You need a cross over cable if you are connecting like devices, ie switch to switch, computer to computer. If you are connecting a switch to a router then you can use a straight cable. I hope this makes sense to you. . Here is an example of that cable;
Here is a link that will explain about each type of cable for your future reference. http://www.networking-basics.com/twisted-pair-cable-types
Message was edited by: Jamie
I copied this from the book directly:,
Crossover cable: If the endpoints transmit on the same pin pair
Straight-through cable: If the endpoints transmit on different pin pairs.
So, Now here You may get a confusion about the short definations..
but what actually means is that,"Like devices transmit and recive on the same pair of pins"
and "Unlike devices transmit and recive on the Different pair of pins", As we know switches transmitting at pins 3 and 6 and again if we connect another switch which transmits in the same 3 and 6 pins, there will be a problem, (And most probably, I think will be a collision), So To Avoid this, we need them to transmit and recieve in different pins.
See this: X-over Cable-------->
Also see this from he book,
Jamie's reply explans it well. (I liked the article as well) When you are connecting like devices, like a switch to a switch you will need a crossover cable.
Even for the 1000 BASE-T, because if you are connecting two devices and they are trying to tranmit on the same pins then you can imagine that it would cause issues. And like the article explains, all the pins are crossed for 1000 BASE-T.
Just because 1000Base-T has autoMDI-X written into the spec doesn't mean the thing it is connect to has it. The same goes for auto-duplexing. Sometimes auto-auto works and sometimes two manufacturers did something where it it's all borked and you have to "nail down" the duplexes manually.
Maybe someday when we only have GigE or higher, we can stop thinking about wiring configurations, not yet though.
You need a cross over cable if you are connecting like devices, ie switch to switch, computer to computer.
While this is definitely true, I would make sure you are familiar with the pinouts for all of the "testable" devices. For example: What kind of cable would you use to connect a router directly to a computer that doesn't support auto MDIX? These aren't like devices, but they have like pinouts.
Erick that's a good point, even though I'm sure Jamie knew that already... like devices from a pinout perspective, we need to be as specific as possible to ensure that those who are learning it get the right information...
And don't just take the word of someone even if you trust them, you must always do your own research and validate the facts... if not just to get more study time in and better understanding.