Cat5 Network and Computer Cables, Patch Cables, Cat5 Cat5e Cables and Leads
You may think there is just one type of CAT5 cable? Well you would be wrong. In the main as a home or small office user you dont need to worry too much about the different standards. They are important for large installations and where the enviroment and other conditions play a factor.
Different CAT5 cables avalaible:
Stranded CAT5e primarily used for building patch cables. The core of the conductor (the centre of the cable) is comprised of many strands of copper so that the cable can be flexed repeatedly without the copper cores of the conductors breaking.
Solid CAT 5e primarily used for in wall/permanent applications. The copper cores of the conductors are comprised of one single solid strand of copper. This allows the cable to carry signals over longer distances but due to the fact that the cable has solid copper conductors it can not be flexed too many times without the copper cores breaking.
Plenum CAT 5e is primarily used for in wall/permanent applications where the local building codes require that plenum cable be used. Plenum cable is essentially the same as solid cable except the jacket is comprised of a PVC. This coating on plenum cable is a low smoke/flame retardant jacket that reduces the amount of toxic fumes that are released in the event of the jacket being burned.
Info: For connecting a PC to a device or device to device (not PC to PC) you will need a stright-through cable. If it doesnt say it is likely it is of these type.
If you wish to connect a PC to a PC for file transfer etc you will need a CAT 5 crossover cable.
Booted or Unbooted?
Its really down to your prefrence and the location where the cable will be used. The cost is so slight Iwould always ensure you choose booted cables. Booted cables make snagging less likely and often allow you easier access to connect or disconnect the cable from the port.