Patch Cable vs. Ethernet Cable – Which one is more efficient?

Patch Cable vs. Ethernet Cable

These two terms are often confused, and some people use them interchangeably. They are not the same thing, but they can be used in the place of each other in some instances.

When dealing with computers, the word ‘cable’ gets thrown around quite often. There is no doubt that there is a wide array of cables. Some are used for connecting device to device, others connect devices to network sources while others connect devices to sources of power.

The Ethernet and patch cables are often used in the transmission of data, but they are not necessarily the same thing. Here is what sets them apart.

What are the differences between Patch Cables and Ethernet Cables?

Patch Cable
Ethernet Cable
Short cable
Long cable (up
Connecting end units to power source
Computer networking

Patch Cable vs. Ethernet Cable – How do they compare?


The Patch cable is usually a short cable and it has connectors on both ends. It is constructed just like the Ethernet cable, using copper wire as the transmitter of electromagnetic impulses.

The Ethernet cable is a much longer cable, and it can measure up to 220 meters. Most offices and homes do not need this kind of length, though. They usually need lengths below 100 meters.


The patch cable is mostly used as a connector between device and network or power sources. A patch cable always has a connector on each end. For instance, it could be a Cat5e – Rj45 cable. The patch cable is mostly used in offices and in wiring closets. It can be successfully be used as a substitute for an Ethernet cable.

Ethernet cables are mainly used for the transmission of data in the form of electromagnetic impulses, usually from routers to computers and vice versa.

Patch Cable vs. Ethernet Cable Overview

Patch Cable

D’Addario PW-CGTP-305 Classic Series Patch Cable – Right Angle 1/4” Plugs – Low Capacitance and Pure Tone – Quiet, Durable and Reliable – Great for Pedalboards, 0.5 ft. (3-Pack)
  • IN=OUT TECHNOLOGY – Exclusive In=Out Technology combines low capacitance and top-quality construction...
  • DURABLE, RELIABLE AND QUIET - Classic Series patch cables utilize ultra-pure, oxygen-free copper...

This cable is often times short. It is used as a connector for devices and their sources of power or network. It comes with connector on both ends, and it can double up as an Ethernet cable.

There are two different types of this cable. They are the Ethernet patch cables and the fiber patch cables. They are mostly used in office connections and in wiring closets. Patch cables can also be used as replacements for Ethernet cables. They use copper wires for their transmission. This is what makes them compatible with Ethernet cables since they also use copper wires as their conductors.

These cables, unlike Ethernet cables, are usually inflexible.


  • It can be used as a replacement for Ethernet cables
  • It has the same conductor as Ethernet cables
  • It comes with two connectors, one on either side


  • It comes as a short cable, making it impossible to use over long distances
  • It is not a flexible cable

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Ethernet Cables

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable (15 Feet) - Supports Cat6/5e/5, 550MHz, 10Gbps - RJ45 Cord (Part# 31-399-15X )
  • CAT6 / CAT5e: Supports both Cat6 and Cat5e applications. The RJ45 connector used for this cable fits...
  • CAPABILITY: Mediabridge Cat 6 cables can support up to 10 Gigabits per second (10 times the bandwidth of...

Ethernet refers to the mode in which data is transmitted through a medium in the form of bits. Ethernet cables are responsible for this transmission.

Unlike the patch cable, an Ethernet cable is quite long. It mainly connects computer devices to sources of network such as routers. Some Ethernet cables use copper wires as their medium for conducting electromagnetic impulses.

There are several types of Ethernet cable. There are fiber optic cables, category cables, coaxial cables and twisted pair cables.

They are built to transmit heavy data over long distances, some of which exceed 100 meters. Others, like fiber optics cable, can stretch over long distances, linking even cities. They mostly have high maximum transmission speeds and broad bandwidths.


  • They have high maximum transmission speeds
  • They have broad bandwidths
  • They can transmit data over long distances
  • Some of them are compatible with patch cables
  • There is a wide variety of Ethernet cables


  • They do not come with two connectors like the patch cables

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Both the Patch cables and Ethernet cables are very essential when it comes to data transmission. They are able to support seamless connections that result in efficient systems. The good thing is that some Ethernet cables can be replaced by path cables. Using either of the cables, especially in an office setting, will result in seamless connections.

Verdict: So, which one is best – Patch cable or Ethernet cable?

The patch cable’s ability to actually connect devices and their sources of power and network may come in handy in an office setting. However the ability for Ethernet cables to transmit heavy data at high speeds over long distances makes it quite the outstanding performer of the two.


  1. How many connectors does an Ethernet cable come with?

Ethernet cables usually have one connector, but at times they come with two.

  1. Are patch cables compatible with all Ethernet cables?

No, they are not. Patch cables essentially use copper, but not all Ethernet cables use copper as conductors.  


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