Currently Cat5E is the new cabling standard according to the NEC (National Electric Code). While top transfer speeds for Cat5E top out at around 350MB on a Gigabit switch there are lots of packet loss. However Cat6 is designed for transfer rates of 1000MB per secound and it is not recommended to use Cat5E with a Gigabit switch unless you have a managed switch. Cat5 is now a substandard practice for cabling and is not up to your local code. It is also very important to understand what Plenum (PLM) cable is and why using it in areas that share common breathable air in your office or home can save your life and many others. The most common thing people die from in a fire is not the fire itself it is the inhalation of toxic fumes from things like PVC cabling and PVC pipe and conduit it is very important to understand safety standards.

It is still common practice to use cat3 25-pair as backbone cabling but mostly for analogue uses.

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