Category 5 cable (or cat5 cable) is Ethernet cable consisting of 4 twisted pairs of copper wire with conductors usually measuring 24 AWG to 26 AWG. Category 5 cable has a maximum run length of 100 m and provides up to 100 Mbps in performance. Cat5 cable can be terminated using punch down blocks for fixed wiring installations. Alternatively this Ethernet cable can be made into patch cables terminated at each end with registered jacks (RJ45 connectors) for shorter movable cabling applications.
Cat5 cable is used to transfer data and signals in structured cabling systems for computers connected to LAN (Local Area Network). The cable standards defined for ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A provide a bandwidth supporting frequencies up to 100 MHz and speeds up to 100 Mbps. Category 5 cable is suitable for applications utilising 10-Base –T 100 Base – T and 1000Base-T. Its performance is enhanced when it comes as Cat5e cable.
Cat5 cable can be used in a wide variety of applications. It is traditionally used for LAN (Local Area Network) applications. Connecting computers, hubs, switches and routers to the network in schools, colleges, offices, hospitals and the home. Other applications include telephone, video and CCTV systems.
Solid Conductors - Used in applications where longer runs are needed used for fixed or permanent wiring systems (office builds, and so forth)
Stranded Conductors - Used for shorter runs, or movable cabling (patch cables) enabling connection to networking equipment such as hubs, switches and routers
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) - The standard cable used for Cat5 applications. UTP cable is made up of conductors twisted into pairs. Cat5 cable is a cable made up of 4 colour coded twisted pairs. The cable would have no shielding or screening between the outer jacket and the conductors contained within it.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) - The most common material used for the outer insulation (jacket) although LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) is now widely available too.