Cat 5e cables are Cat 5 cables on steroids. Cables made to conform to cat 5e specifications add speed and reduce cross talk in a network.
In the world of hi-technology the mantra is “newer is better”, after all the speed of movement in the hi-tech world is fast and the best way to stay on top of it is to make sure that you have the newest and the best components and cables for your network. Saying this, one would be led to believe that the recently introduced cat 6 cable must be the best because it is the newest, but that is not the case. For new installations and for patch cords and crossover cables, Cat 5 network cables are better than Cat 6 because they provide the same speed and the same data capacity but at a much better price.
For a long time Cat 5 cable has been the standard in the industry for voice and Ethernet use. Through the use of twisted pairs of high integrity, cat 5 became the benchmark for data transfer and noise reduction. Cat 5e is now the new benchmark, this cable allows for a dramatic increase in data transfer speed and all with less interference or cross-talk again. As well as these features, cat 5e network cables have other advantages over its predecessor, Cat 5.
First off, Cat 5e cables are backwards compatible with Cat 5; this means that when you upgrade your network cabling there will be no operational problems with the equipment on the network. Originally the development spec of Cat 5e did not call for an enhanced speed, 100 Mbps was the specified speed. It was not until the Cat 5e cables were being tested that the development engineers found that they allowed for greatly improved speed, up to 1 Gbps, 10 times faster.
Another distinct advantage of Cat 5e cable is its ability to support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Gigabyte Ethernet bandwidths. Bandwidth of course is the key issue with a network as it is the information carrying aspect of the whole thing. Cat 5e is rated at 350 MHz which is considerably higher than Cat 5. A final advantage is the outer jacket or cover of the cable; it is thicker than its predecessors and as such has improved the cables durability.