Patch Cable word has been taken from keyword “patch in”, ie to “patch” a signal from one hub / switch, or router to another hub / switch, or router for signalling and traffic flow. Patch cable can also be used to connect the patch panel to switch or a hub. Patch cables are often used for short distances in offices and wiring closets. Ethernet patch cable can link a computer to a network hub or a router which is useful for constructing home computer networks.
Ethernet is a basically a protocol, which defines how bits of information travel over a particular medium (medium can be Copper, Fiber or Coaxial). The cable such as fiber optic cable, twisted pair or coaxial cable.
In most cases, the Ethernet cable and patch cable are more or less same, however the former refers to flow of information across locations while latter is usually for shorter distance i.e. “patch” from patch panel to switch. The reason for shorter distance supported by patch cables is because they are stranded for flexibility and attenuation is higher which leads to shorter distance support to signal. Another significant difference between both is that Patch cables have connectors at both ends for terminating different types of devices while Ethernet cables may not have connectors and could terminate devices directly on their inbuilt interfaces.
Below table clearly elaborates difference between Patching cable and Ethernet Cable –