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The Difference between Cat6 and Cat5e Bare Copper Cables

The difference between Cat6 and Cat5e bare copper cabling is not simply one of length; it is also one of quality and performance. Many people confuse these two terms and are left questioning which type of cable they should purchase. Cat 6 is the most common cable used to create a network. However, Cat5e is used more often for cable TV service, data, and phone lines. Here, we’ll go over the differences between these two cable types.

What differentiates bare copper Cat6 and Cat5e Ethernet cables? In this blog, we’ll answer. Let’s start now.

What is Bare copper Cat5e Cable?

Bare copper Cat5e cable is an Ethernet cable used for computer networking. It comprises four twisted pairs of copper wire, each with a diameter of 24 AWG (American Wire Gauge). The pairs are arranged in a specific order and are wrapped in a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) jacket. Cat5e cable is also available in shielded and unshielded versions.

Cat5e cables are commonly used for data transmission applications such as Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. They can also be used for voice over IP (VoIP) and video over IP (VoD) applications. Cat5e cables are typically terminated with RJ45 connectors.

What is Bare copper Cat6 cable?

Bare copper Cat6 cable is an Ethernet cable used to connect devices within a network. This type of cable is made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire that are enclosed in a PVC jacket. The pairs are twisted together to minimize crosstalk and interference. This cable is typically used for high-speed applications such as Gigabit Ethernet or 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Cat6 cables are also available in shielded and unshielded versions. Shielded Cat6 cables have an additional layer of protection around the four twisted pairs of copper wire. This shield helps to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk. Unshielded Cat6 cables do not have this additional layer of protection and are typically used in lower-speed applications.

Conductor: Cat6 vs. Cat5e

As you might expect, the conductor is made of pure copper in both bare copper cables. It also doesn’t differ from anything else. However, they would have been significantly more different if the Cat5e cable had been constructed of bare copper and the Cat6 cable of an aluminum conductor covered with copper. The CCA conductor is not the best option for use with PoE applications. Because of its brittleness and heating, the conductor can shatter.

Contrarily, the bare copper conductor is more malleable and effective—almost the reverse of its CCA counterpart—so it can withstand heat and persist for a very long time. The kind of conductor is the only other difference between bare copper Cat6 and Cat5e cables.

Shielding in Cat6 vs. Cat5e

The conductor pairs in an Ethernet cable are shielded by a metal foil wrapped around them. It is inserted into networking cables by lessening the impact of electromagnetic interference and outside noise to improve their performance.

Shielded and unshielded versions of both cables are offered. In addition to performing better than a Cat5e cable, a shielded Cat6 cable will perform better than an unshielded Cat6 line.

The difference in length between Cat6 and Cat5e

The length of the connection affects both cables’ performance. Cat6 cable has a 100-meter maximum data transmission distance of 1 Gbps, while Cat5e has a 100-meter maximum data transmission distance of 100 Mbps.

While the 5e connection cannot carry data faster than gigabit rates, a 50-meter piece of Cat6 cable can achieve 10 Gigabit speeds.

The difference in speed: Cat6 vs. Cat5e

If you’re looking to install Ethernet cabling in your home or office, you’ll need to decide between Cat5e and Cat6 cable. Both types of cable are made of copper wire, but there are differences in their construction that affect speed and maximum length.

Cat5e is the most common type of Ethernet cable and can support speeds up to 100 Mbps. It’s typically used for shorter runs, from a computer to a modem or router. Cat6 cable is newer and supports speeds up to 10 Gbps. It has thicker insulation and requires more expensive hardware to work correctly, so it’s usually only used for runs longer than 50 feet.

Which one to choose: Cat6 or Cat5e?

There are a few key things to keep in mind when deciding between Cat6 and Cat5e cables. First, think about what kinds of devices will be using the cable. If you’re mainly connecting older devices, then Cat5e will likely suffice. However, if you’re working with newer, faster devices, then Cat6 is necessary to avoid bottlenecking. Second, consider how much money you’re willing to spend on cables. Cat6 cables are typically more expensive than Cat5e cables. However, they also offer better speed and performance overall.


We hope you enjoyed our blog post about the difference between Cat6 and Cat5e Bare Copper Cables. Suppose you’re still unsure of which type of cable to purchase. In that case, we hope our post will clarify the differences between the two types and help you decide which one to purchase.

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