Is a LAN cable an ethernet cable?


Is a LAN cable an ethernet cable? Have you ever set up a home network?

Initially, it looks simple as you only have to connect devices via an ethernet cable. And if you have wireless devices, you must connect to the wireless network without cable.

However, the primary issue you may face is the complicated and multiple terms describing different networking instruments.

For example, you must have heard about ethernet cables used to connect different networking equipment. This ethernet cable is known as “LAN cable” for home networking.

Is a LAN cable an ethernet cable, or is there any difference between these two?

Let’s learn about this in the following blog post.

Table of Contents

What is ethernet?

Ethernet is a networking technology used as a LAN (Local Area Network) standard for connecting computers in a condoned place.

Defined first in the 1980s by the IEEE 802.3 standard, the ethernet system is easy to implement, understand, and cost-effective.

In the ethernet communication structure, the data stream gets divided into packets called frames.

These frames have source and destination addresses and technology to detect data mistakes and retransmitting requests.

Like ethernet technology, there is GbE technology for frame transmission at the rate of billion bits/second.

In GbE or Gigabit ethernet, data is sent in bundles so that one frame holds most of the data. As a result, even during data delays, you can transmit or receive most of your data with just one frame.

In addition, the standard, IEEE 802.3, defines the MAC (Medium Access Control) sublayer of the data link layer and physical layer for wired networks. 

Ethernet falls into two categories:

Classic Ethernet: The original ethernet form transmits data at 3-10 Mbps. Classic ethernet is generally mentioned as 10BASE-X, where 10 refers to the maximum transmission rate, i.e.,10 Mbps, BASE refers to the baseband transmission, and X indicates the medium used. In the current scenario, these classic varieties have become obsolete.

Switched ethernet: This ethernet category uses switches to connect to the LAN stations instead of repeaters used in the classic ethernet. It allows full utilization of bandwidth.

Switched ethernet 

Switched ethernet 

What is LAN?

Local Area Network or LAN is a computer network confined to a specific geographical area.

You use switches and stacks to connect multiple computers and devices through the TCP/IP protocol’s private address.

In LAN, one machine’s private address differs from others in the same network. You can use routers to connect LANs edge to the Wide Area Network.

The connection of the devices up to the modem comprises LAN. After that, WAN starts, where the modem connects devices to a Wide Area Network.

Also, the data transmits at high speed because the connection has limited computers.

However, there are smaller LANs that can have a minimum of two computers, and larger LANs can accommodate more than a thousand computers. 

Further, your hardware, including ethernet cables, network adapters, and hubs, is not too expensive. 

It is a privately owned network spread across a small geographical area of a few kilometers.

LAN is commonly found in offices, hospitals, residences, and schools due to its simple management and easy setup.

 And as data transmits to a limited distance, there are minimum chances of noise and inaccuracy.

The propagation delay is also comparatively short in LAN. Along with this, the LAN network has lesser congestion.

Earlier, LAN transmits data at 4-16 Mbps, but now the data transfer rates have risen to 100-1000 Mbps.

Generally, LAN has wired connections, but you can also use a wireless connection.



LAN Vs. Ethernet cable: Is a LAN cable the same as an Ethernet cable

The answer is “not always.” Here are some differences between a LAN and an ethernet cable.

Key Ethernet cable LAN cable
ProtocolsEthernet connections mean all the systems that use network cables to connect equipment for operation. 
It is widely known as one of the LAN standards, IEEE 802.3.
LAN (TCP/IP protocol) comprises all the devices which are either connected to the internet or to each other. 
They are connected through wires (ethernet cables) or wirelessly.
DefinitionEthernet cables are straight-through cables categorized as Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a cables.Any cable you use in the Local Area Network is a LAN cable. Different cables, like coaxial, fiber optic, and copper twisted pair, fall into this category.
Application You can use an ethernet cable to:
Connect the modem to an internet provider; Connect a modem to a router (if they are separate devices); Connect any two devices in your network, like an ethernet switch to a computer; Any internet-connected equipment to the router.
While you can also use LAN cables to connect the modem to different internet services, ethernet cables can be used anywhere.
Different uses of LAN cables for connecting devices include:
Connect your laptop to your router; Printer to the ethernet switch; Security cameras on the server; Your smart speaker to the router; Your ISP or Internet Service Provider to the modem; Your gaming console to the router.
Ethernet cables are standard LAN cables used in a variety of applications. 
Ethernet cables

Ethernet cables


So, with this, it is clear that all LAN cables are not ethernet cables. However, most of them belong to this category. Based on the network configuration, fiber optic and coaxial cables are called LAN cables.

If you want any help regarding information and purchasing these cables, come to Cloom. We are a leading manufacturer of various cable assemblies used for various applications.