Cat5e is "enhanced Cat5" rated at ~350 Mbits/sec or about 1/3 of gigabit speeds. So although the router endpoints detect signal on 4 data pairs, the actual throughput is short of gigabit speeds and thus the routers will downselect to 100 mbits (Cat5 speed). Cat5e simply means the cable passes a 350 MHz pulsed signal without too much rounding of the square waves. By passing Cat5e specification, you can be resonably sure that you will get 100 Mbit/sec speeds out of that cable.
With gigabit speeds, you really need 3 GHz performance out of that cable, and now we are talking microwave frequencies and different RF physics involved. Just like you can conduct an audio signal with a coat hanger, but not video signal, high speed ethernet requires careful attention to cable construction, crimp, bend radius, and your endpoint equipment.
When it comes to Cat 5, 5e and 6 cables, they will all physically work at 1000 base-T. This is because 10 and 100 base-T only require 2 pairs of cables, while 1000Base-T needs 4. The difference in Cat 5 and Cat 5e was the pitch of the cables to reduce cross talk. I used to think the "e" meant shielded, but I was wrong. Now Cat 6 is the industry standard for Gigabit Ethernet and is recommend for that application. Reason being while many Cat5 & 5e cables can work at 1000Base-T, some companies try to save money and drop the twist per meter to the bare minimum to save on cost thus opening up cross talk and causing packet interference on the network and over all speed. Traditionally Higher Quality 5 & 5e cables from respectable brands offer more twist per meter then that of the Cat 5 & 5e specification requires, but your taking a gamble in todays hurting market. So best to stick to Cat6 and know its gonna work.
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i never had a cat5 or cat6 cable from monoprice.com fail me, so far. by far the cheapest i've found, too
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i have a 8ft that only works with some computers, and i have a 100ft that always works that was $6
i don't have a gigabit router
can you confirm your nic can do 1gbps
The nics or switches try to negotiate a gigabit speed. If the cable is sub par, perhaps not enough twists, then they can't do it. I have read many places that loosing the twist cant exceed 1/2 inch. And a lot of the problem is in the connector.
Then there is cross talking. If they can negotiate a gigabit speed, if the cable is sub-par, there may be so much cable noise that the gigabit throughput drops or the connection speed might auto drop lower to 100. (I think I have seen it.)
So far with the trendnet 5 port gigabit switch, the connection has stayed at a 1000.
I would have to crawl under the house to string another cable and that is no fun.
I get up to 50MB/sec right now. I wonder if I could get much better than that even using a better cable.
Regarding cat 6 terminations, I saw you can get terminal ends where the wire passes out the end and it allows you to snug it up real tight.
So I took some ends and used a tiny drill about 1.05mm to drill a hole for it. Then was able to pass the wires out and snug it up tight perhaps less twist loss. One advantage I immediately saw was I could easily verify the color coding.
Here I fixed another cable where the end was messed up. I do have a crimper.
I have access everywhere, still have holes I cut in the garage ceiling I can use. If you draw, the big problem is from sill plate to wall in the crawl space, the cable will want to jam. The cable snakes around. it is not a direct run.
I wish the house had a full basement.