Crossover Cable Definition

A crossover cable is a type of twisted pair copper wire cable for LANs (local area network) in which the wires on the cable are crossed over so that the receive signal pins on the RJ-45 connector on one end are connected to the transmit signal pins on the RJ-45 connector on the other end.

This is the opposite of the usual straight-through LAN cable, in which the receive and transmit signal pins on one connector are connected to the corresponding pints on the other connector. Its purpose is to allow the direct connection of two LAN devices, such as two hubs, two switches or a hub and a switch. It can also be used to create a direct connection between two computers.

An alternative to using a crossover cable is to use a hub or switch that has an uplink port. An uplink port is a jack (i.e., a socket) for an RJ-45 connector that reverses the transmit and receive circuits. Some uplink ports have a switch that allows the user to select the mode of operation.

The physical appearance of crossover cable is generally identical to that of straight-through cable. However, when purchasing crossover cable, it is typically clearly labeled as such on the packaging.

Created October 26, 2005.
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