Originally Posted by Ace_001
cat 5e is gigabit.. cat6 is gigabit and shielded.. thats y its more expencive..
I know this is somewhat old by now, but I have to correct this one before anyone is mislead. Cat6 cable is not shielded! It isn't called U
air cable for nothing. Please do some research before you post something like this.
Category 5 Enhanced (Cat 5e) is softer, more flexible, and doesn't have quite as high of a twist rate within the cable, making it easy to run. It's rated for gigabit speeds. The outer jacket may have a soft feel to it as you slice it away.
Category 6 (Cat 6) cable has a tighter twist on the conductors to help cancel out more crosstalk; the outer jacket has been hardened, making it slightly more brittle. It's a pain to run into tighter outlets, and not such a pleasure to punch down to a block. Instead of trying to outright cut all the way around the jacket to get to the individual conductors, score the outer jacket on one side, rock it back and forth a bit, and yank it away from the rest of the jacket. It's slight brittleness will allow it to snap free from the jacket fairly easily. It doesn't seem any larger than Cat5e in diameter, and it's rated for gigabit.
Category 6 Augmented (Cat 6a) is quite a bit larger in diameter than Cat 6, the outer jacket is the same consistency as Cat 6, but has been fluted to provide air around the wires to keep the cable runs spaced apart farther (to minimize interference). The twist rate for crosstalk reduction is ridiculous. It's rated for 10Gbit, and it is so stiff and stupidly large that us telecom/network guys have dubbed it "asinine" instead of "augmented". It's big, tough, stiff as a corpse in full rigor, and the only time you'll thank heaven you're running it is when you're falling off the ladder grabbing onto it to save you!
I hope this gives you a good perspective on the different types of wires available right now for UTP-8 cable.