CAT5 (Category 5) - RJ45 Network (LAN) Copper Cabling:
The following Categories are based on their transmission capacity (Signal Attenuation). The majority of new wiring installations use Category 5 UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) wire in order to be able to run or upgrade to the faster Network Technologies requiring greater Bandwidth such as GigaBit EtherNet on Intel's CSA Bus Architecture. Category 5 is based on the EIA/TIA-568 Standard. Levels 6 and 7 are enhanced Category 5 cables.
According to LinkSys documentation from their Linksys EG008W - Gigabit 8-Port Workgroup Switch:
"CAT 5 - ANSI/EIA (American National Standards
Institute/Electronic Industries Association) Standard 568 is one of
several standards that specify "categories" (the singular is commonly
referred to as "CAT") of twisted pair cabling systems (wires, junctions,
and connectors) in terms of the data rates that they can sustain.
CAT 5e - The additional
cabling performance parameters of return loss and far-end crosstalk (FEXT)
specified for 1000BASE-T and not specified for 10BASET and 100BASE-TX
are related to differences in the signaling implementation.
Twisted pairs have less bandwidth than coaxial cable or optical
fiber. Twisted pair cables are available unshielded (UTP) or shielded (STP).
UTP is the most common. STP is used in noisy environments where the
shield protects against excessive electromagnetic interference.
CAT5 Wiring Standards & Gigabit Solutions:
CAT5 Cable - Patch & Bulk Cable Suppliers:
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