Computer Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Computer Cable (Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 3, Cat 5e)

Computer Cable (Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 3, Cat 5e)

Which category cables are available from Allied Wire and Cable?


What are some common applications for category cables?

Cat 6, Cat 5e, Cat 3, and Cat5 cabling are used for data transmission in various communications and computer applications. They are commonly used to connect network devices such as computers, jacks, patch panels, and more.


How do Cat5 cable and Cat5e differ?

The Cat5e specification supersedes the Cat5 specification. Basically, Cat 5e cables are updated versions of the original Cat5 wiring. Cat 5e cable is rated to 350MHz whereas Cat 5 cable is only rated to 100MHz. This allows for increased bandwidth in Cat 5e cable, so it can support Gigabit Ethernet. Cat5 cabling cannot. Cat5e cabling also features specifications for electromagnetic interference that original Cat5 wiring does not.


When shopping for category cables, which industry specifications should I look for?

These are a few of the industry ratings you should consider when browsing product spec sheets for Cat 5e, Cat3, Cat5 or Cat6 cables:

  • UL/CSA ratings
  • NEC ratings
  • ANSI ratings
  • IEEE ratings
  • EIA/TIA 568 telecommunications standard

For more information on wire and cable standards, visit our Standards Organizations FAQ page.


What is ribbon cable?

Ribbon cable is also known as planar cable or flat cable because it is composed of several conducting wires lined up, flat and parallel to one another. This construction gives ribbon cable the appearance of an actual ribbon. It is ideal for applications in which space must be conserved, including internal computer wiring and wiring that must be run beneath carpeting. Ribbon cable is also used in automated termination equipment.

For what applications can I use flexible data cable and signal cable?

Signal cable and flexible data cable may be used in sensitive data processing equipment, medical equipment, and even computer equipment. Signal cables from Allied feature many characteristics suited to these applications, including the ability to be used in dry, damp, or wet conditions, materials designed to reduce signal interference, and stranding for flexibility.

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