I am connecting my Linksys router to a Denon 4306 (audio video receiver) with an Ethernet cable. The Denon unit calls for a Cat5 Ethernet cable. I thought I would simply order a Cat5 Ethernet cable, but I have found that there is Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, crossover, patch, solid, etc. What would you select for this function?
You're correct about the existence of various 'Cat' cables and wiring methods. Usually when you want to connect two devices together, say two computers, you'll need an Ethernet Cat5e/Cat6 crossover cable.
On the other hand, if you're connecting a computer to a switch, a simple straight through cable will be more than adequate.
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In your case, it all depends if your router or Denon device has what we call an "auto MDI/MDI-X" port, which will automatically set the correct switching method. In such a situation, whether you place a crossover or normal CAT5e/6 cable, the result will be the same as the devices will automatically negotiate and work.If on the other hand you don't have such features, then it's a 50/50 chance.
My advice is to purchase a crossover cable and one straight through CAT6 type cable since they are cheap and you might need to use them in the future.
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This was first published in September 2006