Common Patch Cords and What Goes Into Them
A patch cord can be manufactured in several different lengths and colors to fit the needs of the installer. Patch cords consist of two RJ45 modular plugs, one placed on each end of a stranded cable. Stranded cable is made up of four pairs of twisted wire, and is used for patch cables because of its ability to be bent without causing damage to the wire or interruption of data transfer. As their name implies, patch cords are used to “patch” the computer to a network by connecting to a NIC card, or linking network equipment together in data rooms.
RJ45 Modular Plug
How to Differentiate Between Cat5e cable and Cat6 Patch Cords
The major difference between Cat5e and Cat6 is the quality of performance they provide. Cat5e is typically used for networks using 100 Mbit/s or a gigabit network, with performance of up to 100 MHz. For networks that can handle up to 250 MHz, you would want to make use of Cat6 cabling, as it offers more than twice the performance of a Cat5e. Although Cat6 may be able to handle greater data loads than Cat5e, it’s always best to use the proper patch cord to match the cabling in your building; it pays to find out what is already in use at your location before installing the network.
Are Cat5e cable and Cat6 Compatible?
You may be asking yourself ‘What if my building is set up to use Cat5e but all I have are Cat6 patch cords? Am I still able to use them?’ The answer to the question would be ‘Yes, you can!” As stated before, it’s preferential to match cable types; however, it is possible to mix and match Cat5e and Cat5e Cat6 cable if necessary. If you’re unsure of the wiring of the building, you may also want to go with Cat6. To ensure maximum performance, you will want to use the best components possible all throughout the network.
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