A "Patch Cable" connects a computer to a Hub or patch panel. A "Crossover Cable" connects two computers together without a Hub. There are benefits to both. Using a "Crossover Cable" is an inexpensive way to connect two computers together that are in the same room. However, this is limited to exactly 2 systems. A third system could not be introduced to your network. Using a "Patch Cable" for each pc and a HUB to connect the patch cables together makes for a reliable, multi user environment. Your network is limited to the size of your hub only. Multiple hubs can be connected with "Crossover Cables".