually not an acronym – it stands for “category,” as in power level.

It’s kind of like Dragonball-Z except with more vocab. Let’s get started!

CAT-5

Something all of these different cables actually have in common is their connector – the RJ-45.

It’s the one with the barb at the end that you plug into the back of your Xbox or computer. These connectors give all of these cables some common ground so that people can freely use whichever cable they use.

Something that separates the CAT-5 from the rest of these wifi-worms, is it’s unshielded nature.

Most cables have a tough external shield-wall of braided wire to protect the inner workings of the cable, but the CAT-5 wires are braided together within the thin casing – which can result in some interesting power outputs.

The CAT-5 was the first cable widely used by the public to access the internet, so you can bet it’s slower than anything you use today.

In fact, I don’t even think you can buy these cables anymore. The important thing to remember about the CAT-5 is that it paved the way for modern ethernet cables.

CAT-5e

The CAT-5 was a great cable for the people of the 1980’s, but in 2001 everything changed. The CAT-5 was superceded by the CAT-5e. This new cable was the new standard for internet access – and for a good reason.

All of the sudden CAT-5e cables were giving people the ability of serious speed – up to 1000BASE-T or 1GBASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet).

At the time, these were some incredible speeds, which is surprising because there weren’t too many changes in cable technology to prompt this new-found speed.

CAT-5e cables are still relevant today, and they’re a cost-effective way for anybody to get some quality internet into their home.

They generally cost 10-20% less than your standard CAT-6 cable since they don’t offer the same amount of speed, but is it worth the money? Let’s find out what CAT-6 cables are capable of, in order to figure it out.

CAT-6

The latest and greatest in ethernet cable technology is here, and it’s called the CAT-6 ethernet cable.

The CAT-6 is a twisted-pair cable like the CAT-5, but it offers the user so much more speed than ever dreamed of before – up to 10GBASE-T.

With speeds almost twice as fast as the previous cable, it’s no surprise that people with a need for speed were buying these things up like hot-cakes. The CAT-6 cable is capable of providing up to 500 MHz, which means that it can cover a distance that is twice as far as the CAT-5e.

When it comes to price, the CAT-6 is easily the most expensive ethernet cable you can purchase for your home.

That being said – it’s well worth the money. With speeds that rival the capabilities of the previous cable, this new CAT-6 is only slightly more expensive than the CAT-5e – isn’t that crazy? Well, that’s it for this analysis – Happy shopping everyone!

3 Reasons Why Wired Ethernet is Better Than Wi-Fi

Ethernet and wifi are a couple of complicated subjects – there’s no doubt about it.

When it comes to getting the speeds or the connection convenience you need for your average work-day, you shouldn’t be messing around.

And with so many different opposing perks attached to each method, there is a need for information now more than ever. Let me show you all of the differences between ethernet cables and standard wifi so that you can use the connection method that works best for you.

Convenience

In a world where so many people are buzzing around like bees, a need for portable internet came to be. People were tired of being chained to their “personal-computers” all day at work.

Next thing the world knew, people could connect to the internet without any wires at all! Sure, the laptop computers they were using were slower than anything else, but it was still cool!

As far as convenience goes, wifi takes the cake. I mean, can you imagine what the world would be like today if we were never given the capability to access the internet wirelessly?

It would be chaos. The fact that you can sit on the toilet and browse memes for as long as you want is groundbreaking.

The only downside to wifi is its speed. Many people wouldn’t even be able to notice the speed differences between an ethernet cable and a wifi connection, but all of us nerds out there can usually pick up on it.

Your wifi speeds are usually sitting around 4-5 Mbps if you have a halfway decent connection, but compared to ethernet – it’s hot garbage.

Speed

Browsing Reddit on your phone doesn’t take too much speed, but if you want to have a streamlined work-experience, then a faster internet connection is going to make all the difference.

Even if all you can do is plug your CAT-5e cable into the ethernet port to boost your speeds even a little bit, it’ll be worth it.

A solid wired connection to the internet is important for work and school, but it’s a requirement if you want to get into PC gaming.

I mean, who buys and builds a custom $5,000 PC just to end up lagging in every server they join? Nobody.

If you’re going to be doing anything that involves connecting to people using the internet, then a wired connection should be your first choice.

If you like to work all-around your house and you don’t want to be restricted to one area, wifi is the way to go.

Verdict

Ethernet connections can give you speed that’ll blow wifi speeds out of the water, but wifi can offer you a level of convenience that no other connection method can.

Price isn’t much of a talking point when it comes to internet connections since the router is required for the connection regardless.

There are a few different ethernet cables you can purchase that’ll give you different speeds – at different costs.

You won’t end up spending over $40 extra for your cable, but at the end of the day, your cable is what’s giving you the speeds you need.

Also, the cables can be quite long and even extended throughout your house if you so desire.

The Internet is a precious thing, so we know your connection method matters to you.

That is why I’d say ethernet is a great choice for any gamer, student, or even professor that needs to spend a lot of time at the desk. If you’re just sitting around checking the internet for piping-hot memes, wifi is a method for you.