CAT 6, otherwise known as Category 6, cables are Ethernet cables that meet the standard that has been defined by the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Electronic Industries Association.
The CAT 6 cable is able to provide a performance of up to as much as 250MHz, although the newer CAT 6a cable can provide up to 500MHz. The cable also has a maximum length of 100 meters.
The CAT 6 is compatible with previous cable standards but provides a higher performance and is composed of four unshielded twisted pairs of copper wire that end in RJ-45 connectors.
The CAT 6 cable has greater strictness in regards to its specifications for the reduction of system noise and crosstalk in comparison to its predecessors and is likely to end up eventually replacing the CAT 5 and CAT 5e cables at some point in the future.
CAT 6 cables are primarily used for home and business networks.
In the business environment of today, it is particularly crucial to be capable of high-speed communication in order to achieve success, and CAT 6 cables can support communication speeds of significantly faster capability than was the case with previous cables.
CAT 6 cables are quickly becoming the cable of choice for businesses that require access to a high-speed network.
The use of CAT 6 cables in businesses
CAT 6 cables also come in different types depending on a number of specifications, for instance, solid CAT 6 and stranded CAT 6 for copper conductors in pairs, and for shielding types CAT 6 and shielded CAT 6.
Commonly seen types of cable jacket rating are CM, CMP and CMR CAT 6 cables.
Stranded CAT 6 cables make use of a series of copper cables that have been twisted together for the electrical conductor. They offer greater flexibility than solid cable, which just uses one piece of copper, and can be used at a desk or anywhere else in an office that the cable may often need to be moved to.
CM is the minimum jacket rating for Ethernet cables and is particularly appropriate to be used within a single-story commercial building.
CMR cables, on the other hand, are also ideal for businesses and are designed to stop fires from being able to spread between floors in office buildings through vertical shafts or risers.
CMP cables have been designed for plenum spaces, being manufactured out of material that limits the spread of flames and when burned does not give off toxic gas or a lot of smoke, and thus suited for office buildings which have connected air ducts for air conditioning, heating and ventilation, such as drop ceilings and raised floors.
There are few homes which come with plenum spaces, which make CMP CAT 6 cables ideal for commercial installations.
Shielded cables protect against electromagnetic interference, making it well-suited to high-speed networks including the likes of data centres.
Ultimately, CAT 6 cables are widely used and recognised for the reliability and high performance they provide.