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Category 3, 4, 5, etc. Cable Ratings
Last updated: 2/8/2004

Q.  What are the differences between Category 3, 4, 5, etc. cable ratings?

Answer:

Level 1:  Basic telecommunications and power limited circuit cable.

Level 2:  Up to to 1 MHz.

Category 3 (CAT3) is rated for transmission frequencies up to 16MHz. It is typically used for voice and data transmission rates up 10 Mbps (mega bits per second).  Twisted-pair (not flat) phone wire.

CAT 4: frequencies up to 20 MHz...  Voice and data transmission rates up to 16 Mbps.

CAT 5: frequencies up to 100 MHz...  Voice and data transmission rates up to 100Mbps.

CAT 5e: frequencies up to 100 MHz.  CAT 5e components have better transmission performance characteristics than CAT 5 and are most suitable for use in high-speed Gigabit Ethernets.  Yes, 100 Mhz.

CAT 6 Supports transmissions up to 250 MHz.

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