Use Cat6 cabling for future speed enhancements

f you are upgrading your existing wired Ethernet network and you plan on pulling the cable yourself, you need to consider running Cat6 ethernet cable. Cat6 is rated for higher speeds—speeds that we don’t have—yet. With Cat5e cable, you can run network speeds of 1000BaseT, or gigabit Ethernet. You can also run gigabit on Cat6 cable. But, in the future, when we start running 10000BaseT (or terabit Ethernet), more than likely you will need Cat6 or better cabling. Cat5e wires max out at gigabit speeds. So if you are going through all the trouble of pulling cable, you might as well plan for the future. Be aware, though, that Cat6 cable is much more expensive than Cat5e (it can be as much as three times more expensive) and it is more difficult to work with and has much lower tolerances for bad cable runs. So if you are used to running Cat5e and you typically run close to large AC motors, air conditioning units, and fluorescent lighting fixtures, or if you are sloppy with your bed radius on Cat5e, Cat6 cable won’t cut it! If you try to push Cat6, you will get data errors.

Friday, September 26th, 2008 Ethernet