Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A straight-through cable is a type of twisted pair cable that is used in local area networks to connect a computer to a network hub such as a router. This type of cable is also sometimes called a patch cable and is an alternative to wireless connections where one or more computers access a router through a wireless signal.
One way to identify the specific use of a straight-through cable is to compare it to a slightly different kind of cable called a crossover cable. On a straight-through cable, the wired pins match, while in a crossover cable the pins are typically reversed. A crossover cable is often used to connect two of the same kinds of devices.
Straight-through cable and crossover cable designs use many of the same standards and conventions. For example, a cat5e or Category 5e cable structure can be used for both. These cables are also subject to various other technical standards that provide consistency for these kinds of hardware connectors. Typically, a straight-through cable will terminate in a registered jack connector that looks somewhat like the common jacks on traditional telephone cables. Specific models of RJ connectors are used for these cable designs.