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Ethernet Colors

, 21 Apr 2002
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Ethernet connections
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I have a couple of PC's at home, like (I guess) most people visiting the Codeproject. With that, I have a small network. Everything Ok here. The only thing is, I need to make some network cables sometimes, and I always forget which colors to use in what order. Which forces me to search the web to find out what colors should be where. Of course, I never bookmark a site when I found the information I need, thinking I will remember it this time. Which is a huge mistake.

Instead of teaching myself to use those handy bookmarks, I decided to write an article about the colors I should use, the next time I have to make a network cable. I hope it's useful.

The colors described below are the standard colors you'll find in a twisted-pair cable. In the examples I assume the cable has 4 pairs (or 8 aders). Actually, you only need four (4) of them. I've hear 100 MB/s will not always work with 4 aders, but I never saw this myself. I think it's best to use all 8 of them, where possible. If you use all eight, you can use it as an ISDN cable as well. The ones that are really necessary for Ethernet are marked with an asterix ('*')

Without a hub (Crossover cable)

When you only need to connect one pc to another, without a hub, you need a crossover-cable. The same is when you connect one hub to another hub, using the uplink-port.

* 1 Orange Stripe TX+ Connect with 3 Green Stripe
* 2 Orange TX- Connect with 6 Green
* 3 Green Stripe RX+ Connect with 1 Orange Stripe
  4 Blue   Connect with 8 Brown
  5 Blue Stripe   Connect with 7 Brown Stripe
* 6 Green RX- Connect with 2 Orange
  7 Brown Stripe   Connect with 5 Blue Stripe
  8 Brown   Connect with 4 Blue

With a hub (Direct connection)

Things are getting easier if you have a hub. The cable is 'straight-through', or 1:1.
* 1 Orange Stripe TX+ Connect with 1 Orange Stripe
* 2 Orange TX- Connect with 2 Orange
* 3 Green Stripe RX+ Connect with 3 Green Stripe
  4 Blue   Connect with 4 Blue
  5 Blue Stripe   Connect with 5 Blue Stripe
* 6 Green RX- Connect with 6 Green
  7 Brown Stripe   Connect with 7 Brown Stripe
  8 Brown   Connect with 8 Brown

Which pin is what?

Pin# Media Direct Interface Signal
1 TX+ Transmission
2 TX- Transmission
3 RX+ Reception
4   Not Used
5   Not Used
6 RX- Reception
7   Not Used
8   Not Used

Notice that the hook is underneath while inserting the cable.



  • There are several color conventions for wiring RJ45 plugs. Don't assume the wiring just by looking at the colors.
  • The pictures I used are on my harddisk for a couple of years. I can't remember who gave them to me, or if I have created them myself. If you're the creator of these images, please mail me.


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About the Author

Alex Marbus

Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

General8 wires and 100Mbps PinmemberBlaster8-Oct-02 10:04 
GeneralRe: 8 wires and 100Mbps Pinsussspecig24-Aug-03 22:51 
GeneralRe: 8 wires and 100Mbps PinmemberAlenCk4-Jan-04 21:09 
Generalfault in crosslinked cable PinmemberChristian Jensen19-Oct-01 0:20 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable PinmemberAlexMarbus17-Nov-01 7:56 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable PinmemberAnonymous8-Mar-02 10:02 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable PinmemberAlexMarbus22-Apr-02 7:48 
GeneralIf anyone needs other wiring schemes... PinmemberTed Crow27-Mar-01 16:29 
GeneralIn another lifetime. PinmemberErik Thompson27-Mar-01 14:02 
In another lifetime when I did network cabling and computer building we actually called the color scheme out as
White-Orange, Orange, White-Green, Blue, White-Blue, Green, White-Brown, Brown.
After you do it a dozen times you don't forget, at least for me. But if you are needing network cabling you can get cables premade from a local electronics store prepackaged for 2-3$ for a 3ft all the way up to 100ft for pretty cheap with modeled ends and covers. This is much more affordable then investing in a spool of wire, connectors, krimpers, wire strippers unless you do it for a living or have extra from wiring your house. Also saves on finger pains and fighting with the small wires to get a tight connection.
I'm not downplaying the article. It's something every programmer should know, saves helpdesk time and the like.
It's just an alternative to shelling out the cash for parts when you only need a few cables.
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberTed Crow27-Mar-01 15:48 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberAlexMarbus28-Mar-01 7:35 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberSteve McLenithan6-Dec-02 16:42 

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