Difference Between CAT5 and CAT6 Which One is Better for New House Wiring

Though the wireless connection is more convenient to use and its system is slightly easy to understand, being a cautious person, I always wonder about its security. Most people use it but I want to have a strong and secure network in my home. Ethernet is the best way to have high-speed internet for needs of your home like file sharing, gaming, movie watching, and IP security cameras. For ethernet networking, we need a cable that can pick internet signals at a better speed. For this purpose, we use CAT or category 5 and CAT6. Now the question is, what is the difference between cat5 and cat6, and which cable is better for new house wiring because both categories serve the same way with little differences. A residential electrician can help you to make a good choice for your new house wiring. Let’s have a look at their capabilities and construction in detail to understand which one is more suitable. 

CAT5 Wiring construction & specifications

Telephone wiring

CAT5 is also known as telephone wiring. It can also be used for networking. But this wire can’t serve for long distances. A new version with the name CAT5e also has been developed by the telecommunication and industrial sector for fast networking with the help of four wires in one cable.


CAT5 is composed of 24-gauge copper and ends on a jack of Rj-45. This cable consists of 4 wires of which 2 are in a dormant condition. It is also called a twisted pair cable. The capacity of the cable is 100MHz and it can carry telephone and video signals more efficiently.


The CAT5 wiring comes in two basic types. The one is stranded and the other is solid. Patch cables are mostly stranded cables. They are more flexible and cannot break while bending. It is best used to connect two devices when the distance is short. The other type is used when a long distance has to cover. It is also used in permanent networking. 

Working of CAT5

CAT5 does not support the gigabyte but we can redesign it to use for this purpose. But we can only use that wire to get a gigabyte for shorter distances. CAT5 can carry signals up to 100Mbps, which was a huge improvement as the previous version CAT3 can carry only 10Mbps. This cable is also suitable to carry signals in ATMs and token rings, etc. CAT5 though has issues with signal interference as the wires in the cable are not as constructed tightly as CAT6. That’s why the CAT5 is not suitable to carry signals for long distances.

CAT6 Wiring construction & specifications

Network Cable

CAT6 is also known as network cable as it is designed to carry signals for long distances because of tighter twisted cables. The internal structure is the same as the CAT5, it also contains 2 pairs of twisted wires and ends on Rj-45 Jack. To make it more secure it has additional plastic shielding. In a highly saturated environment, this covering reduces the interference of electromagnetic waves with the signals in the cable.

Capabilities of CAT6

CAT6 has a tighter twist to make two-way communication possible. This cable can carry signals up to 10 Gigabits but a distance of 164 feet. The advanced versions of CAT6 can carry the same Gigabits to 328 feet. if we talk the main difference between cat5 and cat6 are;

  • Two-way communication
  • Speed
  • Length

CAT 6 is comparatively better in speed but both types can cover a distance up to 328 feet. The first type allows two-way communication with better quality. If you want to have new wiring at your house for Ethernet you can consult any electrical services provider. But before buying wires with any category you should consider the following points:

difference between cat5 and cat6


Despite the difference between cat5 and cat6, there are some similarities. You may find that CAT5 is the cheapest one. It has been used in the market since 1990 but will not be used in the future as well. You should keep the relevancy factor in your mind while choosing between the two. The most popular cable is CAT6A these days, which promises a better speed than others. It will be a long-time investment as it is twisted more tightly and then packed with an extra plastic layer. If you want to have durable wiring then you should install the second option.


The CAT5e was 30% more expensive than the CAT5 and the CAT6 was 30% more expensive than the CAT5e. So, the better the version, the more the price you have to pay. If you are installing wires in a big building. Then it will have a huge impact on your overall cost. So, you take an option according to your budget. But it may affect the speed of your internet connection. A commercial electrical service provider can help you out to decide according to your needs. 

Evaluate your needs first

If you have to cover long distances then CAT5e will be the better choice as it can serve the same at a cheaper price. But if the distance is short and you want to have a faster speed then CAT6 is the best one. It will serve you for a longer period. Twisted copper cables are also known for their pliability, thermal expansion, durability, and ductility beyond their type. One thing that needs to be added here is if you are having wiring at your home then CAT5e is the best option but if you want to have it for commercial buildings then CAT 6 will be the best cable with high Gigabit speed.

How to install your network

These wires also come in different colors and variants. No matter what kind of wiring you have selected if the installation is poor, you will not be able to get desired results. As the installation of a network by an inexperienced person will affect the speed and life of a system. try to call a professional who can guide you and make a good installation as well. Hiring such a company will save you cost and time. They will take your project professionally and will consider every little detail of it. 

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