Straight-through Cable Definition

Straight-through cable is a type of twisted pair copper wire cable for local area network (LAN) use for which the RJ-45 connectors at each end have the same pinout (i.e., arrangement of conductors).

It is identical to crossover cable, except that in the latter the wires on the cable are crossed over so that the receive signal pins on the connector on one end are connected to the transmit signal pins on the connector on the other end.

Straight-through cable is also commonly referred to as patch cable. However, this might be confusing in some situations because patch cable also has a broader definition that emphasizes the fact that there is a connector on each end rather than the equality (or lack thereof) of the pinouts.

Straight-through cable is used to connect computers and other end-user devices (e.g., printers) to networking devices such as hubs and switches. It can also be used to directly connect like devices (e.g., two hubs or two switches) if the cable is plugged into an uplink port on one (but not both) of the devices. Crossover cable is used to connect two like devices without the use of an uplink port.

Created October 29, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.