Ethernet Splitter- A How To Guide
Ethernet Cable Splitter - What They Are And How Should They Be Used?

So what exactly is the ethernet splitter? If you spend some time browsing on-line you can see that many people get the misleading idea that a cable splitter is something they could use to share a single internet connection with. It’s easy to see why they make this mistake, as the name implies that you can split something ethernet based, so why couldn’t you just split your internet amongst two computers? But in reality they do not split your internet connection. So read on and see what this inexpensive little device is used for and how it is implemented.

As stated peviously, a splitter isn’t used to share a connection. Many individuals do not seem to realize this fact until they purchase one and realize their computer does not work at all. So what is an ethernet splitter for then? An ethernet cable splitter is designed to reduce the amount of ethernet cable you need when connecting two computer networks. A network here doesn’t mean the internet, it means either 2 computers or 2 LANs. Splitters must be used in pairs. The way they work is because your basic LAN only uses 4 of the eight wires in a cat 5 ethernet cable, when there are in fact 8 wires total in these cables.

So by enabling two routes of traffic in one cable, you cut down on how much cable you need. Hopefully you can see now how they enable you to save cable. So for example if you needed to connect a pair of computer devices in one room to a pair in another room, you wouldn’t have to use separate cat 5 cables, only two ethernet cable splitters. If you are using the ethernet splitters then you only need a single cable and a splitter at either end. This is a common scenario of how ethernet splitters could be used.

Another problem people don’t realize is that ethernet cable splitters need to be used in pairs. Some have purchased a single splitter and will get frustrated until they realize they need another. Using just a single splitter means that network traffic can travel into the cable, but when it reaches the other end nothing happens. Pairs are required because the network traffic going in and out of the ethernet cable needs to be merged on one end before it goes in and then separated on the other end when the network traffic comes out.

Because the network traffic is merged, upon reaching the other end and the receiving computer there is massive confusion. The receiving device sees one cable with two lanes of traffic, this is not how network traffic works. This problem is solved by using an ethernet splitter which correctly separates the single lane of traffic back into two lanes before sending it onto the receiving computers. This is why using two pair of ethernet cable splitters is crucial, otherwise nothing will work.

You should now be able to see why an ethernet cable splitter won’t work for sharing an internet connection and the right way they should be used. To cut down on the amount of computer cabling needed in a computer network, splitters can be used. Just remember they aren’t used for sharing an internet connection.