The Simple Answer:

Cat5E is rated for 100Mhz

Cat6 is rated for 250Mhz

Cat6A is rated for 500Mhz


Cable Type
Speed
Max Distance
Cat5E
10/100/1000Mbps
100 meters

10GB
15 meters
Cat6
10/100/1000Mbps
100 meters

10GB
30 meters
Cat6A
10/100/1000Mbps
100 meters

10GB
30 meters



The Detailed Answers:


Cat5E

  • The "E" in Cat5E stands for "Enhanced"
  • TIA Complaint
  • TIA Standard 100Mhz
  • 10/100/1000Mbps up to 100m
  • 10Gbps up to 15m
  • 4 Pair, 100% Copper, 24 AWG
  • Ultra Flexible


Cat6

  • TIA Complaint¬†
  • TIA Standard 250Mhz
  • More tightly wound than those of its predecessor
  • 10/100/1000Mbps up to 100m
  • 10Gbps up to 30m
  • 4 Pair, 100% Copper, 24 AWG
  • Ultra Flexible
  • Skinny 28AWG version also available


Cat6A

  • The "A" in Cat6A stands for "Augmented"
  • TIA Complaint¬†
  • TIA Standard 500Mhz - Twice that of the Cat6
  • 10/100/1000Mbps up to 100m
  • 10Gbps up to 30m
  • Cat6A cables are almost always shielded in addition to their thick sheathing. These together are enough to almost eliminate crosstalk completely
  • The thick sheathing makes these less flexible than Cat6 cables
  • 4 Pair, 100% Copper, 26AWG


Shielding Options:


The first thing you need to understand is the lingo:

  • TP = Twisted Pair
  • U = Unshielded
  • F = Foil Shield
  • S = Screen Shield


This Table explains the different cabling types available:


Shielding Category
Description
Overall Cable Shielding
Twisted Pair Shielding
UTP or U/UTP
Ushielded Twisted Pair
None
None
F/UTP
Overall Foil Shield
Foil Shielding
None
U/FTP
Each Pair Shielded
None
Foil Shielding
S/FTP
Each Pair Shielded + Overall Screen Shield
Screen Shield
Foil Shielding
SF/UTP
Overall Foil Shield + Overall Screen Shield
Foil and Screen Shielding
None
F/FTP
Overall Foil Shield + Each Pair Shielded
Foil Shield
Foil Shield



Sample Images:


UTP:

F/UTP:


U/FTP:




S/FTP: