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What is the difference between crossover and straight-through Ethernet?

Ethernet patch cables usually come in two different main wiring configurations - Straight-Through and Crossover. Your specific need or the application will determine which type of cable would be best for what you are trying to achieve in your network, home office, or data center setup.

Straight-Through Patch Cables

Straight through cables provide a connection that only allows one end to communicate at any given moment. These cables are the most common. They are best when connecting two different types of networking equipment. For instance, they are appropriate for connecting a computer to a switch, router or printer.

Crossover Patch Cables

For applications where both devices are similar, a crossover cable is necessary so both can communicate at the same time. For example, with a straight-through cable, two computers would attempt to use the same channel to transmit information, essentially canceling one another out. This would not be the case with a crossover patch cord. Crossover cables have two different siring standards: T568A and T568B. T568A is preferred since it provides backward compatibility to one pair or two pair wiring configurations.

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