A very common question regarding security cameras and installs is the type of cabling to use. Currently, 2 types of wiring are widely used for IP security cameras which are Cat6 or Cat5e twisted pair cabling.
Cat5 Enhanced(cat5e) replaced the traditional Cat5 cable and introduced speeds up to ten times faster than Cat5 cable. This was considered the standard cable to use in the early 2000’s. It can handle up 1,000 Mbps of bandwidth.
Cat6 is slowly replacing the standard cat5e cable and becoming a valid choice for many network related installs. It allows for ten times the amount of bandwidth, capable of 10,000 Mbps of bandwidth. It should be noted, though, that after 165 feet Cat6 is only capable of supporting 1,000 Mbps of bandwidth, the same as cat5e
What Cable for my security cameras?
Both cables are a reliable choice for security cameras. Currently, Cat5e cable is more than enough bandwidth for most IP security cameras on the market. This makes it a great choice for most surveillance installs. Almost all IP security cameras currently use less than a 100/mbps of bandwidth making cat5e a valid choice.
|Resolution and Bandwidth||Cat5e – Remaining Bandwidth||Cat6 – Remaining Bandwidth @ less than 165 feet||Cat6 – Remaining Bandwidth @ 165 feet|
|1080P @ 5/mbps||995/mbps||9,995/mbps||995/mbps|
|4MP @ 10/mbps||990/mbps||9,990/mbps||990/mbps|
|4K @ 30/mbps||970/mbps||9,970/mbps||970/mbps|
If you are looking to future proof your install for future upgrades to your security cameras, you could use cat6, but if your cable runs are more than 165 feet, you might as well use cat5e because you will be subject to the same bandwidth. If you are looking to go even further into future proofing, you can look into cat6A which is capable of 10,000 Mbps past 165 feet.