Can I Use Cat5e Patch Cable With Cat6 Patch Panel?

As a key component of copper cabling system, copper patch panel is popular with people. And there are Cat5e patch panels and Cat6 patch panels available on the market. It is not difficult to understand that Cat5e patch panel is used with Cat5e patch cable, while Cat6 patch panel is used with Cat6 patch cable jointly. But can I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel? This article will tell you the answer.

Overview of Cat5e and Cat6 Patch panel

First, let’s have a brief overview of Cat5e patch panel and Cat6 patch panel. Cat5e patch panel is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and is used for high speed LAN transmission. In addition, Cat5e patch panels are available in 6-port and 8-port module groupings, in 8, 12, 24, and 48-port sizes. The high density panel design can be mounted to standard racks or cabinets, accommodate top, bottom or side cable entry, and also save rack space. While Cat6 patch panel is specially designed for 1G Ethernet applications. It also meets the TIA/EIA 568 industry specification and each patch panel terminates with standard 110 termination tools on the rear, which allows quick installations. Cat6 patch panel on the market covers 12, 24, 48, and 96-port configurations.

Cat5e and Cat6 patch panel

Can I Use Cat5e Patch Cable With Cat6 Patch Panel?

In fact, there isn’t much difference between these two types of patch panels. What matters is the difference of wire gauge specified between Cat5e and Cat6 patch cables. It’s well known that both Cat5e and Cat6 patch cable contain four twisted pairs of copper wires, but Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e. This is because there is a longitudinal separator inside Cat6 patch cable which isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, reducing crosstalk and allowing for better signal. And another reason is that Cat6 patch cable utilizes copper conductor which has larger diameter than that of Cat5e patch cable. So you may ask, if I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel, will it be too loose? Slightly Yes, but electrically it will still make contact and work well.

Can I Use Cat6 Patch Cable With Cat5e Patch Panel?

Sometimes you may also encounter the situation where you want to use Cat6 pacth cable with Cat5e patch panel. The content above has mentioned that Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e patch cable. In spite of the size difference between them, the fact is that Cat6 patch cable is backward compatible with Cat5e patch cable. Therefore, you can feel free to use Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel.


When plugging Cat5e patch cable on a Cat6 patch panel, the Cat5e patch cable is small enough that it is possible to get what looks like a good connection. However, the contact is not actually good or the plug is not in the right place. While plugging Cat6 patch cable on a Cat5e patch panel, the larger wire may end up bending or even breaking the port. Therefore, in both cases, it is necessary to install and test each connection carefully to make system work fine.


In theory, doing like these is not recommended. Using Cat5e patch cable with Cat5e patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat6 patch panel will get the best performance. FS.COM provides both high-density Cat5e patch panels for Fast Ethernet applications and Cat6 patch panels for 1G/10G Ethernet applications, such as 24 port Cat5e patch panel, 48 port Cat5e patch panel, 24 port Cat6 patch panel, 48 port Cat6 patch panel, etc. In addition, Cat5e shielded patch panel, Cat5e unshielded patch panel, Cat6 shielded patch panel and Cat6 unshielded patch panel are available.

Know More About Patch Panels

There is no doubt that patch panels are the important elements in cabling systems. No matter how big or how small your business or home network is, you can’t make your cabling system tidy without the use of patch panels. Serving as the nerve center of the cabling network, copper patch panel allows you to terminate cable elements and allows the signal to be connected to the intended destination. This article will guide you to know more about this crucial component.

Overview of Patch Panel

A patch panel is one panel essentially with an array of ports on it. Each port connects, via a patch cable, to another port located elsewhere in your building. If you want to set up a wired network that includes multiple wall ports in various rooms, a patch panel in a central location can provide a simple, neat and easy-to-manage solution.

Patch panel works as a mounted hardware assembly that contains multiple network ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing lines. In the application of LAN, patch panels can realize the connection between different computers or computers and outside lines. In addition, those lines allow LANs to connect with wide area networks (WANs) or the Internet. With the use of a patch panel, you can simply plug and unplug the appropriate patch cords to arrange circuits.

Patch panel is widely used in the telecommunications section of a building, which makes telecommunications networks managing easier. As the major link, a patch panel collects data and routes it to the intended destination. If a malfunction of a patch panel occurs, the entire system may fail, which explains how crucial it is.

Ports Are Very Crucial to the Patch Panel

Ports are central parts of patch panels because they provide physical entry and exit points for data. Most patch panels have either 24 or 48 ports. And some panels can include 96 ports or more. The number of ports on a panel is not subject to physical limit other than the room to place them. Here is a figure of 48 port Cat5e patch panel.

48 port Cat5e patch panel

Copper or Fiber Patch Panels

Patch panels can be used in fiber and copper cabling systems. So is there any difference between these two types of patch panels?

Copper patch panels are structured with 8-pin modular ports on one side and the 110-insulation displacement connector block on the other side. Wires comes into one side and are routed into intended destination from the other side. For the copper patch panel, each pair of wires has an independent port. While fiber patch panels are structured with two ports for a pair of wires. One port is used for transmitting signal and the other is used for receiving signal.

From the view of cost, copper patch panel is cheaper than fiber patch panel. While fiber patch panels are a lot easier to install and tend to be faster than copper patch panels, but this does not downplay the role played by the latter. The main function of a patch panel is to realize the connection, allocation and scheduling of cable links easily. No matter which type of patch panels you choose, they must be used according to practical situations.


Copper patch panel, as a kind of flexible and effective copper cable management tool, gains popularity in data center applications. Today, various types of copper patch panels can be found on the market. FS.COM provides different kinds of copper patch panels, such as 24 port Cat5e patch panel, 24 port Cat6 patch panel, 48 port Cat6 patch panel, etc.

What is Fiber Optic Patch Panel?

Fiber optic patch panel, also known as fiber distribution panel, is used to terminate the fiber optic cable or provide access to the cable’s individual fibers for cross connection.

Structure of Fiber Optic Patch Panel

A fiber patch panel is usually composed of two parts, the compartment that contains fiber adapters (bulkhead receptacles), and the compartment that contains fiber optic splice trays and excess fiber cables.

In most fiber optic patch panels, all of the adapters are of the same type. As we all know, there are various types of cables or connectors used in the network, so it is necessary to equip the fiber optic patch panel with hybrid adapters. These types of adapters can be used to connect different types of connectors on fiber optic cables. In addition, a conversion cable can also solve this problem. The conversion cable is simply a cable with two different types of adapters on either end.

Advantages of Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Fiber optic patch panel is commonly used as a fiber optic cable management unit. The network technicians can use fiber optic patch cable to cross-connect, connect to fiber optic communication equipment or test the individual fibers in the fiber optic cable.

Fiber optic patch panel provides a convenient way to operate fiber optic cable connections by plugging in or pulling out the fiber optic patch cable. And selecting signals, arranging or rearranging the circuits can be easily realized without the use of expensive dedicated switching equipment.

Fiber optic patch panel can be an opened box which can create a safe environment for the exposed fibers and fiber optic cables. In the meantime, it can leave a space for fusion splicing and connections of fiber optic adapter components.

Fiber optic patch panel can help with the installation of fiber optic cables as well as increase the density of installation. Also, it can provide more convenience for organization and management.

Two Typical Types
Wall-Mounted Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Wall-mounted fiber optic patch panel can keep 12 different fibers separated from each other. If the fiber optic cable contains more than 12 fibers, the extra fibers can be moved to a second fiber optic patch panel, or the engineer can use a fiber optic patch panel, designed to individually install more fibers, to hold the fibers. Wall-mounted fiber optic patch panel is structured to hold up 144 fibers every time.

Wall-mounted fiber optic patch panels make the inside fiber optic adapter panels, patch cables and pigtails realize the function of optical fiber distribution. And they are used for protecting fiber optic cables and connections of pigtails in fiber optic cabling and user terminal applications. The patch panels are installed on the indoor wall with a terrace which can provide a flexible fiber management system for transiting external device cables to indoor cables and for connector assemblies.

Wall-Mounted Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Rack-Mounted Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Rack-mounted fiber optic patch panel can hold the fibers horizontally and it is usually designed to open like a drawer. The sliding-opened structure make engineers access to the inside of optical fibers easily. The rack-mounted patch panel is optional with all kinds of fiber optic adapter ports, pre-installed inner trays and accessories. And fiber optic pigtails of different types are optional, such as SC, FC, ST, LC, E2000, etc. Also, rack-mounted patch panels can be customized by the fiber counts.

Rack-mounted fiber patch panel is used for fiber optic cable termination and distribution. And this make it convenient to organize and connect the fiber optic links. Rack-mounted fiber patch panel is suitable for many fiber optical products, such as DWDM MUX DEMUX, Rack Chassis Splitter, Optical Distribution Frame (ODF), etc. They are fully stable with no risk of movement and create a secure environment for fiber optic adapters, patch cables and pigtails.

Rack-Mounted Fiber Optic Patch Panel


In recording studios, television and radio broadcast studios, and concert sound reinforcement systems, fiber optic patch panels are widely used to facilitate the connection of different devices, such as microphones, electric or electronic instruments or broadcasting equipment. fiber optic patch panels make it easier to connect different devices in different orders for different projects, because all of the changes can be made at the fiber optic patch panel and it groups all of the input jacks into one location. Fiber optic patch panels are being used more commonly in domestic installations.


When you install and manage the fiber optic links, you may encounter hundreds or even thousands of fiber optic cables and cable connections. At this time, a fiber optic patch panel is a good option because it can help you organize and connect the fiber optic links, and it can protect the cables from damage.