Category 5 cable, which is commonly called Cat5 or Cat5e, is a kind of twisted cable used to carry a signal. Although usable in a wide range of scenarios, the most common scenario is Ethernet. Note that the “e” in Cat5e doesn’t stand for Ethernet but rather refers to a refinement of the Cat5 specification.
Traditionally, the average computer user buys one Cat5e Ethernet cable at a time, as needed. Recently, however, it’s been much more common to purchase in a bulk. More and more homes and businesses are wiring their entire structures for wall-mounted Ethernet jacks and similar networking conveniences, and in these cases, it’s hard to beat the per-foot value of a 1000-ft. Cat5e bundle.
One of the top bundle options is CABLE-V001 by VIVO, which comes in a single 1000-foot spool of grey wire. The box includes an easy access port, which means that you can feed cable through the container without ever having the need to open it. There’s also a built-in handle on the box, which makes this package easy to carry around and a great option if you’ll need to lug it to different rooms.
Another strong option is manufactured by Dripstone and available in either classic blue or red. If you have multiple networks, then purchasing blue and red is a great way to easily distinguish them. This package can be as much as 15 percent less expensive than the VIVO bundle, but it lacks the box-mounted port and some other conveniences, so you’ll have to determine if those are worth the additional cost.
A nice middle-ground between the two above products is made by FiveStarCable, and it’s available in blue, grey, white and yellow. Like the VIVO and Dripstone options, this cable is made of copper-clad aluminum wire and formed in an unshielded twisted pair. It’s rated for 24 AWG and sparker-tested at 1,200 volts.
If you purchase Cat5e cables one at a time, then you can be paying more than a dollar a foot, and that can be cost-prohibitive when you need dozens, hundreds or even thousands of feet. In these scenarios, the 1000-ft. Cate5e options are much more cost-effective and can lower costs to $.05 per foot and even less.