Patch cables and Ethernet cables are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the two.
Ethernet cables are used to connect devices to networks, such as a computer to a router. They come in a variety of types, such as Cat5, Cat6, and Cat7, which determine their speed and ability to carry data over long distances. Ethernet cables typically have eight wires, or four pairs, and use a standardized connector known as an RJ45.
Patch cables, on the other hand, are shorter Ethernet cables used to connect devices within a network, such as a computer to a switch or a patch panel. They are usually no more than a few feet in length and often come in a bright color, such as blue or yellow, to distinguish them from other cables. Like Ethernet cables, patch cables use the same RJ45 connector.
One key difference between patch cables and Ethernet cables is their length. Ethernet cables can be up to 100 meters in length, while patch cables are much shorter. This is because patch cables are designed for use within a single room or server rack, where devices are typically located close to one another.
Another difference between the two is their use. Ethernet cables are used for connecting devices to networks, while patch cables are used to connect devices within a network. For example, you might use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your router, but you would use a patch cable to connect your computer to a switch or a patch panel in a server room.
Despite their differences, patch cables and Ethernet cables are both essential for modern networking. They allow devices to communicate with one another, share data, and access the internet. Without them, we wouldn't have the connected world we know today.