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Choosing The Right Termination- Keystone Jack vs. RJ45 Connector

Posted : 24-February-2024


In the realm of networking, selecting the appropriate termination for your cabling infrastructure is crucial. Two commonly used terminations are Keystone Jack and RJ45 Connector. Both serve similar functions but possess distinct characteristics and applications. Understanding the disparities between them is vital for making informed decisions in network setup and maintenance.

Understanding Terminations

Explanation of Keystone Jack

Keystone Jacks are modular connectors used extensively in networking. They provide a standardized interface for various types of cables, including Ethernet, HDMI, and coaxial cables. These jacks feature a snap-in design, allowing easy insertion and removal from wall plates, patch panels, and surface mount boxes.

Explanation of RJ45 Connectors

RJ45 Connectors, on the other hand, are specifically designed for Ethernet networking. They resemble telephone connectors but are larger to accommodate eight conductors. RJ45 Connectors are commonly crimped onto the ends of twisted pair cables to create Ethernet connections. They are widely used in both residential and commercial settings for networking purposes.

Differences Between Keystone Jack and RJ45 Connector

Design and Structure

Keystone Jacks are typically rectangular and modular, allowing for customization based on specific needs. They come in various configurations, including CAT5e bulk cables, CAT6 bulk cables, and CAT6a bulk cables, each designed to support different network speeds and bandwidth requirements.

In contrast, RJ45 Connectors have a more standardized design, featuring a plastic body with eight metal pins inside. They are specifically tailored for Ethernet connections and are not as versatile as Keystone Jack in terms of compatibility with different types of cables.

Installation Process

Installing Keystone Jacks involves inserting the jack into a compatible wall plate or patch panel and securing it in place with a tool-less mechanism or screws. The cables are then punched down onto the terminals using a punch-down tool, ensuring a secure connection.

RJ45 Connectors require a crimping tool for installation. The cable wires need to be stripped and arranged according to the T568A or T568B wiring scheme before inserting them into the connector. The connector is then crimped onto the cable, securing the wires in place.


Keystone Jacks offer greater flexibility in terms of compatibility with different types of cables and applications. They can accommodate various cable types, including Ethernet, coaxial, and fiber optic cables, making them suitable for diverse networking environments.

RJ45 Connectors, however, are specifically designed for Ethernet connections and may not be compatible with other types of cables. While they are widely used in Ethernet networking and network management, their scope of application is more limited compared to Keystone Jacks.

Cost Comparison

In terms of cost, Keystone Jack is generally more expensive than RJ45 Connectors. This is primarily due to their modular design and versatility, which allow them to be used with different types of cables and applications. RJ45 Connectors, being more specialized, are more cost-effective but may require additional tools for installation.

Considerations for Choosing Between Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors

When deciding between Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors for your networking needs, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Application Requirements: Consider the specific requirements of your network setup, including the type of cables and equipment involved.
  • Network Speed and Performance: Evaluate the desired speed and performance of your network to ensure compatibility with the chosen termination.
  • Future Scalability: Anticipate future growth and expansion of your network infrastructure to accommodate potential changes and upgrades.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Take into consideration the aesthetic appeal and design requirements of your installation, especially for visible areas.


Choosing the right termination for your networking infrastructure is essential for ensuring reliable connectivity and optimal performance. While both Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors serve similar functions, they differ in design, installation process, compatibility, and cost. By considering your specific requirements and preferences, you can make an informed decision that best suits your networking needs.


Are Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors interchangeable?

No, Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors are not interchangeable. They have different designs and functions tailored for specific applications.

Can I use RJ45 Connectors for other types of cables besides Ethernet?

RJ45 Connectors are specifically designed for Ethernet connections and may not be compatible with other types of cables without adapters or modifications.

What is the advantage of using Keystone Jacks over RJ45 Connectors?

Keystone Jacks offer greater versatility and compatibility with different types of cables and applications compared to RJ45 Connectors.

Are Keystone Jacks more difficult to install than RJ45 Connectors?

The installation process for Keystone Jacks and RJ45 Connectors differs, but neither is significantly more difficult than the other with the appropriate tools and knowledge.

Which termination is more cost-effective: Keystone Jacks or RJ45 Connectors?

RJ45 Connectors are generally more cost-effective than Keystone Jacks due to their simpler design and specialized functionality. However, the overall cost may vary depending on specific project requirements.