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How to Choose Right Category 5e Cable for Your Network?

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Category 5e Cable (Cat 5 enhanced), also know as Cat5e, is currently the most commonly used Ethernet cable in new installations. It’s designed to greatly reduce crosstalk, which means the Cat5e is better at keeping signals on different circuits or channels from interfering with each other. A step above Cat 5, it can handle 1000 Mbps speeds (gigabit Ethernet) at 100 MHz wit a maximum cable length of 328 feet (100 meters). How to choose right Category 5e Cable for your network? This article may give you the answer.

Category 5e Cable

Straight-Through or Crossover Category 5e Cable?

RJ-45 conductor Cat 5e cable contains 4 pairs of wires each consists of a solid colored wire and a strip of the same color. There are two wiring standards for RJ-45 wiring: T-568A and T-568B. The two wiring standards are used to create a cross-over cable (T-568A on one end, and T-568B on the other end), or a straight-through cable (T-568B or T-568A on both ends). To create a straight-through Cat 5e, you’ll have to use either T- 568A or T-568B on both ends of the cable. To create a cross-over Cat 5e cable, you’ll wire T-568A on one end and T- 568B on the other end of the cable.

straight-through-or-crossover-cat5e-cable

The straight-through Cat 5e cables are used when connecting Data Terminating Equipment (DTE) to Data Communications Equipment (DCE), such as computers and routers to modems (gateways) or hubs (Ethernet Switches). The crossover Cat 5e cables are used when connecting DTE to DTE, or DCE to DCE equipment, such as computer to computer, computer to router or gateway to hub connections. The DTE equipment terminates the signal, while DCE equipment do not.

Unshielded(UTP) or Shielded(STP) Category 5e Cable?

Shielded twisted cables (STP) reduce electrical noise and electromagnetic radiation. In other words, they help to keep the signal steady, and reduce interference with other devices. This is done with a shield that may be composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid, and is covered with a jacket. Unshielded twisted cables (UTP) by definition do not have shielding serving them to reduce interference. They are designed to cancel electromagnetic interference with the way the pairs are twisted inside the cable.

unshieldedutp-or-shieldedstp-cat5e-cable

If you’re in any situation where you want to make sure that you get the most speed and efficiency out of your network, you’ll probably want to use shielded Cat 5e. It’s hard to know when and where you’ll run into enough EMI to cause a problem, but if you use shielded Cat 5e in the first place you won’t have to worry about tearing the cable from the wall to replace it if you do run into that problem. Due to the design and nature of unshielded Cat 5e, it is most suitable for office LANS and similar network cabling systems. Unshielded Cat 5e are lightweight, thin and flexible. They are also versatile and inexpensive. When properly installed, a well-designed unshielded Cat 5e cable will be easier to both install and maintain than a shielded one.

Length and Color Options of Category 5e Cable

When choosing Cat 5e cable for your network, you also need to consider length and color. Cat 5e Ethernet cables come in standard lengths such as 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 meter. Longer lengths are available, and you can also have custom cable lengths made. The distance between your various network devices and your network switch or router will determine the length you need. Cat5e cables come in all sorts of colors. This decision can be based purely on your individual tastes and preference. Blue is perhaps the most common, but you might also consider white, gray, or some other color that doesn’t clash with your walls and carpet. Pictures below shows ten colors of Cat 5e cable provided in Fiberstore.

cat-5e-color

Conclusion

Cat 5e cable supports up to 100 MHz and speeds up to 1 Gbps over 100 meters of cable. Cat 5e crossover patch cable is usually used to connect two same of type of devices. Besides, snagless boot prevents unwanted cable snags during installation and provides extra strain relief.

snagless-booted-cat5e-cable

The table below listed several most popular Cat 5e cables sold in Fiberstore for your choice.

FS P.N. Description
22831 3m Cat 5e Purple Snagless Booted Unshielded(UTP) PVC Ethernet Network Patch Cable
22842 20m Cat 5e Blue Snagless Booted Unshielded(UTP) LSZH Ethernet Network Patch Cable
13826 3m Cat 5e Green Non-booted Unshielded(UTP) PVC Ethernet Network Patch Cable
22775 1m Cat 5e Purple Snagless Booted Unshielded(UTP) PVC Ethernet Network Patch Cable
22835 2m Cat 5e Blue Snagless Booted Unshielded(UTP) LSZH Ethernet Network Patch Cable

How to Connect NETGEAR 10G Switch to Your Network?

With the growth of virtualization, cloud-based services and applications like VoIP, video streaming and IP surveillance, SMB networks need to extend beyond simple reliability to higher speed and performance. The NETGEAR ProSAFE XS712T and ProSAFE XS728T switches present the right solution for this requirement, delivering unprecedented non-blocking 10G bandwidth at an affordable cost. Have you ever used NETGEAR 10Gb switch in your network? This article may provide the knowledge of NETGEAR 10G switch deployment and its interface requirement.

NETGEAR 10G Switch Overview
As shown in the figure below, the NETGEAR ProSAFE XS712T and ProSAFE XS728T are powerful smart managed switches that come with either 12 or 24 10G copper ports and either 2 combo SFP+ (XS712T) or 4 additional dedicated SFP+ ports (XS728T) for 10G fiber links. Using these 10G slots, you can create high-speed connections to a server or network backbone. For example, you can connect switches to each other with high-speed links or link them to high-speed servers. Please note that the XS712T can provide 100M/1000M/10G copper connectivity, but the XS728T can only provide 1000M/10G copper connectivity. Fast Ethernet is not available for XS728T switch.

netgear 10g switch

How to Connect NETGEAR 10G Switch to Your Network?
The NETGEAR ProSAFE XS728T and XS712T switch is designed to provide flexibility in configuring your network connections. It can be used as your only network traffic-distribution device or with 100 Mbps (XS712T only ) , 1000 Mbps, and 10 Gbps hubs and switches.

  • Connecting devices to the switch via RJ-45 copper port

The RJ-45 copper ports of the NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G series switch comply with IEEE 10GBase-T standards. It is backward compatible, auto-negotiating between higher and lower speeds. You can use Category 5e (CAT 5e) or better Ethernet cable (CAT 6, CAT 6a, or CAT 7) to make 10G connections. AMONG, CAT5/CAT5E are supported for Gigabit speeds up to 100 meters. CAT6 twisted pair copper cabling supports 10-Gigabit speeds up to 45 meters. CAT6A or newer CAT7 cabling will allow for up to 100 meter 10GBase-T connections. Desktop switching of NETGEAR ProSAFE XS728T is shown in the figure below.

NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G Series

  • Connecting devices to the switch via SFP+ fiber port

To enable you to use fiber connections on your network (shown in the figure below) , two combo SFP+ ports of XS712T switch and four dedicated SFP+ ports of XS728T switch accommodate standard 1000M and 10G SFP+ transceiver modules. Please note that not all SFP or SFP+ transceiver modules are aavailable for NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G series switch. Following table may give you some guidance for transceiver modules option.

Backbone switching
SFP /SFP+ transceiver modules and SFP+ cables supported for ProSAFE XS712T and XS728T switch

MFG PART# Description
AGM731F NETGEAR 1000BASE-SX 850nm SFP, up to 550m
AGM732F NETGEAR 1000BASE-LX 1310nm SFP, up to 10km
AXM761 NETGEAR 10GBASE-SR 850nm SFP+, up to 300m
AXM762 NETGEAR 10GBASE-LR 1310nm SFP+, up to 10km
AXM763 NETGEAR 10GBASE-LRM 1310nm SFP+, up to 220m (XS712T only)
AXM764 NETGEAR10GBASE-LR Lite 1310nm SFP+, up to 2km
AXC761 1m NETGEAR SFP+ to SFP+ Passive Copper Cable
AXC763 3m NETGEAR SFP+ to SFP+ Passive Copper Cable