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Cat 5E or Cat 6?

Category 6 cabling is the fastest and most recent specification and costs up to 30% more in both material and labour costs. Cat 6 is designed for speeds of from 1Gb up to 10Gb at up to 250MHz bandwidth, and has a more stringent specification designed to reduce interference from crosstalk and system noise.

Category 5e is designed to accommodate speeds of 100Mb at 100MHz bandwidth, but when installed properly can allow for speeds up to 1Gb.

Doubling the bandwidth from 100MHz to 200MHz is literally like adding an extra lane to a Motorway to allow twice the amount of (data) traffic to pass by simultaneously.

If you have Cat 6 cabling installed to achieve transmission speeds of 1Gb or more, every part of the Network has to be the same specification, including 1Gb Network cards in workstations, 1Gb switches and Cat 6 patch-leads, sockets, and patch-panels.

Although Cat 6 is potentially faster and therefore more future-proof, the majority of Companies today still currently run a 100Mb Network, and so even with Cat 5e can upgrade to a 1Gb Network in the future.