Secure Checkout
No Sales Tax collected On Orders Shipping Outside NY State.
Same Day Shipping! For many in stock items if order received by 2PM EST.
No Sales Tax collected On Orders Shipping Outside NY State.

What is CART ID?
Your Shopping Cart Is Empty

Secure Checkout

Cables Blog

Shop Cables for Sale - Fiber Optic Cables, Network Cables, Outdoor Cables, Bulk Ethernet Cables, Cat6 Cables, Cat5 Cables, Cat5e Cables, Crypto Cables and Data Center Cables.

Ethernet vs. Patch Cables: What’s the Difference

Ethernet is a protocol that describes how information travels through a cable. Patch cables are compatible with the type or category of ethernet cables over which the network runs.

by VIKAS DAYAL • May 29, 2020

Patch Finder, Category 7 Ethernet Cables, Network Patch Cables, Cat5e / Cat6 Cables,

Ethernet Cables vs Patch Cables

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet is a protocol that describes how information travels through a cable. Ethernet cables are simply wires that comply with Ethernet protocols. These cables are made of copper or optical fiber. Patch cables are simply ethernet cables which have connectors at both ends. So, when comparing Ethernet cables vs. patch cables, what’s the difference? In addition to having connectors at both ends, patch cables are usually much shorter than standard Ethernet cables. Large networks with many devices, switches, routers, and “patch panels” use both long ethernet cables and shorter patch cables. Patch panels are a sort of network switchboard, with lots of ports for connecting devices to a network. These panels make it much easier to switch out or reconfigure certain devices without disturbing others. The short cords that connect devices to a network through a patch panel in a stack or network closet are called “patch cables.”


Patch Cables

Patch cables are compatible with the type or category of ethernet cables over which the network runs. This is because even though the cat6 ethernet cable is backward compatible with the cat5, the cat6 has greater bandwidth and is capable of transmitting data at higher speeds than the cat5. If a cat5 patch cable connects devices that run over a cat6 network, things might start to slow down.

Most patch cables are known as “straight through” or “pass through” cables that send signals directly from a device to a switch, router, or panel. A specialized type of patch cable is the “crossover” cable. These cables reverse the direction of sending and receiving data on one of the connectors. Ordinary ethernet patch cables connect two different types of devices, like a router to a computer or a modem to a router. However, when connecting two of the same kind of devices, like a computer to a computer, a crossover cable is necessary to allow the machines to simultaneously send and receive signals between each other. If the wiring within the cable didn’t “cross over,” or connect to different pins on one end, the signals would be trying to go in two different directions over the same wire and the signal would get nowhere.

It’s rare for a home user to need a crossover patch cable. A much more common use of patch cable is to connect a computer or laptop to a wired network through a wall jack, or a computer to a switch or router. Data centers or large structured cabling systems within large buildings or over several buildings may buy ethernet cables in bulk, running them hundreds of feet within walls or above ceilings, where they may terminate in a patch panel which then employs much shorter patch cables to connect devices.

If you need answers about regular ethernet vs. patch cables, contact and we’ll be happy to find the cables that fit your needs.

The Different Types of HDMI Connectors
Tips for Selecting a Structured Cabling Contractor

Recent Posts

Should You Buy Category 7 Ethernet Cables?
Why Are Fiber Optic Cables Blue?
How Fast is Fiber?: Fiber Optic Cable Speeds
The Best PDU Cables at
When Do You Need a Cable Splitter?
Weather-Resistant Cables in Rain or Shine
Single Mode vs. Multi Mode Fiber Optic Cable
When Do You Need a Plenum Cable?
Can Fiber Optic Cables be Installed Outdoors?
Shielded Cables for a Secure Network


> A/V Cables
> Adapters
> AI
> Apple Products
> Artificial Intelligence
> Audio/Video Cables
> Bulk Cable Company
> Cable Company
> Cable Experts Online
> Cable Suppliers
> Cable Vendors
> Cable Warehouse
> Cable Wholesalers
> Cables on Demand
> News and Information
> Cat5e / Cat6 Cables
> Category 7 Ethernet Cables
> Cell Phone Cables
> Custom Cables
> Custom Fiber Optic Cables
> Data Center
> Datacomm Cables
> Fiber Optic Cables
> HDMI Cables
> Integrator
> Internet of Things (loT)
> Keystone Jacks
> Market Reports
> MIT Technology Review
> Network Patch Cables
> Network Patch Cords
> Network Topology
> New York Cable Company
> NY Cable Company
> Online Learning
> Outdoor Cables
> Patch Finder
> Patch Panels
> Power Cables
> Power Cords
> RapidRun
> Reseller
> Shielded Ethernet Cable
> Signal Conversion
> Solution Provider
> Supply Chain
> USB 3.0 Cables
> Wholesale Cable
> Wholesale Cable Supplier


January, 2024
December, 2023
November, 2023
October, 2023
September, 2023
August, 2023
July, 2023
June, 2023
May, 2023 more archive dates
archive article list


Easy Product Returns within 30 Days and Secure Shopping for your safety.