Crossover Cable vs. Ethernet Cable

Crossover Cable vs Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cable is normally divided into crossover cable and straight through cable by different networking applications. Straight through cable is a type of common Ethernet cable and is widely used, while crossover cable is a special Ethernet cable type. Therefore, when doing a comparison of crossover cable vs. Ethernet cable, it is actually the comparison between Ethernet crossover cable and straight through cable (referred as Ethernet cable in this post).

ethernet-cable

Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cable/straight through cable such as Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cable, etc. is a type of twisted pair cable primarily used in local area networks to connect two different types of devices such as in the following situations:

  • A computer to a cable/DSL modem’s LAN port
  • A computer to a switch/hub’s normal port
  • A router’s WAN port to a cable/DSL modem’s LAN port
  • A router’s LAN port to a switch/hub’s uplink port
  • Connect 2 switches/hubs with one of them using an uplink port and the other one using normal port

Actually, when it comes to crossover cable vs. Ethernet cable, it is inevitable to think of their wiring system. As we know, T568A and T568B are two standards recognized by ANSI, TIA and EIA for wiring Ethernet cables. They differ in the order of the 8 cable colors. For T568A, the color order of the 8 pins are white, green, white orange, blue, white blue, orange, white brown, and brown from pin 1 to pin 8 respectively. While, in T568B wiring standard, there are two color order exchanges compared with T568A, pin 1 in exchange for Pin 3 and pin 2 in exchange for Pin 6.

t568a-t568b-wiring-standard

Straight through cable uses the same wiring standard on both ends. That is, both ends (connector A and connector B) use T568A wiring standard or both ends use T568B wiring standard with the same color.

ethernet-cable-wiring-scheme

Crossover Network Cable

Crossover cable such as Cat5, Cat5e crossover cable, etc. is a type of twisted pair cable used to connect two devices of the same type such as “DTE to DTE” or ”DCE to DCE” in the following situations:

  • One computer to another computer
  • One switch to another switch connecting a normal port on both sides
  • One hub to another hub connecting a normal port on both sides
  • A router’s LAN port to a switch/hub’s normal port

Different from straight through Ethernet cable, crossover network cable uses two different wiring standards on both ends (connector A and connector B). One end uses the T568A wiring standard, and the other end uses the T568B wiring standard.

crossover-cable-wiring-scheme

Conclusion

In short, the similarity of crossover cable vs. Ethernet cable comparison is obvious. Both Ethernet cable and crossover cable abide by T568A and T568B wiring standards with 8 different color pins on each side of the connector. While, the former one connects two different types of devices to each other such as “a computer to a switch” and the latter one connects two devices of the same type to each other such as “one computer to another computer”.

Related article: Guide for Choosing the Suitable Ethernet Cables