Comparing Cat-5 & Cat-6 Plugs

To maintain transmission characteristics and network integrity, it's essential to use the correct type of patch-cord to match the installation. A network port will perform only at the level of the LOWEST-rated component in the chain. If a Cat-5 or Cat-5E patch-cord is used in a Cat-6 system, only Cat-5 or Cat-5E specifications will be achieved for that circuit.

To distinguish a Cat-6 plug from a Cat-5 or a Cat-5E plug, just simply look at the way the cable's wires have been terminated at the end of the plug.
REF-cat5&6 -cat5.jpg A Cat-5 or a Cat-5E plug will ALWAYS have all eight wires in a single row
REF-cat5&6 - cat6(4-4).jpg The majority of Cat-6 plugs will have wires in two rows with four wires per row
REF-cat5&6 - cat6(6-2).jpg Some Cat-6 plugs will have wires in two rows with 6 wires in the top row and 2 wires in the bottom row.