A patch cable is one of the most important parts of ethernet LAN networks. It is used in all kinds of network applications from connecting devices together to patching devices such as IP security cameras, printers, etc, smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc.
An ethernet patch cable is the most widely used piece of ethernet networking equipment that offers great value in return compared to its cost. The types of a patch cable or cord are many, depending on the length, ethernet category, and other specifications.
Let’s find out in this blog what an Ethernet Patch Cable is and what its purpose is. Be sure to read till the end.
What is a Patch Cable?
A patch cable is a rather short ethernet cable that is designed to connect devices in a local area network (LAN). Ethernet patch cords range from half inches to several feet in length. But never more or up to 100 feet in length. Because ethernet cables with such lengths are categorized as bulk cables.
The purpose of an ethernet patch cable is to link a computer or a laptop to other computers or laptops. It also links ethernet hubs, routers, and switches to devices. Other devices that can be connected to a LAN network can also be connected/patched using a patch cord. For example, smart TVs, stereo systems, gaming consoles, CCTV cameras, etc.
History of Patch Cables
The word patch comes from ‘patching’ which in the olden days was the process of connecting equipment as a substitute for devices that had failed. So these cables were introduced almost simultaneously with twisted pair ethernet cables.
Patch cables when first introduced were not as popular as they are now. Because far more personal devices are in use today as compared to the early days of ethernet technology.
Uses of Patch Cables
Patch cables are used in a multitude of applications. But the main purpose of ethernet patch cables is to link two devices. The devices do not necessarily have to have an internet connection. Patch cords can connect devices without an internet connection only and only through an ethernet link.
In any case, the ethernet patch cables can be used for the following purposes:
- To link a device such as a computer to a router or switch and vice versa.
- To link an ethernet switch or hub to a router and vice versa.
- To link two devices such as two desktop computers or a desktop computer and a laptop together.
The above-mentioned uses are only a few of the purposes of ethernet patch cables. But they explain the logic of patch cords.
Top Patch Cables
If you are in the market for some good-quality patch cables, you are in the right place. These are the best patch cables on the market. These patch cables are produced exclusively for high performance in LAN applications. Moreover, these cables are offered in a multitude of sizes, colors, and categories.
Cat6 Patch Cable: this is a category 6 patch cable available in a wide variety of lengths ranging from 1 to 25 feet. The color options are also multiple. Available in black, green, yellow, and gray. It supports up to 10 GBit/s data transfer rates with up to 550 MHz bandwidth capacity. Also supports all high-speed ethernet applications such as 10BASE-T, 1000BASE-T, 100BASE-T, PoE, PoE+, and PoE+/++. The price of the cable is also one of the most competitive in the market starting at only $1.99.
Cat5e Patch Cable: this patch cable is an enhanced category 5 cable. With data transfer rates reaching up to 1 GBit/s and bandwidth supported at up to 350 MHz, this patch cord can be used for a variety of LAN applications. It is standardized by EIA/TIA and terminated in RJ45 Connectors and keystone jacks as per the ANSI/EIA/TIA T568 A and T568B wiring schemes. The price for the 25 feet patch cable starts at only $25.
How to make your own patch Cable?
If you want to have a little adventure, you can make your own patch cables. Making your own patch cables is easy and it can be a fun activity if you know how to pull it off. To do so, you will need an Ethernet cable, a pair of pliers, RJ45 connectors, and a crimping tool.
Once you have all the tools and the cable, it’s time to start making some patch cables.
First, decide the lengths in which you want the patch cables. Then cut the cables at the appropriate lengths. Be sure to cut the cable an inch or two longer than your requirement.
Once you have cut the cable, cut half an inch of the jacket on both of its ends and untwisted the conductor pairs. Now, peel the insulation off of the conductor wires.
Once the insulation has come off, align them as per the T568 A or T568 B wiring scheme and insert them into the RJ45 connector. Once inside, use the crimping tool to splice the 8 wires with the 8 contacts of the connector. Squeeze the crimping tool tightly and squeeze twice for unbreakable connections.
You now have your own ethernet patch cable. You can enjoy seamless connections with it.
Which Patch Cable I Need and How to Buy?
Buying ethernet patch cables is easy and simple. First, you need to know which ethernet patch cables you need for your unique requirements. For instance, you will need the Cat5e or Cat6 patch cable for use in the home and office applications, respectively. And for data center and server room applications, you will need the Cat8 or Cat7 cables.
Always be sure to buy the cable from a well-reputed store. Because a bad patch cable can be a headache. Regular interruptions in the connection and slow speeds are intolerable.