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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Do I have to connect all 8 wires of a LAN cable ?

If you are using 100Base-T4 standards - that is you want to use cat 3, 4 or 5 cables ALL 4 PAIRS (8 wires) ARE REQUIRED. If you are using 100Base-TX (category 5 or 5e cables only) or 10Base-T the wires numbered 4 and 5 (one pair) and 7 and 8 (another pair) are not used in normal LAN operation but should still be connected since some equipment may use them for special purposes (we use them for power-over-ethernet in certain applications). They can be used for other functions e.g. telephony see above.

You are taking a RISK that in the future some genius may invent a fantastic application for one or more of these pairs and you may have to re-wire. Whether you consider this a high or low risk is a personal decision.

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