CAT6 FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About Cat6 Cable

What is a Cat 6 cable

Cat 6 (Category 6) is a cable standard used mainly for Ethernet computer networking, security systems, and telephone services. Cat 6 cable is backward compatible with the Cat 5ECategory 6(Wiki) cable is capable of transmitting voice and data up to 155 Mbps (megabits per second), with possible transmission frequencies up to 550 MHz.

Does Cat6 support gigabit

Cat 6 carries Ethernet 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, and 1000Base-T (Gigabit Ethernet) connections. 

Cat 6 cable is backed with more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise than earlier cabling standards.

How many pairs of Cat6

Category 6 cables come with four twisted copper wire pairs and each twisted pair is built of larger 23 gauge copper. 

The earlier model, Category 5, used 24 gauge copper wires. In wire gauges, a larger number indicates a smaller wire.

Can I use rj45 for Cat6

Cat 6 cables are generally terminated with RJ-45 electrical connectors. 

The signal path’s performance will be limited to that of the lowest category if components of the various cable standards are intermixed. 

How to make a Cat6 Patch Cable

Installing Cat 6 cable is thought to be more difficult than Cat 5 or Cat 5E. The main reason behind this is that the conductors are twisted more tightly in Cat 6 cables, 

which makes it more difficult to split them apart. Other than this, everything else is essentially the same as installing Cat 5 or Cat 5E cables.

Cable manufacturing companies provide jacks and panels with much sharper teeth so as to help divide the conductors into pairs and complete the Cat 6 installation cables easily. 

However, while installing Cat 6 cables it is advisable to take a little more time and perform the installation correctly without damaging one’s fingers.

Step 1

This procedure generally applies to Cat 6 RJ45 connectors. An alternate method is given for connectors utilizing a "load bar".

Step 2

Cut the cable to the length needed. If you plan to use Snagless boots, this would be a good time to slide them on. Be sure the boots will be facing "out" towards the connector.

Step 3

Strip back the cable jacket approximately 1 inch. Use the cutter provided with the crimping tool or strip by hand. Be careful not to nick the individual wires. Un-twist each of the 4 pairs and straighten each wire as much as possible between the fingers.

Step 4

Use the 568-B wiring scheme on both ends for a standard patch cable.

Step 5

Bring all of the wires together as closely as possible.

Hold the grouped (and sorted) wires together tightly between the thumb,

and forefinger. Cut all of the wires at a perfect 90-degree angle from the cable, 1/2 inch from the end of the cable jacket. Use a sharp cutting tool so as not to "squash" the wire ends.

Step 6

With the connector pins facing up, carefully insert the wires into the connector. Apply a moderate amount of force in order to properly seat the wires against the contacts in the connector.

Alternate for "load bar" Type Connectors

A. Note that the load bar has slots on one side with a flanged edge on one end. The slotted side should face the pins inside the connector. The wires are inserted into the flanged end.

B. Hold the grouped (and sorted) wires together tightly, between the thumb, and forefinger. Cut all of the wires at a sharp angle from the cable. Use a sharp cutting tool so as not to "squash" the wire ends.

C. Hold the load bar so the staggered holes face toward the cable. Insert the wires through the load bar, one at a time, carefully observing the orientation. Slide the load bar as far down as possible.

D. Cut off the excess wire ends with a straight cut about 0.25" past the load bar. With the connector pins facing up, slide the load bar assembly into the connector. Ensure that the wires are firmly seated at the end of the connector. The brown pair wires should be on the right side.

Step 7

Observe the tip of the connector to confirm that all the wires are fully inserted. At the end of each wire, you should be in full view. There should be enough of the cable jacket inside the connector to crimp against.

Tip: Slide the load bar forward as necessary to provide the ideal placement.

Step 8

Place the connector into the crimp tool, and squeeze hard so that the handle reaches its full swing.

Step 9

Repeat the process on the other end using the desired wiring scheme. Be sure to slide the Snagless boots snugly over the connectors when finished.

Step 10

Always use a cable tester to check for continuity, opens, and shorts.

Step 11

Building patch cables takes practice so keep at it until you master your technique

What ethernet cable for gigabit

Cat6 cable color code

Are Cat 5e and Cat 6 compatible?

Category 6 cable has better specifications than 5 or 5e, enabling it to so support faster data transmission when installed with compatible devices. 

However, Cat 6 cable is backward compatible with previous specifications, and it can be deployed in networks using older hardware without problems.

Is Cat6 shielded

unshielded Cat6 cable provides some resistance to EMI/RFI due to the twisting of the wire pairs. Additionally, running a UTP cable at a 90-degree angle in relation to the source of the interference provides additional protection and minimizes exposure.  With its built-in protection (twisted pairs) and this additional safeguard, UTP Cat6 cabling can provide some protection from EMI/RFI.

If your application requires more protection from electromagnetic interference,

shielded Cat6  may be the way to go. Shielding will protect your data from electromagnetic and radio interference, resulting in faster transmission speeds and fewer data errors.  Shielded cable is also better than unshielded cable at protecting from alien crosstalk (AXT).

How to certify Cat6 cable

How to Certify or Re-certify Twisted-Pair Cabling for 10 Gb/s Ethernet

Download PDF

Does a longer ethernet cable slow down

Long cables will increase your latency since the signal has longer to go. 

This shouldn't matter much in the case since the signal propagates near the speed of light, 

the extra 10 meters will be imperceptible compared to the many miles to whatever server is accessing. 

There will be some loss of signal over extremely long runs which will reduce bandwidth but shouldn't be significant over 20 meters, 

100 meters is the point where have to start worrying about the length of the run

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