• A crossover cable is a cable that allows you to connect two pieces of hardware. It is often used to connect two computers without a hub or router.

    Types of Cable Ends

    The common types of cable ends used on a crossover cable include USB, Ethernet, or cat 5. When connecting two computers, you will use a cat 5 ending.

    Sending and Receiving

    The cable will have the send and receive wires switched (crossed over) so that one system can send its information (such as files stored on the computer) to the other. This creates a quick way to transfer large or multiple files without worrying about the storage limits of a flash drive or burning DVDs.

    A Mini-Hub

    When you use a crossover cable to connect two computers, you have created a mini-hub. Essentially, this creates a home network that can allow you to send information between the two computers. A crossover cable can also be used to join two hubs or routers together, essentially joining two networks to create a larger network.

    Other Names

    Other name for a crossover cable are "null modem" and "crosslink cable".


    A crossover cable costs anywhere from a couple dollars to $20, depending on the length of the cable, the vendor and the type of cable ending. Most crossover cables sell for less than $10.

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