Things you should know if use Cat5 Ethernet cable

Ethernet cable is among the most popular network cable which are used to connect two Pc’s ,two routers or even Pc to router.Sometime it’s getting really confusing  which cable should we select for data transfer b/w 2 Pc’s.

Two network switches and  Cat5 Ethernet cable
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In This article we will try to understand the real difference b/w difference between cat5 ethernet cable vs cat6 and how do they work in networking.Well here are few Ethernet  cable that are widely used.

  • Cat3 or Category 3 cable are old one and have not been used in industry from almost a decade from now.Data transfer rate also low to Mb/s only.
  • Cat5 is the Popular choice everywhere. It can offer speed upto 1 Gb/s.
  • Cat5e Advance version of Cat5. Almost the same price as Cat5 but offer better speed with less interference.
  • Cat6 Much costlier than Cat5. Has a rubber separator in b/w four pairs to avoid further interference.

Which is Best Ethernet Cable for Internet ?

Clearly cat3 is out of Question.Now we are left with cat5 ,cat6 (considering Cat 5 and Cat 5e as same).

In Cat 6 Data transfer rate can go upto 10 Gb/s. But still it’s not used widely like Cat5 or Cat5e due to lack of hardware support (routers) for speed upto Gb/s. Even if you replaced a Cat5 cable with a Cat6 for faster internet connection you won’t notice any significant changes as your hardware like router should be Gb/s compatible more over no ISP provides speed in Gb/s (to best of knowledge).

So now it’s clear that Cat5 are most widely used we will be talking more about it.And for our convince  we will refer Cat5 and Cat5e as same ie. Cat5.

How to find what cable you are using right now?

The best way to find which cable you are using is by simply looking over the cable for some printed labels and you will find many useful information.

What is inside Cat5 cable?

cat5 ethernet cable color code
Category 6 twisted pair Ethernet cable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you open cat5 cable you will find 8 colored wires that are twisted together in group of 2 to form 4 twisted pairs.

Why are wires twisted ?

twisted pair lan cable


To reduce interference and thus increasing the quality of signal. The more they are twisted the better will be the signal.Also make sure that the distance of rj45 pin from the twisted part should be kept minimum to ensure better Quality of signal.

What does the Ethernet Cat 5 Color Code for ?

The standard cat5 cable comes in two color code

568a and 568b color code of Ethernet cable

  1. 568A ( White/Green , Green , White/Orange , Blue  , White/Blue , Orange , White/Brown , Brown)
  2. 568B (White/Orange , Orange , White/Green , Blue , White/Blue , Green , White/Brown , Brown)

Cat5 cable are of two type based on the color code at the each end of wire.

  • Straight Through Cat5 cable
  • Crossover cable Cat5 cable

On my video on how to connect two laptop using lan cable , one of the viewer has this question?

which cable should be used to connect pc to pc lan cable




Well the Answer to that is Yes, If you are connecting two same device like two laptop or two router you will used crossover cable.

But if you are connecting laptop to router or pc to switch ie. different device than you  will need a Straight Through cat5 cable.

Network connection using lan cable

How do we find out which Lan cable is Straight Through and which one Crossover ?

This is very simple , just look at the color combination at the end of wire.If  it’s same at both end of Rj 45 pin then it’s Straight through cable and if the combination is different ie (568A on one side and 568B on other side of Rj45 pin) then it’s a crossover cable.

Lan cable is Straight Through and which one Crossover
source: sim-racers

Does it mean that you can’t use Straight through cable to connect pc to pc?

When I bought a router it came with straight trough Cat5 cable to configure it, by connecting router to Pc but when I try to used to connect two pc with same cable it work even then.So how’s that possible.

Theoretically it’s not possible, but practically it is due to advancement in the technology.In modem computers the Ethernet port automatically detect the cable and then configure themselves according. But it might not work in old computer tough.

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-