Ethernet cable connection guide and standards [Step By Step]

Ethernet Cable Termination

Terminating an Ethernet or CAT5e/CAT6 cable is a simple and essential skill for anyone interested in networking equipment or working in the networking industry.

When you learn how to terminate cables yourself, you can save money, space and irritation by cutting them to the exact length you need rather than having to rely on cables made by a business. Almost anyone can measure and complete the ends of a cable in about 15 minutes.

So let's start with the ethernet cable termination guide. It includes a definition of cable termination, color coding, standards and how to terminate ethernet.

What does terminating an Ethernet cable mean?

Cable termination involves connecting a wire to a device that allows the cable to connect to other devices, such as equipment, panels, or a wall outlet.

It includes sorting the cables by destination, shaping, wrapping the cables, correctly labeling and connecting to a copper or fiber conductor.

Ethernet Cable Termination Standards

When it comes to terminating copper cables, you have two options. The two models are the T568A and the T568B. These are two different termination standards. So you choose one and stick to that termination standard throughout your cable installation.

Each of these standards has slightly different pinouts. Pin 1 of the 568A standard is white and green, and pin 2 is green. As you can see in the 568B standard, it's white and orange, with orange for pins 1 and 2.

Color coding of Ethernet cable terminations

The pairs of your Ethernet cable will always be the same color: blue, orange, green and brown. UTP and shielded Category 3 to Category 8 cables feature four twisted pairs of insulated copper conductors. Cable color has no performance attributes that would cause you to choose one color over another. Outdoor cable is one of the cables where you have few options.

Ethernet Cable Termination Guide

Step 01: Tools

  • Stripping pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Ruler/Scale
  • 2 Wire Boots
  • RJ45 crimping tool
  • 2 – Modular RJ45 data plug (ends)
  • Bulk CAT6 Network Cable

Step 02:

Pull the necessary amount of wire from the spool for the connection you need to make. Be careful to leave 2 inches extra on both ends of the cable for the data jack.

Step 03:

  • Measure 1.5 inches from one end of the cable and insert it into the wire strippers there. The cable should be tight but not too tight in the stripping pliers.
  • Make sure the blade of the wire stripper is perpendicular to the wire and rotate the pliers around the cable once to mark the jacket.
  • Remove the wire stripper and gently bend the cable along the marking line. Break the sheath, allowing it to be removed from the wire and thrown away.
  • Step 04:

  • Separate the twisted pairs into an “x” shape. When viewing the wire from the end, none of the twisted pairs should cross each other.
  • Separate the wires from the twisted pairs. Wires should not cross when separated.
  • Step 05:

  • Arrange cables in a fan shape for data jack. There are generally two ways to arrange the cables for the data connector. Regardless of which option you choose, you must configure both ends of the wires the same, otherwise the wire will not work.
  • Orange-White – Orange – Green-White – Blue – Blue-White – Green – Brown-White – Brown
  • Grasp all cables at the housing with both hands and slide your fingers upward, forming a flat line. Make sure no cables are in the wrong place.
  • Make the cables as straight as possible. The cables do not need to be perfectly straight; straighten them as best you can.
  • Trim the ends of the wires with the wire cutters so that they are all the same length. Make sure the incision is parallel to the wires.
  • Step 06:

  • Check that the wires are there as they were in the previous step. Connect the cables to the data connector. The tab on the data sheet should be at the bottom, and the orange-white wire should be the leftmost wire on the plug. The sheath should be inserted just inside the end of the data sheet.
  • Remove the data plug, cut a small length of wire from the end, then reinsert the cable into the data jack if the wires are too long.
  • Pinch the wire about 2 inches below the plug, with the sheath just inside the plug. Pinch the wire slightly above where you pinched it with your other hand, then gently slide your second hand up toward the plug, as if to extend the sheath. The sheath will be pushed further into the plug.
  • Repeat this process until the sheath is close to the center of the plug. Check that the wires are not pulled from the end of the plug.
  • Compress the crimper handle to crimp wires after inserting the prepared plug.
  • Step 07:

    Repeat the stripping, preparation and crimping processes for the opposite end of the cable in the “Strip the Cable” phase.


    Congratulations, you have completed the ethernet cable termination guide and learned how to do it. Now you can do it yourself. The steps may seem long, but we've simplified them to help you. For review, cable termination is the process of attaching a wire to a device that allows the cable to connect to other devices and has two standards. Color coding is only for matching and correcting the connection, but has no performance-related function.