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The commonly found Category (Category is the full form of Cat X) cables include Cat 5, Cat 5E, Cat 6, Cat 6A, Cat 7, Cat 7A. All these cables differ in the amount of bandwidths/ frequencies they can support, distance for which they support such bandwidth, amount of copper, number of twists, ability to defer EMI and Alien Cross Talk interferences, size, etc. We will see two important factors for each type of the Cat X cable below:

(Though the distances in some of the below cases might be referred to as 100 metres, in practice it is 90 metres UTP cable and 10 metres patch cord distance).

Cat 3 Cable: It supports 10 Base-T Standard for bandwidths up to 10 Mbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. It can support frequencies in the range of 0-10 MHz.

Cat 5/5E Cable: It supports 100 Base-T Standard for bandwidths up to 100 Mbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. It can support frequencies in the range of 0-100 MHz. Cat 5E cables can support 1000 Base-T as well.

Cat 6 Cable: It supports 1000 Base-T Standard for bandwidths up to 1000 Mbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. Cat 6 standard can support frequencies in the range of 0-250 MHz. It also supports 10GE bandwidth over limited distances.

Cat 6A Cable: It supports 10G Base-T standard for bandwidths up to 10 Gbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. Cat 6A standard can support frequencies in the range of 0-500 MHz.

Cat 7 Cable: It supports 10G Base-T standard for bandwidths up to 10 Gbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. Cat 7 standard can support frequencies in the range of 0-600 MHz. It offers better performance and improved cross talk suppression over the Cat 6A cables.

Cat 7A Cable: It supports 10G Base-T standard for bandwidths up to 10 Gbps over a maximum distance of 100 metres. In addition to this, they can also support 40 Gbps bandwidth for around 50 metres and 100 Gbps bandwidth for around 15 metres. It supports frequencies in the range of 0-1000 MHz.


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