Crossover cables vs. Cat 5e patch cables

by | Apr 2, 2014 | electrical and electronic

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Ethernet cables are used in a LAN, local area network, to connect the various components together. These cables are primarily categorized as being crossover cables of Cat 5 patch cables. Although to the uninitiated they look identical, they are different and they each play their own role in the network. It is very important that when you are building a network that you select the right cable to ensure the network devices function properly.

Patch cables:

Cat 5e patch cables are straight through cables made from cat 5e Ethernet cable and both ends are made up in a similar manner. Most Ethernet cables used in a LAN are regular, straight through cables and to be more specific, most are car 5e patch cables.

Although Ethernet cable is available made to the specifications of Cat 5, Cat 5e and Cat 6, the most common are Cat 5e. This cable allows for 10/100/1000 connections which are commonly known as Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Gigabyte Ethernet. A Cat 5 patch cable only supports 10/100 and although a Cat 6 cable also supports 10/100/1000 connections, it is considerably more expensive cable which makes them ideally suited for both home and office installations. Originally Ethernet patch cables were made from Cat 3 cable but this spec had a great deal of cross-talk and was soon replaced with Cat 5.

From a speed point of view, Cat 5 supports 100 Mbps; Cat 5e also supports 100 Mbps but can come close to or hit 1 Gbps, the same as the certified Cat 6 cable. Because Cat 5e can hit the same benchmarks it is favored even though this cable cannot be certified as such. Rarely does a network operate at full speed so Cat 6 gives no real benefits.

Crossover cables:

When you look at a crossover cable it is difficult to see any difference to a patch cable. The difference lies within the wire connections, the sequence of connections on a crossover cable is different than a patch cable but they both use the identical Cat 5e cable. Crossover cables are often used when networking two devices temporarily where there is no available router, hub or switch. In the past it was important to use the correct cable for the correct task but modern broadband routers can identify crossover cables and make working with other devices possible.

have a wide variety of Cat 5e patch cables available which help keep your network running to peak performance.


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