March 04, 2008 07:30 ET to Clarify CAT Cable Confusion

Company Educating Consumers on Which Type of Copper Networking Cable -- Category 5 (Cat 5), Category 5e (Cat 5e) or Category 6 (Cat 6) -- Is Best for Various Home and Commercial Applications

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - From home and office networking to home theater installations, cable confusion abounds among consumers. To help consumers make knowledgeable and informed choices, (, among the world's leading purveyors of cable, wire and equipment management-related products for use in business and at home, is offering guidance on the uses and differences between Category 5 (Cat 5), Category 5e (Cat 5e) and Category 6 (Cat 6) cables.

"Organizations such as the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) and Electronic Industries Association (EIA) have set specific product standards, and these guidelines have resulted in cables being classified into various categories based on their performance levels," notes Paul Holstein, co-founder and COO of, who offers these definitions and statistics on the three common grades of network cable -- Category 5 (Cat 5), Category 5e (Cat 5e) and Category 6 (Cat 6) -- to better assure consumers select the correct CAT cable for their specific needs.

The most basic of all three types, Cat 5 cable is available in two varieties: Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP), the type widely used in the United States, and Screened Twisted Pair (SCTP), which has shielding to provide a measure of extra protection against interference but is rarely used outside of Europe.

Cables belonging to Category 5 are either solid or stranded: Solid Cat 5 is more rigid, and the better choice if data needs to be transmitted over a long distance, while Stranded Cat 5 is very flexible and most likely to be used as patch cable. Cat 5 cable can support 10 or 100 Mbps Ethernet, and has a capability of up to 100MHz.

Cat 5e, which stands for Category 5, enhanced, cable goes along the same lines as basic Cat 5, except that it fulfills higher standards of data transmission. While Cat 5 is common in existing cabling systems, Category 5e has almost entirely replaced it in new installations. Cat 5e can handle data transfer at 1000 Mbps, is suitable for Gigabit Ethernet, and experiences much lower levels of near-end crosstalk (NEXT) than Cat 5.

Of the three cable categories, Cat 6 is the most advanced and provides the best performance. Just like Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Category 6 cable is typically made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire, but its capabilities far exceed those of other cable types because of one particular structural difference: a longitudinal separator.

This separator isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, which reduces crosstalk, allows for faster data transfer, and gives Category 6 cable twice the bandwidth of Cat 5! Cat 6 cable is ideal for supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and is able to operate at up to 250 MHz. Since technology and standards are constantly evolving, Cat 6 is the wisest choice of cable when taking any possible future updates to your network into consideration. Not only is Category 6 cable future-safe, it is also backward-compatible with any previously-existing Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling found in older installations. offers an array of CAT cabling and hand tool solutions for datacomm, telecomm network or home theater applications, including:

--  10 CAT 6 Component Level Snagless Patch Cable-Black
--  10 CAT 6 Component Level Snagless Patch Cable -Blue
--  10 Conductor MOD Plug (Pack of 100)
--  15 CAT 5E Cross Over Cable Snagless/Molded-Red
--  3 CAT 5E Cross Over Cable Snagless/Molded -Red
--  3' CAT 5E Cross Over Cable Snagless/Molded -Yellow
--  3 PRONG RG45 8P8C Modular Plug Round Solid Cable (Pack of 100)
--  8P8C Round Solid/Stranded 50 MIC Shielded (Pack of 100)
--  CAT 5E RJ45 Keystone Coupler
--  CAT 5e Single Box w/Jack T568a/b -110
--  CAT 6 Solid UTP Cable Gray
--  CAT 6 Solid UTP Cable White
--  CAT-5E 2 Piece Modular Plug RJ-45(Pack of 100)
--  Cat5e 25 pair 1000Ft.spool-Blue
--  CAT-6 Modular Plug 2 PC Solid/Stranded (Pack of 100)
--  Fluke DTX 1200 Cat 6 Cable Tester
--  Ideal LANTEK 6 Cable Certifier Basic Kit
--  Ideal Link Master Tester
--  Leviton Cat 5 Shielded Quickport Connector
--  Leviton GigaMax CAT5E 100 Pair 110 style Wiring Block WallMount w/o
--  Managed Cable Minder
--  Neat Patch Cable Mgmt. KIT w/ Qty.(48) 2ft Cat 6 Cert. Patch Cables
--  PANDUIT 48 Port Patch Panel - Cat6
--  RJ45 EZ-RJ45 CAT 6 Mod Plug Qty 50
--  Slit Harness Wrap Tool Orange - 8mm
--  Structured Cabling Cat 5e Cable and Cat 6 Network Cable
--  Table Buddy Dual Empty Ortronics CAT-6 Snap-in port (1 slot) I/O plate
--  Voice/Data Icon (2-sided) for Keystone Jacks and Patch Panels, package
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Founded in February 2002 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a premier cable and wire management-related product vendor. The company provides companies, organizations and individuals around the globe with 24/7/365 access to an extensive array of high-quality products and information resources through its convenient online storefront. In addition to, the company also owns and operates, which is operated out of Rennes, France. also publishes "On the Wire," a free monthly electronic newsletter with a considerable multi-national opt-in circulation base. Among other honors, was named among Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500, Internet Retailer magazine's 2007 "Top 500" and earned a Stevie® Award as the "Best Overall Company of the Year - Non-Services Businesses - Up To 100 Employees."

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    Merilee Kern
    Kern Communications
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