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Posted 12 Apr 2012
Licenced CPOL

Ethernet Colors

, 13 Sep 2013
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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, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.

His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.

He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.

Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralGood work Pin
Akinmade Bond12-Nov-13 21:03
professionalAkinmade Bond12-Nov-13 21:03 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Casey Sheridan25-Sep-13 4:20
professionalCasey Sheridan25-Sep-13 4:20 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
ramkiller200112-Sep-13 9:39
memberramkiller200112-Sep-13 9:39 

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