Click here to Skip to main content
11,410,174 members (61,441 online)
Click here to Skip to main content

Ethernet Colors

, 21 Apr 2002
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
Ethernet connections
<!------------------------------- STEP 1 --------------------------->


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.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


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 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberTed Crow27-Mar-01 15:48 
Being the networking "guru" that I have become over the many years in the field, I have all the major cabling sequences memorized myself.

I actually prefer to make my own cables rather than have to deal with the questionable quality of those $2 patch cables you can buy at office supply stores and whatnot. If you are just doing a quickie home network, they're fine. But if you are setting up a mission critical server, you need to know that those cables can really be relied upon.

It helps to know how the cables are wired in case one of those "Super-Snag-Proof HI-Performance Injection-Molded Brand-X" RJ-45s gets pinned between a couple of bookshelves and just pops off. Dead | X|

I keep a spool and a bag of RJ45s right here in my little home datacenter for just such an emergency. Heck, 50 bucks and I have all the patch cables I'll ever use (here anyway). Cool | :cool:

GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberAlexMarbus28-Mar-01 7:35 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. PinmemberSteve McLenithan6-Dec-02 16:42 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web01 | 2.8.150414.5 | Last Updated 22 Apr 2002
Article Copyright 2001 by Alex Marbus
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2015
Layout: fixed | fluid