Short for Category 6, Cat-6 network cabling is used as the cabling infrastructure for 10BASE-T (Ethernet), 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE) and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet, or 10 GbE) networks. The Cat 6 standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz (500 MHz for the newer Cat 6a standard) and can be used up to a maximum length of 100 meters (55 meters for 10GBASE-T networks).
The Cat 6 standard was first released in 2002 as part of the Telecommunications Industry Association’s TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 document specification. Cat 6 is backward compatible with the Cat 3, Cat 5 and Cat 5e cable standards, and as with Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling, Cat 6 cables consist of four unshielded twisted pairs (UTP) of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connectors.
In addition to its support for higher performance than the Cat 5 specification, the Cat 6 standard also includes more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. While Cat 6 is expected to supersede both Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling in the future, all three types of cables continue to be popular for use in network installations.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »What Are Network Topologies?
Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »