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I have a router configured as access point and connecting to the host router with four wire twisted pair cable which looks like below:

enter image description here

I have some doubts regarding this:

  1. What type/sub type of this cable is?
  2. What are its speed limits?
  3. Now that this network is giving me some trouble, local network guy is advising me to replace the cable with CAT6 cable. Will CAT6 cable provide me any speed or any other benefit over this four wire cable?
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    That looks likes a spec violating "split" cable -- one 4-pair cable with two crimps on each end... "one cable, two connections!" (there was infrastructure products that did that at the patch panel back in the 70s and 80s)
    – Ricky
    Aug 9, 2021 at 20:35
  • Didnt get you. Also, I guess what kind of cable it is as explained in this comment.
    – Maha
    Aug 10, 2021 at 16:07

2 Answers 2

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A Cat-x cable is 4-pair (8 wires). Your cable is nothing of that. Pairs 1-3 and 2-6 are the minimum cabling for 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX, unfit for 1000BASE-T.

If you had a 4-pair cable then you could check its grade on the sleeve. No sleeve printing means it's voice-grade (Cat-3 at best, possibly suitable for 10BASE-T).

A Cat-5 cable supports up to 1000BASE-T, 10GBASE-T requires Cat-6A. Cat-6 can run 10GBASE-T for short runs (out of spec) but provides no benefit over Cat-5 for 1000BASE-T.

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  • Just to note, I guess mine is Straight Through (4-wire) Economy Patch Cable as explained on this page. Some more details on patch cables here. This used to give me 10 Mbps speed for several years. Never saw speed going above 10 Mbps. But at location where I live 10 Mbps is considered descent. Though I believe it will soon be considered slow as local ISPs have slowly started replacing infra for higher speeds.
    – Maha
    Aug 10, 2021 at 16:05
  • @Maha Depending on the cable grade, a two-pair "economy" cable may work fine for 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX. But it won't ever support 1000BASE-T which is just about the standard in on-topic business networks. Note that home networking is explicitly off-topic here, see the help center. And of course, a 10 Mbit/s port won't ever link any faster, regardless of cable type.
    – Zac67
    Aug 10, 2021 at 16:41
  • Yup, I was just curious about this cable, because quick google didnt reveal anything initially.
    – Maha
    Aug 10, 2021 at 18:12
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You need 8 wires (4 pairs) to use 1000Base-T. So it probably makes sense to replace the cabling so you can have all 8 wires.

It probably won't make a difference whether you use CAT-5 or CAT-6. Use whichever one the installer has.

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