Keystone Coupler vs Ethernet Keystone Jack: Which to Choose for Your Cabling?
Ethernet keystone jacks and RJ45 keystone couplers are designed to snap into the wall plates, surface mount boxes, or patch panels. When you install their home or office networks, you may be puzzled about choosing Ethernet keystone jacks or RJ45 keystone couplers for your network installation. You’ll find the answer in this post.
What is RJ45 Keystone Coupler?
RJ45 keystone coupler is a type of RJ45 coupler or inline coupler, the main function of which is to connect two patch cables and extend the Ethernet cable length. There are different types of RJ45 couplers, and you can learn more from What is An Ethernet Coupler? RJ45 keystone couplers are available in different categories and colors for various applications.
What is Ethernet Keystone Jack?
An Ethernet keystone jack is one of the most common keystone jacks. One end of the keystone jack is used to terminate an Ethernet cable, and the other end is used to connect to an RJ45 connector. They can be securely held in place using their flexible tabs.
Which Should I Choose: Keystone Coupler or Ethernet Keystone Jack?
Keystone couplers and Ethernet keystone jacks are usually inserted into Ethernet wall plates, mount boxes, and patch panels. Unshielded keystone jacks and couplers are generally divided into different categories, including Cat5e and Cat6. Cat6a and Cat8 keystone couplers and jacks are usually shielded for fast and secure data transmission.
Both of them can help connect two Ethernet cables, but do you know how to choose them? They have their own advantages and disadvantages and we’ll discuss them in the following content.
Keystone couplers usually feature a smaller size than Ethernet keystone jacks and they don’t require other special tools. They are highly recommended for those who don’t want to spend much time installing network.
CAT6 Keystone Coupler
- Ease of Use: These user-friendly couplers are suitable for all users, even if you’re new to network installation. They are easy and quick to install and require minimal technical expertise. Just simply plug in two Ethernet cables, and you’ll get an extended connection.
- Space Optimization: The smaller size makes keystone couplers maximize the space, allowing for dense cable management in smaller places. They are also suitable for blank patch panels used in server rooms or data centers.
- Efficiency and Flexibility: Keystone couplers provide a fast and convenient way to connect Ethernet cables. They are designed with different colors for neat cable management. Moreover, they are convenient for those situations where a temporary connection is needed.
- No Special Tools: No special tools or equipment are needed for installation.
- Signal Quality: You can’t use more than three keystone couplers to connect Ethernet cables, or it will cause signal loss.
- Interference: The Ethernet connection may be affected by exterior interference if the Ethernet coupler has been used for a long time.
Ethernet Keystone Jacks
Ethernet keystone jacks are often chosen by professionals for their robust and reliable Ethernet network connection. They are also widely used in data centers.
- Professional Installation: Ethernet keystone jacks are a part of a structured cabling system, which provides cable organization for network installation. They also give a clean and professional look, making them suitable for permanent installation.
- Future Proofing: As networking technology evolves over time, you may need to upgrade your network. Keystone jacks allow for easy upgrades in the future.
- Stable Signal: Keystone jacks can be less resistant to interferences, offering a more stable and better signal than keystone couplers.
- Special Ethernet Cable Tools: The punch down tool and punch down stand are required to punch down keystone jacks. If you find it strenuous to punch down keystone jacks, you may need toolless keystone jacks.
- Technical Skill Required: Ethernet keystone jacks can be more challenging to install. If you’re a network novice, you’re prone to error when punching down keystone jacks. It is also hard to reinstall once you fail to terminate the Ethernet keystone jack correctly.
So, how to choose one for your network installation?
It depends on your specific needs. If you’re looking for a quick and flexible solution to temporary setups or you want to skip the step of punching down, don’t hesitate to choose keystone couplers. But if you require a permanent and robust Ethernet connection for a stable signal, Ethernet keystone jacks are more recommended for you.
In general, you can choose either keystone couplers or keystone jacks for your home or office network setup. But keystone jacks are ideal for structured cabling systems in data centers or server rooms.
Note: How can the keystone coupler or keystone jack be removed from the wall plate, surface mount box, or patch panel?
Some users reflected that once keystone couplers and keystone jacks are tightly inserted into the wall plate, they are hard to remove from the wall plate. It can be easy if you use the correct tool-a flat blade screwdriver. Place your wall plate on the desk, use the flathead screwdriver to press down the clip and it is easy to get out of the plate.
Ethernet couplers and keystone jacks are good ways to connect to your Ethernet cables. The choice depends on your specific project requirements and preference for ease of setup or long-term performance and security.
For more information on this topic, you can keep up on our blogs. While VCELINK offers general and basic information for our customers and other visitors to the website, it’s not professional advice.