A Guide to Cabling for Networks

Structured Cabling and home networking

In order to help you better understand how to set up the best network for your home, business, or organization, we strive to help you understand the tools needed to meet your goals. We’ve explained the difference in ethernet cables used in structured cabling and which one is right for a home network versus a campus data center. Now, we’re breaking down the types of cables used from coaxial and HDMI to straight-through and crossover cables so you can wire your home network, set up a top-tier home theater, and more!

RJ45 Pinout Connectors

The connection at the end of the cable that plugs into a device is called the RJ45 connector, an 8-pin connector that is specifically laid out to determine how the connector is terminated. There are currently only two standards recognized by ANSI and EIA/TIA for how ethernet cables are wired, T568A and T568B. Today, T568B is considered the default wiring for structured cabling, and if you’re not sure which one to choose, go with T568B.

The way you’ll tell the difference between the two cables is the RJ45 pinout layout as the layout of the individual wires is different.

A T568A RJ45 Pinout:

  • White/Green
  • Green
  • White/Orange
  • Blue
  • White/Blue
  • Orange
  • White/Brown
  • Brown

A T568B RJ45 Pinout:

  • White/Orange
  • Orange
  • White/Green
  • Blue
  • White/Blue
  • Green
  • White/Brown
  • Brown

Straight Through & Crossover Cables

There are two types of ethernet cables used to connect devices to hubs, switches, or routers: crossover cables and straight through cables.

Straight Through Cables

A straight through cable is the more common option, especially in home or smaller networks, and it’s the one you’ll typically find at the electronics store when you need an ethernet cable. This option is used to connect two different types of devices, such as a computer to a router, or in a larger network, a server to a network switch. For example, you’ll use a straight through cable to connect your computer to your router when you want a hardline rather than rely on a wireless connection.

You may see a straight through cable also called a “patch” cable because it is used to connect or “patch in” an electronic or optical device to another for signal routing. Another way to tell if you have a straight through option is that the wired pins match at both ends as both ends will have either the T568A or T568B wiring standard.

Crossover Cables

A crossover ethernet cable is less commonly used. Instead of connecting a computer to the main hub, it’s used to connect two types of the same device, such as connecting two PCs together, two switches, or two routers. They are called cross over because the wiring within the cable reverses the transmission and reception of signals – you’ll see that on one end of a cable the T568A wiring standard is used while the other end has the T568B standard.

Cables in Audio/Visual Functions

Once you have your network cabling set up, you may want to consider your audio/visual cabling to get the best quality sound and picture.

HDMI Cables

If you have an HDTV, gaming console, or Blu-Ray player, you already have an HDMI cable in your home. The HDMI standard creates a high-bandwidth connection between two digital devices and can support high-definition signals and multiple channels of uncompressed audio. The result for you is an improved picture and sound quality.

HDMI with Ethernet

The HDMI Ethernet Channel allows users to only use one ethernet cable to connect to the entertainment center. For example, instead of using individual ethernet cables to connect your TV, cable or streaming boxes (Apple TV, Roku, etc), and game console to your internet connection, you can just connect your television via HDMI with ethernet to the internet. Then, when you plug your other devices into your TV via a standard HDMI cable, the internet access will pass through to the devices. You’ll reduce cable clutter without sacrificing connection speed.

Coaxial Cables

A coaxial cable have one cable used as a shield to protect the other in order to protect and carry the signal for large distances. Because of the insulating layers and heavy shielding, they are widely used in industrial settings because they resist signal interference. On a smaller scale, coaxial cables are primarily used in homes to connect your TV to cable television. They’re also used to transmit radio frequency, video, and data signals and for decades were used to connect internet, digital audio, and even antennas to televisions.

Connect with Us for Your Cabling and Networking Needs

Whether you want to set up a more efficient, modern home network or you have a larger organization that needs updated cabling, we can help. Our experienced, licensed technicians can set up home or business networks and A/V wiring as well as design and implement complex structured cabling solutions for large organizations. To learn more about our services, schedule a consultation by calling (800) 255-5664 or filling out our contact form!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.