Cat 5

Updated: 12/10/2023 by Computer Hope
Cat 5 cable

Alternatively known as an Ethernet cable or LAN cable, a Cat 5 or category 5 is a network cable that consists of four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by an RJ-45 connector. The picture shows an example of a Cat 5 cable.

Cat 5 cable is used in home and business networks, providing data transmission speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The maximum recommended length of a Cat 5 cable is 100 meters. Exceeding this length without the aid of a bridge or other network device could cause network issues, including data packet loss and data transmission speed degradation.

Wire order in a Cat 5 cable

A Cat 5 cable contains 8 wires and has a specific wire order. If the wires are in a different order, the cable does not work. There are two standards, T568A and T568B, for the order of the wires. Each standard is similar in performance and does not provide an advantage over the other. However, you must use the same wire order on each end of the Cat 5 cable.

The tables and images below display the color and order of the wires in a Cat 5 cable, for each wiring standard.

Wire colors and order in a Cat 5 cable

How to remove a Cat 5 cable

  1. Locate the Cat 5 cable; it should be on the back or side of your laptop or PC.
  2. Grasp the cable connector as close to the port as you can.
  3. You should feel a tab on the top or bottom (it may be under a rubber cable end coating). Depress the tab and pull the cable out.

When attempting to disconnect the cable always pull by the connector and not the cable (wire). Pulling on only the cable may pull the wires out of the connector.


The cable should come out very easily. If it doesn't, you haven't pressed the tab down far enough.

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