The Ultimate Guide To Different Cable Colors

Having so many different wires and cables in your home or office can be quite a stressful experience. They come in different sizes and shapes, but there is one thing that many wires and cables have in common: different colored jackets. Why are they different? What is the difference between them? What do the colors mean? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.

Types of cables and their colors?

There are different types of cables which are used in our daily lives. They are used in electrical connections, internet connections, security systems, etc. Electrical cables have different colored jackets/sheaths. Each color defines the specific purpose of the cable. For example, a white-colored cable is used for a neutral line, and black colored cable is used for phase 1 in electrical lines. There are also several types of cables that are used in fire alarms. These cables are also colored in white, black, or red and each color is made up of a different type of material. For telecommunications, internet connections, and other networking applications, ethernet cables are used. They come in a wide variety of colors such as white, red, green, blue, yellow, etc. Ethernet Cable color codes will be discussed in detail in the next parts. 

Ethernet Cable color codes

When it comes to Ethernet cable color codes, there is a lot of confusion. This stems from the fact that ethernet cables come in a wide variety of colors and most of them are used in the same way. Coupled with that, the conductor wires of ethernet cables are also color-coded, which is why the confusion intensifies.   Different colors are used to distinguish the purpose of each wire. Here is the list of different colors used in Ethernet cables and the purpose of each one:

  • White Ethernet cables are also used for general purposes. 
  • Green Ethernet cables are used for crossover connections.
  • Blue Ethernet cables are used in terminal servers.
  • Yellow Ethernet cables are used for PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ connections.
  • Red Ethernet cables are used in IP security cameras. 
  • Grey Ethernet cables are used in standard ethernet connections.

Note: Ethernet cables are color-coded for easy identification of their application. In a small network, the color code doesn’t matter. Because cable management is easier when there are fewer cables in a network. 

What pair colors are used in fast ethernet connection?

At the core of an ethernet cable, you will find 8 conductor wires which are twisted in pairs. All conductor wires have different colors and 4 of the wires have the following base colors: Orange, Blue, Green, and Bown.

Solid Core Ethernet cables:

  • Orange wire is paired with White-Orange wire.
  • Blue wire is paired with White-Blue wire.
  • Green wire is paired with White-Green wire.
  • Brown wire is paired with White-Brown wire.

Stranded Ethernet cables:

  • Orange wire is paired with Orange-White wire.
  • Blue wire is paired with Blue-White wire.
  • Green wire is paired with Green-White wire.
  • Brown wire is paired with Brown-White wire.


Hopefully, you enjoyed our blog on guides to different cable colors.


What do the different cable colors mean?

Ethernet cables come in different colors. Each color defines the recommended application of a cable. For example, Yellow ethernet cables are used for PoE connections as a standard. Read the above-mentioned list for the standard application of all ethernet cable colors.

How do I remember my cable color code?

There is no hard and fast rule for remembering the color code of your cables. The best practice is to write it down on a sticky note and paste it somewhere around the cables.  You can also print out this guide and keep it in your server room or anywhere else around the cables. 

Does the ethernet cable color matter?

If you follow the standard ethernet cable color codes, maintenance, and regular usage will be more convenient for you. But the color doesn’t affect the performance of your ethernet cables.