Head of the Class: Category 5e UTP


Category 5e ethernet cable, showing the twiste...

Though it sounds rather technical, Category 5e UTP is the upgraded version of cat5 cable. The ‘e’ in cat5e stands for enhanced because it offers a greater bandwidth than its predecessor. Whereas cat5 transmits data at speeds of up to 100Mbps, cat 5e’s data rate is 1000Mbps. Because of this, cat 5e cables are considered the most appropriate option for data cabling requirements.

Category 5e UTP did not win this honor by accident. It was actually created with Gigabit Ethernet networks in mind. Just like cat 5 cable, it has 8 copper wires twisted together to make 4 pairs of wire surrounded by an outer jacket. However, unlike cat 5 cable that only utilizes two pairs of wire, cat 5e employs all four.

Category 5e UTP also gains preference for being more cost-effective than other types of cable and for being backwards compatible with cat5. When there is doubt as to whether one should use cat 5 or cat 5e, the suggestion is to always go with the latter since it will more than adequately do the job. In fact, with the data transfer resulting in quicker, faster downloads and uploads of information, a person would likely never bother to find out what he or she is missing with ordinary cat 5 cable.

The only limitation there seems to be with category 5e UTP cable is its confined use to a length of 100 meters. This is typically not a problem when it comes to using cat 5e in residential settings. However, when used in businesses or studios, network cabling specialists often use bridges, hubs and amplifiers to work around this restriction.

Even though there is a whole new category of 6 and 6a making its way into network cabling, the vast majority of today’s wired world still uses cat 5e. Here at BTS, we can design your network cabling solution using category 5e UTP and keep your information system wired for speed.

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