Understanding Cat5e Cable & Its Types

Cat5e cable is the fifth generation cable that is widely used for both residential and commercial purposes. The cable made it to the market back then in 2001 and has somehow managed to remain relevant to date. Let’s learn more about this amazing ethernet cable. 

Deciphering the term

Cat in the Cat5e refers to Category, e refers to its “enhanced” features, and 5 states the obvious, i-e, it is a fifth-generation cable. 

Bandwidth & Data Transfer Speed

Bulk Cat5e 1000ft has a bandwidth capacity of 350MHz whereas it supports data transfer rates of 1Gbps over a length of 50 meters and 100Mbps over a distance of 100 meters. This 

Conductors

The Cat5e Cable 1000ft cable has 8 conductors. The material used to make these conductors is either pure copper — also known as solid copper and bare copper — and copper-clad aluminum. These 8 conductors are tightly bundled in 4 twisted pairs with the aim of providing top-notch protection against the crosstalk and preventing electromagnetic interference. 

Speaking of performance, pure copper conductors have an upper hand over CCA conductors. With less attenuation and subsequent strong signal strength, pure copper conductors give you optimum performance and seamless connectivity. However, pure copper conductors are a bit more expensive than CCA conductors. 

Types of Cat5e Ethernet Cables

Now that you have learned about the key features of Cat5e cable, let’s discuss its various types. 

Cat5e Plenum Cable

You can identify Bulk Cat5e 1000ft plenum type from the CMP marking printed on its outer jacket. The CMP or plenum rating is the highest rating for any ethernet jacket and this cable is specifically designed for the purpose of installation in the plenum or horizontal spaces of the buildings. As the risk of fire eruption and progression in the plenum spaces is relatively higher, therefore, TIA/EIA standards only authorize you to install a CMP-rated or plenum-rated cable in these spaces. These jackets come with fire retardant properties that halt fire progression and emit no toxic gas. You can also use plenum Cat5e cable for installation in the riser or outdoor spaces, however, it can’t be reversed. 

Cat5e Riser Cable

You can identify a riser Cat5e cable from the CMR marking on the outer jacket of the ethernet cable. These jackets are the second-best when it comes to ratings for ethernet jackets and are specifically designed for installation in the riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. You can use this cable for outdoor installations, too. 

Cat5e PVC Cable

You can identify whether a Cat5e Cable is PVC or not from its jacket; if it is PVC, then you will find the same marking on its outer jacket. The PVC cables are meant for installations in the outdoor spaces only. 

Remember, whether it is plenum, riser, or PVC Cat5e cable, the data transfer rates, and bandwidth capacity remains the same. The only thing that differs them from each other is the jacket material. 

Cat5e Shielded Cable

The Cat5e shielded cable is the one in which there is an extra layer or layers of protection against the crosstalk. This extra protection comes in the form of an extra foil sheath wrapped around the twisted pairs. 

Cat5e Unshielded Cable

The Cat5e unshielded cable is the one where no extra protection is deployed to cancel the EMI. Remember, shielded cables are much more expensive than unshielded cables. The Cat5e Cable 1000ft supports the following applications: 100 Base-T4, 100 Base-X IEEE 802.5:4/16 Mbps Token Ring, IEEE 802.12:100 Base-VG, ATM PMD 155 Mbps IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet:10 Base-T, and ANSI X3T9.5 TP-PMD (FDDI).