When someone says “ethernet” they are usually referring to standard ethernet patch cords. A standard patch cord is the most common type of ethernet and used for connecting different devices together. However, standard patch cords (also called straight-thru cords) can only connect different devices. If you need to connect a computer to something different like a modem or printer, they work fine. But if you need to connect two computers, two network switches, or any other identical electronics, you will need a crossover cable instead.

Crossover vs. Straight-Thru (Standard)

To understand the difference, we start by looking at the way ethernet cables are wired. Each cable has eight smaller wires called conductors on the inside. There are different ways to line up the conductors with the pins on RJ45 connectors, but the industry standard is T-568A and T-568B. Most cables manufactured today use the T-568B version, but some older cables with the T-568A version are still around. A straight-thru cable will use the same wiring scheme on both sides of the cable to send and receive data.

An RJ45 ethernet port can send and receive signals, allowing computers and other electronics “talk” and “listen” to each other when they transmit data through the conductors. Different devices use

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