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Are Cat 5 Crossover Cables Interchangeable?

1978 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  masta.g.86
The title says it all. Are crossover cables "backwards compatible" to patch cables?

I have used two separate cables between my PC and a router, and also between my PC and another PC (direct connect). I am not sure if the cables are crossover or patch, but they worked in both cases. I know common sense would suggest that these are crossover cables if they worked to direct connect, and that crossover cables work as patch cables, but I'm not big on networking, and I'm not sure if connecting one PC to mine and having it being able to access the internet is a sure thing that these were even crossover cable.

I've long since needed a longer cable, but one had an accident and rather than get another 25ft one to directly replace it, I figured I'd just get a 50ft one. Well, I found a decent price on a 100ft crossover cable so I figured that'd be even better, but I'm not sure if it'll work being crossover.

It will be used to connect my the router to a switch I am purchasing (which will then be connected to two PCs via two standard patch cables). Will this work? Or do I need 3 patch cables (I'm pretty sure the two that go from the switch to the two PCs need to be regular patch and not crossover cables)?
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RJ45 ends are transparent. Look at the wires on both ends. Are they in the same order? Straight. Not? Crossover.

Most network devices auto-cross so people, for the most part, can stick with straight cables. Crossovers are still required in some situations, but not often.
I was asking because I'm intending on purchasing a cable I found on Newegg. It's a 100ft Cat 5E Crossover for like $16, compared to the ~$30 they want for 50ft cables (I presume not crossover) at stores in the area. I just wanted to make sure a crossover cable was "backwards compatible" for straight use before I get it. I intend to use the cable to connect the router I currently have to a switch I'll be purchasing, and from what I've read, that's where a crossover cable is usually used anyway, no? Two additional straight cables will connect said switch to two PCs. I want to know if the crossover cable will work before I get it.
Completely depends on the network device. Most devices will de-tard mistakes like wrong cables for you, but not all of them will.

For only $7.28 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 100FT 350MHz UTP Cat5e RJ45 Network Cable - Black | Cat5e Straight Cable - 100ft
I'm also grabbing a switch and two other cables too, so I presume the difference in price will be mostly lost with having to pay for shipping twice, but I'll look more into that later tonight. I see cables are cheaper there overall, but unless I can find a switch for the same price or less as the one I'm getting at Newegg, which is this one, it's probably not really worth it for a few extra dollars.
Crossover cables are not "backwards compatible" per se, but most newer devices will de-cross them automatically. Most older devices won't though.
I was asking because I'm intending on purchasing a cable I found on Newegg. It's a 100ft Cat 5E Crossover for like $16, compared to the ~$30 they want for 50ft cables (I presume not crossover) at stores in the area.
Why not just buy a regular straight cable from NewEgg for about the same price as the crossover cable (when S/H are factored in)?
more than $4 dollars for any kind of cat5 network cable is a steal btw.

edit: nvm, its a 100ft cable. It's still a steal though.
Yeah, I was looking around, and I noticed there's alot more options than I first saw.

I have another question now. I see that Cat 6 cables aren't much more expensive. I read up the differences between Cate 5E and Cat 6, and I seem to be under the impression that Cat 6 can carry more data, more efficiently, and with less errors, or something along the lines of those things. If the connection to the internet is, by far, the limiting factor on speed, and not the cable itself, are Cat 6 cables still worth it? They're only a few bucks more.
Cat6 provides less crosstalk over longer distances and from what I've experienced is only really necessary for lengths over 400ft. If your top speed is 100Mbps full duplex and the length is under 400ft., then Cat6 isn't necessary.
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