A CAT 5 vs. a Coaxial Cable

By Chris Davis-Falco

Coaxial cable and category 5, usually referred to as CAT 5, both transmit data. Typically category 5 cable is used within a household and coaxial cable is used to bring data into a home.

Cable Housing

Coaxial cable, which is usually heavily insulated, is better suited for outdoor and underground use. Category 5 cable is usually thinly insulated and meant for indoor use.


CAT 5 cable is capable of transmitting 10 megabits per second. The maximum speed of coaxial cable is also 10 megabits per second.


The maximum certified length for a CAT 5 cable is 100 m, or 328 feet. Coaxial cable can be used for close to 1000 feet; however, the longer the coaxial cable, the slower the data transfer becomes.


Both CAT 5 and coaxial cable can be purchased in specific lengths at retail or in bulk at wholesale. Special crimping tools, wire connectors and large spools of both types of cables can be used to create cables of any desired length.


CAT 5 cable is typically 30 percent cheaper than similar quantities of coaxial cable.