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Cat 6 Wiring Cables: Types, Applications, & Wiring Guide

Category 6 cable or more commonly referred to as Cat 6 cable is a twisted pair network and wiring cable for Ethernet and other networks that are compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards.

Unlike its predecessor, Cat 6 cable must meet a strict requirement for crosstalk and system noise. Cat 6 network cable offers a performance of up to 250 MHz, compared to 100 MHz for Cat 5 and Cat 5e.

Cat 6 wiring usually has a reduced maximum length of 55 meters (180 ft) when used for 10GBASE-T, whereas Cat 6A cable is characterized to 500 MHz and has improved alien crosstalk characteristics, allowing 10GBASE-T to be run for the same 100 meters (330 ft).

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at Cat 6 cables, their types, their applications, and Cat 6 wiring guide. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Cat 6 or Cat 6A Cable

Category Augmented Cable or more commonly known as Cat 6A was created to improve the performance of Cat 6 cables.

By using Cat 6A cables, networks can easily transfer data at a rate of 10 Gigabit and can be physically installed up to 328 feet. In comparison, Cat 6 wiring can be used up to a distance of 164 feet.

In terms of performance, Cat 6A cables surpass Cat 6 cables but they are also a little bit costlier. Cat 6A cables are also slightly thicker but they still use standard RJ-45 connectors.

Cat 6 and Cat 5e Cables: Difference

The main difference between Cat 6 and Cat 5e cables can be classified as quality, speed, and cable prices in Pakistan.

Another notable difference between the two is the fact that Cat 6 can perform up to 250MHz whilst Cat 5e can only operate up to 100MHz.

Although Cat 5e cables are more affordable and available in many colors to match the different environments, Cat 6 cables are still preferred over them due to their transmission speeds.

However, in some people’s eyes, Cat 6 cable price doesn’t justify its use. But if you know where to look then you will find the right cable for the right environment at a reasonable cost.

Different Types of Cat 6 Network Cable

Cat 6 cable can be differentiated into different types accordingly to different use and specifications. Here are the main types of Cat 6 network cable:

  • Unshielded and shielded Cat 6 cables
  • Solid and stranded Cat 6 cables
  • CM, CMR, and CMP Cat 6 cables

Unshielded and Shielded Cat 6 Cable

The unshielded Cat 6 network cable or UTP Cat 6 cable is kind of a cable with wires that are twisted together for less noise and crosstalk.

Whereas, the shielded Cat 6 cable consists of a twisted part cable confined in a foil or mesh shield that prevents the Cat 6 network cable from any electromagnetic interference.

In a nutshell, an unshielded Cat 6 cable is ideal to be used between your computer and the wall but a shielded Cat 6 cable is more suitable for outside environments.

For best results and near to zero interference, always choose the best UTP Cat 6 cables that are manufactured according to international quality standards and affordable.

Solid and Stranded Cat 6 Cable

Solid Cat 6 network cable utilizes a single piece of copper for electrical conductor while stranded Cat 6 network cable uses a series of copper cables twisted together.

Stranded Cat 6 cables are more flexible than solid Cat 6 cables so they can be used at your desk and you can even move the cable around often.

However, solid Cat 6 cables are more durable which makes them ideal for permanent installations and outdoor use.

CM, CMR, and CMP Cat 6 Cables

Cat 6 CM cables are appropriate for installation inside a residence or a single-story commercial building. This type of cable usually has the minimum jacket ratings among all the types of Ethernet cables.

Cat 6 CMR cables are also known as “Riser-rated Cables”. They are designed to prevent fires from spreading between floors via risers or vertical shafts.

Cat 6 CMP cables are also known as “Plenum-rated Cables”. Their jacket is made from a material that repels the spread of flames and gives off very minimum smoke, making it perfect to use in plenum spaces.

Applications of Cat 6 Cables

Cat 6 cable is the backbone of networks and is used in conjunction with fiber optic cables. Here are some of the most common applications of Cat 6 cables:

  • Due to their ability to handle interference better than their predecessor, Cat 6 cables are preferred for gaming purposes.
  • Cat 6 network cable is also utilized for network security houses as they carry high-speed data while expelling little or no interference.
  • They are perfect for computer networks that handle data transmission speeds of 1000 Mbps, Gbps, or higher. They are also used for hosting sites, e-commerce hosting platforms, etc.
  • For reliable and quick data transfer, many social media businesses utilize Cat 6 wiring cables.
  • As these cables possess high speeds and fewer crosstalk, they are largely used in home and enterprise networks.
  • Since the basic connectivity of these cables remains the same, Cat 6 cables are also preferred to make connections between various electronic devices, networks, etc.

Cat 6 Wiring Guide

Cat 6 wiring available online may not fit your need, or you may need to customize them according to a specific application. So, how do you make a Cat 6 patch cord? Or how to correctly terminate the Cat 6 cable?

We have created a simple Cat 6 wiring guide below that will help you create your own Cat 6 patch cables. The three basic steps involve Strip, Arrange & Crimp!

  1. Pull the length required for your cable and cut the cable to the length needed. It is recommended to add a little extra Cat 6 cable just in case.
  2. To remove the outer jacket of the cable, strip the cable about 1 inch from the end with the stripper tool and remove the cable stripper.
  3. Untwist the wire pairs and make them as straight as possible.
  4. Depending on the Cat 6 wiring configurations such as T568A / T568B, organize the wires.
  5. Press and make the wires flat, parallel, and cut the top of the wires. You should cut the wires exactly 1/2″ (12.5 mm) long from the base of the jacket.
  6. Insert the wires into the RJ45 connecter with the flat surface of the connector on top.
  7. Place the wired plug into the crimping tool. Squeeze the handle firmly.

Now, repeat the above steps with the other end of the cable. So, there you have it. That’s how you strip, arrange and crimp a Cat 6 network cable according to your requirement.

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