Short for Category 5 Enhanced, Cat-5e network cabling is used as a cabling infrastructure for 10BASE-T (Ethernet), full duplex 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet) and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE) networks. The Cat 5e standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and can be used up to a maximum length of 100 meters.
As with Category 5 (Cat-5) cables, Cat 5e cables typically consist of four unshielded twisted pairs (UTP) of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connectors. Cat 5e is distinguished from the original Cat 5 standard primarily in its performance requirements. Cat 5e has stricter specifications in a number of areas, including Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT), Power Sum Equal-Level Far-End Crosstalk (PS-ELFEXT), attenuation and return loss.
Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards.
Compared with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. The cable standard also specifies performance of up to 250 MHz compared to 100 MHz for Cat 5 and Cat 5e.