Determining ethernet wire category/speed


I moved into a home that has Ethernet cables in the walls and all my computer's are gigabyte Ethernet ports, same as my router and the cables I use to connect my PC to the Ethernet ports in the wall, however the Ethernet cables used to wire the home are not accessible from the home

How do I run a test of some kind, or do something to be able to find out what the Ethernet cable is, cat5 or 5e or cat6?
Is there any equipment or anything I can do to figure out what kind of cable was used to do the Ethernet wiring in the home before I moved here?
I can't figure out the cables in the walls are even capable of doing more then 100mb and my internet speed is 1GB And I have 9 computer's wired thru the internet eternet wiring of the home by plugging the computers into the Ethernet ports in the wall of the home (they all go to one central location where the router is)

Pls help, I want to clearly find out what type of Ethernet the home is wired with, and if I'm even able to use the full 1GB if my home is wired with old Cat5 cables that can't handle the full 1gb internet speed I'm paying for

Please help!

Best Answer

Here are some physical differences :

  • The cable type is usually printed very small all along its length, so you might try pulling them out if there is slack, unscrewing the jack if possible.
  • Cat6 is 24 gauge instead of 22 so will look larger.
  • RJ45 connectors on Cat6 are shielded with metal while Cat5 are transparent.
  • Cat5/5e/6/6a cables are round and smooth while cat3 is likely lumpy and often with kinks or non-smooth radius bends.
  • The number of twists in the green pair is same as the orange and blue pairs for cat5e, but same as the brown pair for cat5.

If this is not enough to identify the cables, you might post here some photos. You might also possibly have cables of different type along the chain. I believe cat 6 is really needed for gigabyte.