What is a patch cable?
This 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.
What is an Ethernet Patch cable?
Ethernet is 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 fibre optic cable, twisted pair or coaxial cable.
In most cases, in Ethernet cable vs patch cable, both are more or less same, however, the former refers to the flow of information across locations while latter is usually for shorter distance i.e. “patch” from the 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 Patch cable vs Ethernet Cable 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.
Patch Cable vs Ethernet Cable
Below table clearly elaborates the comparison on Patch Cable vs Ethernet Cable –
|PARAMETER||PATCH CABLE||ETHERNET CABLE
|Purpose||Patch cable is required for connecting Router or Switch through the patch panel. It is mostly used in wiring or office closets||Ethernet cables are required to connect devices over long distances (Copper or Fiber)
|Length||Smaller than a general purpose Ethernet Cable.||Mostly longer than patch cables.
|Types||Can be for –|
Optical Fiber cables
|Can be for –
Optical Fiber cables
|Termination||Connectors at both ends of patch cable||May not have connectors at both ends and could be terminated on the device directly.
|Attenuation||Patch cable is stranded for flexibility and attenuation (signal loss) is higher on patch cords than solid cable||Since Ethernet cables are structured, hence experience less attenuation compared to Patch cables, therefore used for longer distance.
Download the difference table here.
Related- CAT6 vs CAT6A vs CAT7
Related – Control Panel vs Data Plane