If the type of cable is not printed on the side you will not be able to know for sure. If they are older then I would bet they are CAT-5.
What do you want to do? If you are worried about using them with Gigabit Ethernet I would not be. Unless the cables are smashed, run out to the garage and back, and wrapped around the microwave twice they should work well enough for normal use.
Depending on the length of your runs , you'd probably not notice.
I use certified cat6 exclusively on my network , but then I want every kb/sec I can get , and I want to be able to eliminate cables as a source of trouble.
The physical difference between cat5e and cat6 is so small you might not notice.The wire diameter is a little bigger with cat6 , and the twist rates are more tightly controlled with cat6 ( this helps eliminate 'crosstalk').
Cat5e and Cat6 are not inherently shielded (UTP) however STP versions are available for both.The Cat7 standard is inherently shielded with both foil on each pair , and the cable as a whole.
Just out of curiosity the 5e cabling i have at my local shop sells Cat 5e rated at 350mhz am i right to assume that it transfers speeds of up to 350mbs a second with that? and how much faster is Cat 6? 350 MHZ
Level 5 Enhanced / Level 6
Transmits at up to 350 Mbps
Compatible with 10 Base T / 100 Base T networks Straight - through
Solid core wire
thats the info it shows all ma cables around aboot 6 years old so im wonderin
You either have a 100M adapter or a 1G adapter (in any semi/modern computer). They are not going to go faster than their rating. They do not sense the cable or know anything about it. They just put their signal on the line and retransmit if something does not work. If the cable is crap, too long, damaged, or otherwise not up to snuff you will get less than the rating but better cable will never give you more.
The cable is largely irrelevant for short distances (<30M) unless it is damaged or not properly wired. These ratings and standards are designed to guarantee proper functioning in offices where you have bundles of a hundred drops in the cable tray all chattering and cross talking and maximum lengths to get to the far cubes. If you need to wire an office of 500 wage slaves then you need to get certified. If you want to lay some patches on the floor of your rental apartment then just about anything will do.
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