I will change the switch to Cat6 next week, but I need the net to work with the old switch for a few days.

What happens when you plug a Cat6 cable to a cat5 port ?

  • 1
    nothing. Those standards are compatible with each other. Element with the lowest version of standards will determine the performance. – Máté Juhász Mar 9 '18 at 8:47
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    Cat5 and Cat6 are cabling standards -- there are Cat5 patch panels, but where in the world does one find a Cat5 switch? – user1686 Mar 9 '18 at 13:18

What makes Cat 5 and 6 cables different are their electrical specifications and therefore signal transmission capabilities. Category 6 cable has better specifications than 5 or 5e, enabling it to so support faster data transmission when installed with compatible devices.

However, Cat 6 cable is backward compatible with previous specifications, and it can be deployed in networks using older hardware without problems. In fact, it's typical to use newer cabling types when upgrading a physical network infrastructure, even though the hardware is still using older standards. This is how a network admin can get newer cable installed in preparation for a future time when newer hardware will be deployed.

Bottom line: You can do what you're planning and it will work just fine.


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