Category 6 Cable

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What Does Category 6 Cable Mean?

A Category 6 cable (Cat 6 cable) is a type of twisted pair cable standard used specifically in gigabit (Gb) Ethernet-based computer networks. In 2002, it was jointly defined and specified by the Electronics Industries Association and Telecommunication Industries Association (EIA/TIA).

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The Cat 6 cable is fully backward compatible with previous versions, such as the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cabling standards.

Techopedia Explains Category 6 Cable

A Cat 6 cable is used mainly for computer networks reaching a Gb, 1000 Mbps or one Gbps of data transfer speed (DTR) or higher. Characteristics are as follows:

  • Consists of four pairs of copper wires, which are all utilized for data transfer
  • Provides bandwidth of 250 MHz, speed up to 10 Gbps and may be stretched to 100 meters in length
  • Provides more enhanced crosstalk and attenuation protection than its previous twisted pair cable versions.

The Cat 6 cable is supported by Ethernet networks, including 10BaseT, 100Base-TX, 1000 Base-T and 10 GBase-T.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.