What’s the Difference Between a Patch Cable and a Crossover Cable?


The use of cables for data transfer is still common on computer networks in homes and offices, even though wireless technologies have advanced. Network cables come in a variety of standard varieties. These include coaxial cables, twisted pairs of cables, crossover cables, optic fiber cables, ethernet cables, and many more. The patch cable and crossover cable are the two types of network cables that are used for the transfer of data. Cables with patching and crossover functions have almost matching physical characteristics, and both are types of Ethernet cable. However, how are patch cables and crossover cables different?

What are T-568A and T-568B standards?

We must first learn about T-568A and T-568B standards before we can talk about the difference between patch cable and crossover cable. Two different forms of connectivity are available for these two wiring schemes. Although many devices are compatible with both T-568A and T-568B wiring schemes, T-568B is the most common. In T-568B, both ends of a patch cable need to be wired in accordance with the same standard, and this is called a straight-through connection. Straight-through connections can be made using either of the standards. Those that aren’t are crossover connections. The Ethernet crossover cable has two connectors, one with a T-568A connector and the other with a T-568B connector. This cable is used by some networking applications. Direct connections between computers are typically made using this type of cable.

What Is a Patch Cable?

Professionals refer to straight-through cables as patch leads. Another way of describing a straight cable is as a patch cable. Patch cables are not switched or changed as they travel along. T-568A or T-568B are the same wiring standards used on both ends. This means that the patch cable wire colors are the same on both sides (connector A and connector B).

What Is a Crossover Cable?

Crossover cables are those that switch from one end to the other as they travel from one end to the other. T568A and T568B are the two most common wiring standards for crossover cables, while patch cables use only one: T568A. Connector A and Connector B must have pins that are the same color in order to use a crossover cable.

When to use patch cables and crossover cables?

A crossover cable establishes communication between two devices that have the same functionality, such as a computer and a computer, or a switch and a switch.

A patch cable most commonly connects two devices, such as PCs and switches. Below are some examples where we use patch cables.

Scenario 1: Computer to computer

They can communicate with each other if they are directly connected. Thus, if two computers are using the same TX (Transmitting) wire to transmit a signal, their signals will interfere with each other. In addition, RX (Receiving) transmission is not supported. As a result, no information can be retrieved. The crossover cable is now required to connect two PCs.

Scenario 2: Computer to Switch to Computer

When two computers are connected to the same switch, what happens? The switch works by transmitting data between two computers, so it automatically crosses the wires. We don’t have to worry about the cable crossing. When PC 1 transmits a signal on its TX (Transmitting) wire, the switch receives it on its RX (Receiving) wire, and when PC 2 transmits a signal on its TX wire, the other PC receives this signal on its RX wire. It works both ways. As a result, when connecting switches to PCs, patch cables can be used.



Overall, when choosing a patch cable or crossover cable, it is important to consider the wiring and the context in which it will be used. Cable Source Pty Limited provides a wide range of patch leads to meet your requirements.

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