Should You Use Cat5e Or Cat6a Cables For A Network?

Posted on: 12 May 2023

Are you planning to wire a home or office with networking cables? These can help build an infrastructure to connect devices to the Internet through a wired connection instead of using Wi-Fi. However, it is important that you use the right cables to get the job done. Here are some reasons why it is a good idea to use CAT6a or cables instead of CAT5e.


A main advantage of using CAT6a cables is the higher bandwidth that they can provide. While a normal CAT5e cable is only capable of transmitting data at speeds of 1,000 Mbps, a CAT6e cable can run at 10 Gbps. 

Even if you do not have devices that run at 10 Gbps speeds, the upgrade in bandwidth can still be worth it. This is because every device uses data that goes through the same cable, and CAT5e has a very low limit that can end up being a bottleneck. One device hitting the maximum speeds through the cable can slow down other devices that need to communicate, causing a slow network. CAT6a gives additional bandwidth to help everything run smoothly


A CAT6a cable is going to have better performance when compared to the previous generation of CAT5e cable. The CAT6a cable has higher twists which reduce the amount of interference and crosstalk in the data cable. You'll find that you have fewer problems with errors and data loss during data transmissions as a result, which makes the cables more reliable. 


Data is not capable of transmitting over a cable at high speeds indefinitely. There are limitations to cables where speeds will slow down unless additional hardware is used to speed up the data transmission. However, the way that CAT5e and CAT6a cables compare in terms of performance at different differences is quite unique. 

CAT6a cables are going to perform better at short distances than CAT5e cables, but both cables end up decreasing to the same speeds over a longer distance. While both will need signal boosters for long distances, it's the short distances between devices where CAT6a is superior.


Your network may run fine today on CAT5e cables, but what about in the future? Technology is always improving, and you may find devices outgrowing the capabilities of your data network that is in place. You would then end up having to replace all of your old CAT5e cables with something better to take advantage of updates in speed performance. 

For more information, contact network cabling services near you.