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.

Note

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.

Conclusion

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.

Advertisements

Things You Have to Know About Wireless Network

Nowadays, network has become a part of our daily life. We get used to the behaviour that we turn to Internet for help to solve a problem or we look through the website to know what happened around us, just like we go to bed at night. Being able to get access to the network is important for us. In the past, there was only wired network. But now, there is wireless network which makes it more convenient for us to surf the Internet. We know that a wireless network is very similar to a wired network with one big difference: devices don’t use Ethernet network cable to connect to the router. Instead, they use radio wireless connections called Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), which is a friendly name for the 802.11 networking standards supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). We know that access point (AP) is a central device that is common used in wireless network. But sometimes we hear something like Wi-Fi range, frequency band or Wi-Fi standard. Do you know what they refer to? This article is going to introduce things you have to know about wireless network.

Wi-Fi Range

The Wi-Fi range refers to the coverage area of an access point’s Wi-Fi signal. Generally speaking, in a good and stable wireless network, the maximum distance for wireless device to receive Wi-Fi signal can reach about 150 feet from the access point. However, this distance will change based on the capability of access point. In addition, there are some other factors that will have an impact on the performance of Wi-Fi signal, such as the power of the devices involved, the environment, the Wi-Fi standard and so on. Among them, the impact of Wi-Fi standard is relatively large, and it will be introduced in the latter part of this article.

Frequency Band

The frequency band refers to the radio frequencies used by the Wi-Fi standard: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz bands are currently the most popular, collectively being used in all existing network devices. Generally, the 5 Ghz band delivers faster data rates than 2.4 GHz band, but its Wi-Fi range is a little less than that of 2.4 Ghz band. Depending on the standard, some wireless routers use either the 2.4 GHz or the 5 GHz band, while others that use both of these are called dual-band wireless routers, such as Linksys DD-WRT WRT1200AC.

Wi-Fi Standard

The Wi-Fi standard determines how fast a wireless network can be and how much signal area it can cover. To understand what the Wi-Fi standard is, you have to learn about the development history of Wi-Fi standard.

Wi-Fi Standard

802.11b: This was the first commercialized wireless standard. It offers a top speed of 22 Mbps and operates only on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The standard was first available in 1999 and is now totally obsolete.

802.11g: Introduced in 2002, the 802.11g standard marked the first time wireless networking was called Wi-Fi. The standard offers the top speed of 54 Mbps but operates on the 2.4 GHz band. It is also becoming obsolete.

802.11n or Wireless-N: Available since 2007, 802.11n has been the most popular Wi-Fi standard, with lots of improvements over the previous ones, such as making the range of the 5 GHz band more comparable to that of the 2.4 GHz band. The standard operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and it offers a top speed of 600 Mbps.

802.11ac: Sometimes referred to as 5G Wi-Fi, this latest Wi-Fi standard operates only on the 5 GHz frequency band and currently offers Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1,750 Mbps (or even faster with latest chip) when used in the quad-stream (4×4) setup. The standard also comes with the 3×3, 2×2, 1×1 setups that cap at 1,300 Mbps, 900 Mbps and 450 Mbps, respectively.

Network technology has move forward without stopping its step. And now there are 802.11ad and 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard for wireless network. Besides, the later standards are backward compatible with the earlier ones.

Conclusion

Network is of close link with our life, bringing us incomparable convenience on our life and work, especially wireless network. It is necessary to know some knowledge about wireless network. I hope this article is helpful for you when you choose wireless devices and solve some problems related to wireless network. To build a good wireless network, FS.COM provides quality Ethernet network cable, such as Cat5e cable, Cat6 cable and Cat7 cable. Also, they have wireless access point.

Things You Need to Know About Home Network

Network has become an indispensable part of our daily life. If you have a computer at home, I’m sure that you are not unfamiliar with home network. In the past, there was only one way for home network deployment—wired network. However, the pace of network technology development has never slowed down, and now, there is wireless network, which makes it more convenient to get access to the network. As we are in wired network or wireless network environment every day, it is necessary for us to know something about network, especially home network. This article will introduce some basic knowledge about wired network and wireless network.

home network
Wired Network

In wired network, there are two important devices, one is router and the other one is network cable.

Router

We know that router is designed with several physical ports on the front or back of the unit, such as one WAN (wide area network) port, four LAN (local area network) ports and one power input port. Also, there are some LED lights to display device status. All WAN port and LAN ports are RJ45 interface, so one end of network cable can be plugged into them. But for the other end of network cable, there is one difference between WAN port and LAN port. For WAN port, the other end of network cable is plugged into an Internet source, such as broadband service provider; while for LAN port, the other end of network cable is plugged into the RJ45 port on Ethernet-ready device, like computer. The moment you plug a device into a router, you have yourself a wired network.

Network Cable

As for the selection of network cable used for the connection, either cat5e cable or cat6 cable will be OK. The latest network cabling standard currently in use is cat6 cable, which is designed to be faster and more reliable than cat5e cable. Both of them support data speed at 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s, while cat6 cable is able to achieve 10Gb/s. Also, cat5e cable and cat6 cable can be used interchangeably, For most home usage, what cat5 cable has to offer is more than enough. But if you think about future-proof, cat6 cable is a great option in addition to its high price.

Wireless Network

For wireless network, devices don’t use network cable to connect to the router. Instead, they use radio wireless connections called Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity). This is one big difference between wireless network and wired network. The devices used in wireless network don’t need to have ports, just antennas, which are sometimes hidden inside the device itself. In order to build Wi-Fi environment, an access point (AP) is required.

Access Point

An access point is a central device that broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal for Wi-Fi clients to connect to. Generally, each wireless network belongs to one access point. For example, when you hang around some stores, you can see different networks popping up on your phone’s screen and each of them belongs to one access point. For home wireless network deployment, you can buy an access point separately and connect it to a router. Now on the market, a kind of wireless router is available, which is a regular router with a built-in access point. This makes your wireless network building more convenient.

Conclusion

In a typical home network, there are generally both wired and wireless devices, and they can all talk to one another. To build a stable home network, it is important to choose quality router, network cable and access point. Though FS.COM does not provide router, they have high quality network cable and wireless access point.

Talk About AWG

For those who are familiar with different types of bulk Ethernet cables, it is not difficult to tell the differences between cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable. Apart from functional differences, like data transmission rate and transmission distance, the obvious physical difference is that cat6 bulk cable is thicker than cat5e bulk cable. One reason is that there is a longitudinal separator inside cat6 bulk cable which isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others. And another reason is that cat6 bulk cable utilizes copper conductor which has larger cross-section area than that of cat5e bulk cable—the wire gauge of cat6 bulk cable is 23AWG while the wire gauge of cat5e bulk cable is 24AWG. Reading this, you may get confused about the wire gauge sizes. What is AWG? Why does 23AWG cat6 bulk cable look thicker than 24AWG cat5e bulk cable? Is wire gauge a good indicator of cable quality? The answer will shown in this article.

What Is AWG?

First of all, let’s learn about what is AWG. AWG is the acronym for American Wire Gauge, which is commonly used as a standard of measurement for the cross-sectional area of a round wire. Incidentally, it’s important to remember that it is the size of the wire, not the size of the wire with its insulation, measured in AWG. In the case of solid wire, measurement of cross-sectional area is pretty straightforward. While stranded wire is another matter. Its wire gauge is measured by summing the cross-sectional area of the strands. Because there are small gaps between the strands, any given cross-sectional area of wire will take up more overall space in a stranded configuration than it will in a solid wire.

Why Does 23AWG Cat6 Bulk Cable Look Thicker Than 24AWG Cat5e Bulk Cable?

For a lot of people, the relationship of gauge to wire size is confused. In fact, the larger the gauge number is, the smaller the wire is. A 23AWG cable is 0.57mm wide, while a 24AWG cable is 0.52mm wide. That’s why we say 23AWG cat6 bulk cable looks thicker than 24AWG cat5e bulk cable. Here is a figure for you, which shows the comparison between cross-sectional area of cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable.

cross-sectional area of cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable

Is Wire Gauge a Good Indicator of Cable Quality?

The wire gauge is an important factor for determining current-carrying capacity of a cable. In the cable industry, it is referred to as current flow (of electrons) that runs throughout the wire. To better understand this, you can imagine a flow of water that runs through a pipe. The wider the pipe is, the more water runs through it in shorter time. How does that translate to cable? Resistance is how many electrons make it through the cable and do not evaporate. With a thinner cable, there is less flow and heat buildup, which causes the electrons to dissipate. The wider the cable, the easier it is for the electrons to pass through it. To reduce resistance and allow for a better flow of electrons, the cross-sectional area of the cable’s conductor must be increased. By doing so, resistance is automatically reduced over the cable.

Conclusion

An easy way to think about AWG is that the smaller the number is, the physically larger the cable is. Since wire gauge can be a meaningful factor in cable quality which is very important for some applications, like computer networking, speaker wire, analog and digital video, it is necessary to understand the demands of the application before making a judgment about cable quality based upon wire gauge. And I hope this article can help you have a better understanding of AWG.

All About STP Cable

We know that EMI (electromagnetic interference) is a disturbance in twisted pair cables. It affects the performance of an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction. The primary way to combat EMI in cables is through the use of shielding. The shielding can act on EMI in two ways: first, it can reflect the energy; second, it can prevent the noise and conduct it to ground. With the help of cable shielding, cables can be immune to the disturbance and keep a stable connection. And this article will present some knowledge about STP (shielded twisted pair) cable.

Overview of STP Cable

First of all, let’s have a quick overview of STP cable. As the name suggests, STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). And the shield can be applied to each pair of the cable or to all pairs together. Typically, STP cable is more expensive than UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable. And due to the fragile and rigid shield of STP cable, it is necessary to pay much attention to the installation and maintenance of STP cable.

Types of Shields

There are mainly two types of shields: braided shield and foiled shield. Braided shield is made up of woven mesh of bare or tinned copper wires. The braid makes it much easier for cable termination by crimping or soldering when attaching a connector. However, braided shield does not provide 100% coverage. It typically provides 70% to 95% coverage according to the tightness of weave. But as a matter of fact, 70% coverage is always sufficient if cables are fixed. Another shielding is foiled shield. This type of shielding uses a thin layer of aluminum. Because it is thin, it is harder to work with, especially when applying a connector. It provides 100% coverage for the conductors it surrounds.

As copper has higher conductivity than aluminum and the braid has more bulk for conducting noise, the braid is more effective as a shield. If the environment is extremely noisy, a cable may use multiple layers of shielding with both the braided and foil designs. Here is figure of braided shield, foiled shield and braided/foiled shield, from which you can have a better understanding of inner structure of these three types of shields.

braided shield, foiled shield and braided foiled shield

Different Constructions of Shielding

When you plan to buy shielded 100m cat6 cable on store, you may have to make a choice between different construction of shielding. And here are are some commonly used shielding constructions:

1) Individual Shield

U/FTP is the typical individual shielding using aluminum foil. This kind of construction has one shield for each twisted pair or quad above the conductor and insulation. Individual shield especially protects neighboring pairs from crosstalk.

2) Overall Shield

F/UTP, S/UTP, and SF/UTP are overall shielding with different shield materials. Overall shield refers to the entire coverage around the whole cable. This type of shielding helps prevent EMI from entering or exiting the cable.

3) Individual and Overall Shield

F/FTP, S/FTP, and SF/FTP are individual and overall shield. This type of construction has both layers of shielding. And its immunity to EMI disturbance is greatly improved.

Meanings of the abbreviated letters:

U = unshielded

F = foiled shielding

S = braided shielding

TP = twisted pair

Applications

Power cables are constructed with shielding to be electromagnetic compatible (EMC) to minimize noise generation, which affects many other systems like radio and data communication. Bulk Ethernet cables are shielded to prevent the effects on the data transmitted from EMI. To further prevent cross talk and coupling, some bulk Ethernet cables are also paired and individually shielded. In some applications, such as those needing servo cables, double or even triple, shielding is required around individual conductors, around twisted pairs, and around the entire cable. By the way, if you use shielded cat6 cable for your network, the cat6 patch panel you choose must be shielded, too.

Conclusion

Adopting twisted pair cable shielding is an effective method to prevent EMI from interfering signal transmission. For the purpose of providing a reliable connection between electronic devices, choosing a proper shielded twisted pair cable is essential. FS.COM provides various types of shielded cables, such as FTP cat5e cable 305m, SFTP 100m cat6 cable, SFTP 1000 feet cat6 cable.

Distinguish A Good Ethernet Cable From A Bad One During the Selection

When you plan to deploy your network by using bulk Ethernet cable, you will find there are always various types of bulk Ethernet cables available on the market. And cables provided by different vendors vary in quality. There is no doubt that the quality of bulk Ethernet cable have an influence on the network performance. During the selection, how to distinguish a good Ethernet cable from a bad one is critical, which can also directly embody the ability of an engineer. Then, how to make sure that bulk Ethernet cables used in your network are of good quality? This article aims to share some tips with you.

Test the Data Transmission Rate

Testing the data transmission rate is one of the most effective methods to identify the quality of Ethernet cables. It is recommended that you connect two computers directly to do the test. But there may be some other factors that can affect the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable, such as the configuration of computer itself, the network card, RJ45 connector and so on. Hence, you should use machines with high configuration to reduce the external factors on the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable to a minimum. In this way, the result of test will be accurate.

Test the Flexibility

Ethernet cables of good quality are as flexible as possible, because the convenience of cabling has been taken into account at design time. It is easy to bend them in any ways and they are less likely to be broken easily. However, on the current market, there are some inferior bulk Ethernet cables which are mixed with other cheap metal components. The texture of such bulk Ethernet cables is no longer so soft and the data transmission rate becomes slower. In the process of cabling, if you bend the bulk Ethernet cable repeatedly, the copper wires inside the cable may be broken. While if the cable is too soft, then you should also note that it may be a fake and shoddy product.

Test the Flammability

In general, the materials composed of bulk Ethernet cable must be characterized with fire resistance, otherwise there is a fire, it will suffer heavy losses. Therefore, when choosing the bulk Ethernet cable, it is necessary to check the flammability of the cable jacket. Take cat6 cable 305m for example. In the test, you can use scissor to cut off about 2 cm length of its cable jacket, then burn it with a lighter. Under the condition of fire, cable jacket of good quality will gradually melt and deform after six seconds, with white smoke, but it will not burn itself up; while if the cable jacket is unable to resist the fire and burns up in less two seconds, with a large amount of black smoke, even though the cat6 cable 305m can provide 1000Mbps data transmission rate, you should give up the choice.

Test the Temperature Resistance

When carrying out cabling, bulk Ethernet cables are highly required to resist the external temperature changes. Not to say they can resist any change in the environment, at least those cables will not become soften under high temperature environment or frost crack under low temperature environment. For the sake of the performance of cable that will not be affected in the high temperature environment, cable jacket of good quality bulk Ethernet cable utilizes the material that can resist high temperature of up to about 50 degrees. And phenomenon like becoming soften or deformation will not occur. Take cat6 cable 305m from Fiberstore for example, its operation temperature range is from -10 degrees to 60 degrees and its installation temperature range is from 0 degree to 50 degrees. To do the test, you can place a short length of its cable jacket next to the stove for a while. And you will find that the cable jacket does not become softer than the normal one, it means that the quality of this cat5e cable 305m is good.

Observe the Identification

In the actual selection of Ethernet cables, sometimes due to the lack of test environment or conditions, you are not able to test the quality or material of the cable by the methods mentioned above. So what should you do at that time? You might as well observe the identification on the cable jacket. Normally, the regular brands of Ethernet cables have category identification and manufacture trademark on the cable jacket. If there is no identification on the cable jacket, you should be vigilant and try to create conditions to test the cable by following the above methods. Here is a figure of cat5e cable, from which we can clearly see the category identification and some other information about the cable.

cat5e cable

Conclusion

It is essential to select Ethernet cables of good quality for your network deployment, and that is the basic requirement to make your network achieve high performance level. As a result, when making a choice among various Ethernet cables, you have to observe carefully, compare more and test more. FS.COM provides good quality bulk Ethernet cables with many color and length options, such as gray cat6 cable 305m, yellow cat6 cable 100m, red cat6 cable 305m.

How to Choose the Right Ethernet Cable for Your Network?

To build your Ethernet network, the transmission media Ethernet cable is indispensable. And there are a variety of choices for Ethernet cables, such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and so on. If you are familiar with the differences between these different types of Ethernet cables, you may think it’s very simple to choose the right Ethernet cable for your network. However, is this really enough to help you make the decision? Are there any other factors you have to take into consideration? This article will give you the answer.

Overview of Different Types of Ethernet Cables

First, let’s have a quick review of the basic knowledge of these different types of Ethernet cables. For data speed, Cat5e is designed to support 1 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 100MHz; Cat6 can support higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 250 MHz; Cat6a is defined at frequencies up to 500MHz among 10G Ethernet applications. For transmission distance, Cat5e can reach 100 meters at the speed of 1Gbps; Cat6 is able to run 100 meters with data speed up to 1Gbps and only 55 meters at the speed of 10Gbps; Cat6a can support the distance over 100 meters at the speed of 10Gbps. Which types of Ethernet cables to choose depends on your requirement for transmission speed and distance. After you make a decision on this, there are some other factors you have to consider—straight-through or crossover cable, UTP (unshielded twisted pair) or STP (shielded twisted pair) cable, length and color. The following part will focus on these factors.

Straight-Through or Crossover Cable?

Ethernet cable terminated with RJ45 connector contains eight color-coded wires. The color-coded wiring sequences exist as a cabling industry standard. When linking RJ45 connector to a cable, there are two wiring standards—T-568A and T-568B. The two wiring standards are used to create a straight-through cable (T-568A or T-568B on both ends), or a crossover cable (T-568A on one end and T-568B on the other end). To choose a straight-through cable, you have to use either T-568A or T-568B on both ends of the cable; to choose a crossover cable, you need to wire T-568A on one end and T-568B on the other end of the cable. Here is a figure of T-568A and T-568B, from which you can see the difference between these two wiring standards.

T-568A and T-568B

UTP or STP Cable?

STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (mostly made of copper or aluminum). With the shield, EMI (electromagnetic interference) and crosstalk can be greatly reduced, which enables the high performance of data transmission between different devices. While UTP cable has no shielding. It is designed to cancel electromagnetic interference through the way the pairs are twisted inside the cable. If the Ethernet cable runs in the environment where the interference or crosstalk is not the main concern, it is suggested to choose UTP cables which are lower in cost. But if the environment is full of powerful magnetic fields which may have an influence on the performance of network, STP cable is absolutely the optimal choice. To have a better understanding of the difference between UTP cable and STP cable, here is figure of the inner structure of UTP cable and STP cable.

the inner structure of UTP cable and STP cable

Length and Color

When choosing Ether cable for your network, you also need to consider length and color. Ethernet cable comes in standard lengths such as 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 meter. Longer lengths are available, such as bulk Cat5e cable 305m. The distance between your various network devices and your network switch or router will determine the length you need. In addition, Ethernet cable is designed in all sorts of colors, such as blue, gray, red and some other color. This decision can be based purely on your individual taste and preference.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that choosing the right Ethernet cable can make your network work at a high performance level. I hope this article can help you know more about Ethernet cable and make the right choice for your network application. There are different types of Ethernet cables available in FS.COM, such as UTP Cat5e bulk cable, STP Cat6 bulk cable and so on. Also, they have different types of RJ45 couplers which can be a convenient way to combine two short Ethernet cables into a longer one, such as Cat6 coupler and Cat5e coupler.