What do crossover cables do?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by doobi18, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. doobi18 macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2006
    Sydney, Australia

    Whenever I look in tech-shops, I always see in the cables section the standard "blue" cat5 ethernet cable, but also one named "crossover".

    The packaging always alludes to something along the lines of letting two computer communicate directly without a router...

    ...but I do that all the time with a standard cable?

    What do these crossover cables do that is so special?

    Or is it just a mac thing that lets you use a standard ethernet cable to communicate directly?


  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Most, if not all, computers today have ethernet ports that automatically compensate for the wrong cable. Before these special ports, a crossover cable was indeed necessary to connect two computers/hosts without a switch/router.
  3. kyleaa macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2006

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