RJ45 cables are essential accessories for networking devices in Ethernet connections. The cables facilitate data and power transmission, letting two or more network devices communicate flawlessly.

Nonetheless, in appearance, RJ45 cables look like other networking cables like RJ25, RJ11, and RJ14. If not careful, you can end up buying the wrong cables, which might not work harmoniously with the existing Ethernet interface or connectors.

Planet Technology USA, a leading supplier of switches and media converters, sheds light on the RJ45 cable, its color code, interface, and connectors to help you get the proper hardware for your Ethernet connections.

What Is an RJ45 Interface?

The RJ45 interface is the connector that helps you plug RJ45 cables into various ports. RJ abbreviation means the interface is standardized for connecting voice and data equipment, while 45 designates the interface’s standard number.

This Ethernet interface has eight pins, four for data transfer and another four for power transmission. Some technicians call the RJ45 interface 8P8C because the Ethernet connector has eight grooves and eight contacts.


RJ45 and RJ11 Connectors: What’s the Difference?

Though the RJ45 connector looks like the RJ11 connector, the two cables are technically different. For instance, the RJ45 connectors have eight pins and eight wires (inside the cable) and measure 6mm by 11mm. They appear wider than the RJ11 connectors.

Ethernet technicians use the RJ45 connectors for networking computers, Wi-Fi routers, fiber modems, and NBN boxes. The RJ45 connectors are standard in modern Ethernet connections since they support speeds of up to 10Gbps, letting enterprises enjoy the best-in-class data transfer speeds and bandwidth.

On the other hand, the RJ11 connector has four wires, six pins, and it measures 6mm by 9.5mm. The small size is one characteristic that differentiates it from its sibling, RJ45. Technicians use the RJ11 connector for ADSL/VDSL and telephone connections.

RJ45 Color CodeRJ45 Color Code

An RJ45 cable has eight wires twisted into four pairs, and each pair has one wire with a solid color and another striped. Color coding is an industry standard that helps technicians choose and use the right cables for the correct Ethernet ports.

Primarily, the RJ45 color codes follow two standards: T568A and T568B. The significant difference between the two standards is the assignment of pins. The T568A color code standard has its orange wires connected to pins 3 and 6, while the green color-coded wires connect to pins 1 and 2.

On the other hand, in the T568B standard, the green wires connect to pins 3 and 6, while the orange cables connect to pins 1 and 2.

T568A is the most preferred standard for RJ45 Ethernet cabling networks because it is compatible with the wiring schemes of the Universal Service Ordering Code. It is common in Ethernet cables used in Europe, the Pacific, and U.S. government offices.

The T568B color code standard is ideal for Ethernet cabling networks designed according to AT&T 258A color code standards and ANSI/TIA-568C. The T568B color code is common in U.S. business Ethernet connections.

RJ45 Cable Types

Since the inception of Ethernet, cables have undergone multiple upgrades to improve bandwidth, enhance longevity, reduce noise, and increase data transfer rates. The three major types of RJ45 cables available include Cat 5, Cat 6, and Cat 7. Here is an overview of the characteristics that make each cable different:

Cat 5 and Cat 5e

Cat 5 RJ45 cables are the oldest type, commonly used between 1995 and 2001. The cables have four pairs of twisted wires, giving a maximum data transfer speed of 10 Mbps and a bandwidth of 100 MHz.

Introduced in 2001, the Cat 5e is an improved version of the category 5 cable. This cable gained more fame than its predecessor because it had data transfer speeds of up to 100 Mbps, 10 times more than Cat 5.

Moreover, Cat 5 enhanced provided a bandwidth of 100MHz, producing low noise levels while in use.

Cat 6 and Cat 6a

The 6th generation of Ethernet cables, category 6 Ethernet cables, handle data transmission speeds of up to 1000 Mbps and a bandwidth of 250 MHz. Technicians released the edition around 2002. Unlike their predecessors, Cat 6 cables have a divider and tight twists that eliminate crosstalk.

Cat 6a Ethernet cables emphasize durability,  the primary characteristic differentiating it from its predecessor, Cat 6. The Cat 6e cables have a more robust sheathing that can endure prolonged exposure to elements, consistent use, and occasional abuse for an extended period. They are ideal for use in business and industrial settings.

Cat 6e boasts a reduced noise, a bandwidth of 600 MHz, and a 10-gigabit speed up to a distance of 100 meters.

Cat 7

Introduced in 2010, the Cat 7 RJ45 is a high-end network cable used in settings requiring high-speed internet and bandwidth, low noise interference, and superb longevity. In particular, the cables are ideal for industrial and commercial environments.

The 7th generation cable has a shield around each twisted pair to withstand the damage from regular bending and exposure to harsh elements. They also have a center cross-shaped divider to minimize crosstalks.

It can deliver up to 40 Gbps of speed for 15 meters and support network frequencies up to 600 MHz.

Cat Cable Comparison Chart

RJ45 Cable Applications

RJ45 cables are mainly used in Ethernet networks to transmit voice, data, and power. Technicians prefer the cables, especially the 6th and 7th generation versions, because they offer incredible speeds, longevity, and bandwidth.

With the speed, longevity, and bandwidth, RJ45 cables have become indispensable for setting up Ethernet connections designed to enhance telecommunication, security, productivity, collaboration, and automation.

Tech-savvy enterprises like campuses, hospitals, corporations, and large companies use the cables to interconnect various networking devices like computers, laptops, Wi-Fi routers, printers, modems, surveillance cameras, and access control systems.

Learn More About RJ45 Interface and Ethernet Connections

RJ45 cables, connectors, and interfaces are the backbone of Ethernet connections that work seamlessly. The hardware provides the means for data, power transmission, and connectivity. Basically, without them, enterprises can hardly realize the benefits of Ethernet.

However, since there is multiple Ethernet hardware all promising to do the same function, chances are you will likely face challenges getting hardware that works in tandem. That is where Planet Technology, USA, can help.

Planet Technology, USA, is the leading distributor of hardware used in Ethernet connections. It offers extenders, switches, cables, converters, and other components, designed to withstand demanding industrial or commercial use.

The premium hardware from Planet Technology has a lifetime warranty, and clients get premium support from an in-house team of engineers. Get in touch to learn everything you need to set up efficient Ethernet connections.