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Glossary: Ethernet Crossover Cable

A ethernet crossover cable is special kind of network cable which allows two network devices to communicate without the need for a switch or hub.

For those of you who have tried to set up an IP camera by plugging it directly into your computer you will have found that the two devices will not communicate. This is because network devices expect to be plugged into a switch to control the transfer of data, rather than directly into another device. A crossover cable will allow you to do this.

Ethernet cable is made up of 8 wires. With a standard Ethernet cable they are arranged in the same order from one device to the next. However, four of the wires are switched with each other in an Ethernet crossover cable. This allows the two devices to connect with each other as if an Ethernet switch and two straight cables were being used.

Ethernet cables are usually defined by having plugs which are a different colour to the rest of the cable (see image below), but you can usually tell a crossover cable apart from an ordinary ‘straight’ cable by the wire positioning within the connector.

Ethernet crossover cable for use with Ethernet networks

Published on August 15th, 2008 by James Drinkwater

2 Responses to “Glossary: Ethernet Crossover Cable”

  1. raghav says:

    sir which cable i should use to connect my ip camera with cisco switch..i.e. straight or cross over cable?

  2. James Drinkwater says:


    To connect your camera with a switch you would use a straight cable. You would only use a crossover if you were connecting your camera directly to your computer.