Guide to Ethernet Cables

Ethernet Cable : What is it?

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables transmit data between computers in an Ethernet network. They are a type of coaxial cable, consisting eight conductor wires and an RJ-45 connector at either end. The wires are twisted into four pairs and usually color-coded. Ethernet cables have a maximum transfer rate of 10 megabytes per second (Mbps), although operating speeds are also affected by the computer’s Ethernet card.

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Types of Ethernet Cables

Ethernet CablesEthernet Cables

Kinds of Ethernet Cables include the following:

Straight-through Ethernet cables

  • Straight-through Ethernet cables connect computers to an Ethernet hub or router.
  • The wires run parallel throughout the wire. The visible ends arranged identically on both connectors.
  • Each computer gets an equal bandwidth when connecting to the Internet using straight-through cables.

Crossover Ethernet cables

  • Crossover Ethernet cables connect computers directly without using a hub or switch.
  • The wire pairs are crossed from one end to the other. The colored ends are reversed when viewed on the connector.
  • They are mostly used for file sharing, although internet connection sharing is possible using specialized software.

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Choosing Ethernet Cables (Buying tips)

Insulation: Choose an Ethernet cable with a thick insulating coat to protect the wires from damage and interference. Look for a thick, waterproof coating that does not fray or tear easily. PVC coatings usually work for most applications.

Cable length: Choose an Ethernet cable that adequately covers the distance between the router, hub, and terminals. Ten to 30 feet is usually enough for desktops peer-to-peer connections. Laptops and portable devices may need longer wires for mobility.

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