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I'm going to be wiring my home for ethernet soon, and I've already decided that I want to use Cat6 cable to do it (faster speeds, better performance, etc). During the installation, I'd like to add wall-plates to certain rooms in my house, and the keystone blocks look like the best option for me.

My question is: I've seen different keystone blocks on many cabling websites, some say Cat5e and some say Cat6. The Cat6 ones are slightly more expensive. Is there any noticeable performance gain from using a Cat6 keystone? To me, it just seems like the keystone really wouldn't matter, since it's basically like putting an RJ-45 end on a cable. Can I buy the cheaper Cat5e keystone blocks and still have the performance that Cat6 cable will give me?


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migrated from Mar 29 '12 at 16:09

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

For home use? Sure, you'll be fine. Should be asked over on SU, though. – mfinni Mar 29 '12 at 15:02
Basically, I want a blazing fast gigabit LAN. I've already grabbed a 24-port gigabit smart switch (NetGear GS724Tv2), and I want to make sure that my performance is optimal. To me, the Cat5e vs Cat6 keystone blocks just seemed like clever marketing to make you think there is a difference when there probably really isn't. I'm asking here to see if my suspicions are correct :) – Scott Anderson Mar 29 '12 at 15:08
You can do GigE on Cat5e, you don't even need Cat6. – mfinni Mar 29 '12 at 15:36
Faster speeds and better performance? Not so much. Cat6 is/was one of the biggest shams perpetrated on the networking world. Cat5 and/or Cat5e is perfectly acceptable for ethernet up to GbE. – joeqwerty Mar 29 '12 at 16:22
A Keystone block is the "jack" socket in a wall outlet, it snaps into the outlet after it's wired. – mfinni Mar 29 '12 at 18:13

If you are planning home installation and do not think of connecting your home to any Tier 3 network center with high speed (1000 Mb/s) uplink (not DSL) - probably you can save money and go only for Cat5/Cat5e. In other words, what would be use of technically advanced socket and cabling if the network device (switch/router) can only function on 100 Mb/s (and real speed of Internet connection would be even slower). But if you are thinking of hosting your own server with full connectivity to Internet - perhaps you can invest more into infrastructure.

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I'm using a 24-port NetGear GS724Tv2 as the backbone of my home network. I definitely want category 6 cable, because almost everything I own is uses gigabit ethernet, and 100 Mbps isn't fast enough when slinging around large VM images. I'm only concerned about using Cat5e keystones for the wall plates spread around my house. – Scott Anderson Mar 29 '12 at 15:06
In most cases, if the cabling done with a proper care/tool, use of Cat5e sockets enough to pass the test for Cat6/1000Base-T. In some rare cases it may fail for 1000-Base-TX. But your device do not support 1000Base-TX, only 1000Base-T. – Dada Mar 29 '12 at 15:09
Cat3  = 10MbE (Telephone wire is Cat3)
Cat5  = 100MbE
Cat5e = 1GbE
Cat6a = 10GbE
CatFa = 40GbE (100GbE up to 15m)
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