Twisted Pair Ethernet

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What Does Twisted Pair Ethernet Mean?

Twisted pair Ethernet is an Ethernet computer network that uses twisted pairs of insulated copper wires for the physical layer of the network, which is combined with the data link layer.


Twisted pair cable wires are twisted around each other to decrease obstruction from other twisted pairs in the cable. The two twisted wires assist in decreasing crosstalk that can disrupt signals and reduce electromagnetic induction, which produces voltage across a conductor transferring through a magnetic field.

Typically, twisted pair has less bandwidth than other Ethernet standards such as optical fiber and coaxial cable.

Twisted pair Ethernet may also be known as Ethernet over twisted pair.

Techopedia Explains Twisted Pair Ethernet

Ethernet is a standard for connecting computers to a local area network (LAN). Twisted pair is the most economical LAN cable and is often used by older telephone networks, although many networks have twisted pair wiring somewhere within the network.

Presently, two of the most common types of twisted pair Ethernet are:

  • Fast Ethernet or 100BASE-TX with a transmission speed at 100 Mbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T) running at 1 Gbps

Both the 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T use a standard 8P8C connector that has a male plug and female jack, each of which has eight evenly spaced conducting channels. Compared to 10BASE-T, the 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T are a lot more efficient.

The majority of twisted pair Ethernet standards can be wired directly by lining up the pins. Other twisted pair Ethernets are connected by using the crossover method, which joins the receiver to the transmitter and the transmitter to the receiver. Both the 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T are designed to use at least a Category 5 cable with a maximum cable length of 100 meters. Newer connections use a Category 5e.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.