Network Cable Color Standards and Types

Unanswered Question
May 17th, 2007

I would just like to know what network cable coloring conventions do people use out there. I'm not talking about EIA/TIA wiring standards for RJ45 connectors, I am just talking about the color of the patch cables.

I am setting up a network and I was thinking of doing blue for my main vlan (approx 100 nodes). green, red, light blue, purple for my secondary vlans (approx 3 nodes each), yellow for my xover patches. White for all VOIP. What type of color coding setup do you use? Is there some type of standard out there? I was also thinking maybe differentiating vlans by just changing the color of the boot.

Also I would be interested in knowing what brands of cable you recommend to buy in bulk on a spool. These will be primarily going into a chilled data closet using cat5e patch panels. The cable will be going from the patch panel to the switch, router, and other network appliances, so they need to be stranded for flexibility. Is there anything else I should be looking at? Preferred brands and vendors online?


I have this problem too.
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Danilo Dy Fri, 05/18/2007 - 01:24


No color-coding, just make sure the color is different from each other for easy identification. For example

1. Cat 5e

- Straight = Blue

- Crossed = Red

2. Cat 6

- Straight = Green

- Crossed = Purple

I'm not sure in other countries but here I noticed that cabling vendor/manufacturer is not consistent with their cabling color. One day they will provide green color for Cat 5e Straight, the next year they will tell you that they no longer manufacture Cat 5e Straight cable in green color. Later your network rack will look like a rainbow with too many colors.

Because of this, I stick to white color cable (Straight or crossed). Then I order removable RJ45 Boot/Jacket to differentiate Straight from Crossed and Cat 5e from Cat 6.


adamfong11 Fri, 05/18/2007 - 05:03

Thanks for the reply guys,

Any recommendations on national vendors to buy in bulk on a spool, preferably ones that offer government discounts?

Also, do you guys prefer to buy tons of multi lengthed patch cables, or make your own patch cables? Buying premade cable can be more expensive and perhaps somewhat wasteful, but saves time. Making your own cable is more time consuming, but you get a desired length and the ability to put your own color boots. Just wondering what you guys tend to do...

scottmac Fri, 05/18/2007 - 08:07

You should buy the cables, especially if they're CAT6 rated (as there are no 'In-Spec" handmade Cat6 jumpers ... )

The extra expense is worth not chasing ghosts created by sub-optimal cables. If you do not have a certification scanner, you will never know if the cable you've created are in-spec ... all you'll know that data is / is not getting through, not whether *all* of the potential throughput is being realized.

If you're a CYA kinda person, think of it like this:

If the server (or other major chunk of network or resource) becomes unavailable, and it's found to be a segment of cabling ... do you want it to be a cable that you bought, or a cable that You made "to save time" (and / or money))

What's the cost of not being able to access your resources? I'll save you some calc time ... it's *much* greater than the pennies you save making cables yourself (and commercial grade cables are ABSOLUTELY better than what You (as a novice, even if you had some exeperience under your belt) will be able to make ... and they *are* scanned and certified to be rated.

For home, who cares, crimp away ... for a business, buy high-quality, commercial-grade jumpers ... they're worth it.

I prefer Anixter personally: | Catalog

Good Luck


hoogen_82 Fri, 05/18/2007 - 10:47

Purple patch for the cable running to my CEO desk, wouldn't want to mess with this cable. Green patch running to my Finance dept people, they work should go smooth or I wouldn;t be getting my salary on date. Red patch running to my ex-gf desk, easier to detect and bring it down. Blue color patch running to my Boss cabin cut it down whenever he troubles me or gives me a bad hike. Gold color patch to my new gf place and to my desk, we both stay in the same vlan. Silver patch to my best pals in office and Brown for the rest.

Oh love those colored patches in my data centre. Makes my job so simple.


Just kidding.

rthreshier Sat, 05/19/2007 - 20:42

Black = dirty net

Green = VOIP

Blue = corp. network

Although everyone in the world seems to know what cables they are adding or removing with out authorization so my data center looks tough


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