|Cat 5e||Cat 6||Cat 6A|
|Frequency||100 MHz||250 MHz||500 MHz|
|1000BASE-T support||up to 100 meters||up to 100 meters||up to 100 meters|
|10GBASE-T support||no||up to 55 meters||up to 100 meters|
The Cat 7 standard is not yet recognized by the TIA/EIA, and the standards for Cat 8 have not yet been finalized.
Solid copper cables are required for UL, TIA, and National Electric Code (NEC) compliance. Copper clad aluminum (CCA) cables do not meet any standards. They are less reliable, more prone to corrosion, and often a fire hazard on PoE connections.
Cables with solid conductors are designed for low electrical resistance and are most suitable for fixed installations. Cables with stranded conductors are designed for repeated flexing and are most suitable for patch cables and temporary installations.
No shielding is present within the cable. Suitable for most indoor applications where there is not a high potential for electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Foil or braided shield inside jacket guides EMI to ground. Additional foil shielding may be present around individual wire pairs. Each type provides varying levels of protection against interference. All require shielded connectors. Shielded cables should be used for outdoor applications and in locations where EMI may be present.
Constructed to emit low amounts of smoke and prevent fires from spreading more than five feet. Required by the NEC for air plenum applications (like inside drop ceilings). Can also be used in place of CMR, CMG, and CM cables.
Meets NEC standards for preventing fires f rom spreading between floors in vertical installations. Can also be used in place of CMG and CM cables.
Rated for use in-wall or in risers with a raceway or fireproof shaft. Also permitted in 1-2 family residential riser applications.
Ethernet cabling is typically 22-24 AWG. Higher gauge wire means slimmer cables for tight spaces or trays, but also limited distance caused by increased resistance.
Jacket is stabilized to keep plasticizers f rom leaching out when exposed to sunlight. This prevents cables from becoming greasy and brittle over time.
Engineered to be run underground without conduit. Often contains gel or other waterproofing features to help prevent oxidation.
Provides additional cable strength and can help prevent crosstalk by separating wire pairs from each other.
Can be used to strip the cable jacket without the risk of damaging the conductors’ insulation.
Provides a convenient way to ground shielded cable without having to insert the foil or braid into the connector.
Unlike polyethylene and PVC jackets, halogen-free jackets will not release poisonous gas when burned.