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Posted 26 Mar 2001


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Ethernet Colors

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21 Apr 2002
Ethernet connections


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.

*1Orange StripeTX+Connect with3Green Stripe
*2OrangeTX-Connect with6Green
*3Green StripeRX+Connect with1Orange Stripe
 4Blue Connect with8Brown
 5Blue Stripe Connect with7Brown Stripe
*6GreenRX-Connect with2Orange
 7Brown Stripe Connect with5Blue Stripe
 8Brown Connect with4Blue

With a hub (Direct connection)

Things are getting easier if you have a hub. The cable is 'straight-through', or 1:1.
*1Orange StripeTX+Connect with1Orange Stripe
*2OrangeTX-Connect with2Orange
*3Green StripeRX+Connect with3Green Stripe
 4Blue Connect with4Blue
 5Blue Stripe Connect with5Blue Stripe
*6GreenRX-Connect with6Green
 7Brown Stripe Connect with7Brown Stripe
 8Brown Connect with8Brown

Which pin is what?

Pin#MediaDirect Interface Signal
4 Not Used
5 Not Used
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.

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About the Author

Alex Marbus
Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

General8 wires and 100Mbps Pin
Blaster8-Oct-02 9:04
MemberBlaster8-Oct-02 9:04 
GeneralRe: 8 wires and 100Mbps Pin
specig24-Aug-03 21:51
Memberspecig24-Aug-03 21:51 
GeneralRe: 8 wires and 100Mbps Pin
AlenCk4-Jan-04 20:09
MemberAlenCk4-Jan-04 20:09 
Generalfault in crosslinked cable Pin
18-Oct-01 23:20
suss18-Oct-01 23:20 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable Pin
AlexMarbus17-Nov-01 6:56
MemberAlexMarbus17-Nov-01 6:56 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable Pin
8-Mar-02 9:02
suss8-Mar-02 9:02 
GeneralRe: fault in crosslinked cable Pin
AlexMarbus22-Apr-02 6:48
MemberAlexMarbus22-Apr-02 6:48 
GeneralIf anyone needs other wiring schemes... Pin
Ted Crow27-Mar-01 15:29
professionalTed Crow27-Mar-01 15:29 
GeneralIn another lifetime. Pin
Erik Thompson27-Mar-01 13:02
sitebuilderErik Thompson27-Mar-01 13:02 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. Pin
Ted Crow27-Mar-01 14:48
professionalTed Crow27-Mar-01 14:48 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. Pin
AlexMarbus28-Mar-01 6:35
MemberAlexMarbus28-Mar-01 6:35 
GeneralRe: In another lifetime. Pin
Steve McLenithan6-Dec-02 15:42
MemberSteve McLenithan6-Dec-02 15:42 

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