Are you trying to connect a router to a modem? If so, then you’ll need to use an ethernet cable. Yet, it’s not always clear which type of ethernet cable you’ll need. After all, there are several different types of connectors.
It becomes even more complicated if you need to attach a connector to a bare cable. In that case, you’ll need to know the overall thickness of your ethernet cable.
If you want to avoid taking a cable and connector back to the store, you need to read this guide first. We’re here to break down the different types of ethernet cable connectors.
Understanding RJ45 Connectors
Ethernet cables use RJ45 connectors for both ends. RJ stands for ‘registered jack,’ and the 45 is the listing number. Registered jacks link voice and data equipment to each other or a central hub. In the case of ethernet cables, jacks connect the internet device (modem) to hardware (router).
What’s confusing is that RJ45 is an umbrella term. It encompasses a few different types of connectors. You’ll need to know how to distinguish each type to purchase the correct connector for your needs. Here’s a look at each one.
Female RJ45 Connectors
There are male and female RJ45 connectors. Male connectors have plugs, while female connectors have sockets. You plug the ethernet cable into the socket.
If you need to connect your modem to a router, you’ll need a male RJ45 connector. Make sure you don’t buy a female RJ45 socket by mistake. The female socket typically embeds into the back of your router.
Male RJ45 Connectors
Male RJ45 connectors contain the plugs that connect into the female sockets. They will connect to either end of your ethernet cable. They typically come as black, white, or transparent plastic. Higher-end RJ45 connectors sometimes have a metal shielding to protect them from interference.
If you want to buy a connector separate from your cable, you’ll need information first. On your ethernet cable, you need to know the outside diameter and overall thickness of the cable.
Check the maximum cable outside-diameter you can accept for the connector you choose. If it’s less than the diameter of your cable, it won’t fit. Make sure that you find a cable that matches.
Field RJ45 Connectors
The last type of RJ45 is a field connector. It’s a more secure and durable version of a standard male RJ45. You should use a field connector if your wiring system sees a lot of dust, strain, or water.
Those are the different types of ethernet cable connectors. By now, you should have the knowledge you need to make the right purchases. Remember, female RJ45’s are sockets, male RJ45’s are plugs, and field RJ45’s feature more protection.