Why Should I Use a Patch Panel?

By: CableOrganizer®

patch panels

Racks and enclosures are the places where you store your network and home theater equipment. You can further manage your server and entertainment system wires inside racks, with cable management solutions that are called patch panels.

Patch panels are known by other names, including patch bays, patch fields, jack fields, and cross-connect panels. No matter the term you know them by, these organizers arrange the connections between devices, through ports that accommodate connectors. The port is the opening where you insert the wire’s connector, which is the item (typically made of plastic with metal contacts) at the end of a cable.

There are benefits to using these cable management panels, which include:

  • Organizing Wires: They keep what could become a jumble of wires, neat and centralized in one location.
  • Flexibility: Patch panels enable the removal and addition of wires.
  • Maintenance: These allow you to move individual cables without disrupting a network.
  • Signal Quality: The chance that signals are lost is minimized over longer cable runs.
  • Scalability: You can grow or reduce the size of your network, without rewiring. Just remove or add wires into the panel.

Most patch panels are created to fit into 19-inch racks, the standard size. You mount them to the rack’s front, securing them into place with fasteners and screws. When choosing a patch panel, it is important it is appropriately sized for the rack. Port densities may vary based on the application. You should check the rack manufacturer recommendations before choosing your patch panel.

Home theater racks are also appropriate locations for patch panels, to connect audio and video equipment systems, including amplifiers, receivers, media players, speakers, and similar devices. As patch panels generally allow, this can enable changeouts and upgrades to an entertainment system. It is important to choose panels that can accommodate appropriate connectors, like HDMI® plugs.

There are horizontally and vertically-oriented patch panels. What are the differences between both styles? The direction of either is one of the main distinctions. The horizontal one is mounted on a flat surface in a flush manner. A vertical one manages cables in an up and down fashion.

Horizontal ones often have a deeper chassis, which makes it easier to route and organize cables. You can also access the ports themselves more easily because they face outward. This type of patch panel is usually designed for Ethernet cables. Vertical patch panels, on the other hand, are often intended for fiber optic connectors. They may be more challenging to access, because they can be mounted higher in racks. Vertical ones are better if you need greater port density, since they can use space more efficiently, which makes them an exceptional choice for server rooms.

In home theater racks, one will commonly find horizontal patch panels because of their ease in managing cables. While vertical patch panels are less common in entertainment centers, they are sometimes used with HDMI® connectors, RCA connectors, optical audio connections, and speaker cables. The patch panel type you ultimately use should depend on the connector type, and your individual requirements.

There are several popular brands of patch panels available at CableOrganizer®. These include:



This rack mountable patch panel is made of high impact UL 94V.0 thermoplastic that is environmentally-friendly because it is constructed of recycled materials. It is rack mountable with a folding bracket, for easy access to the cables. The large labels are moveable, which is helpful if network cables are relocated.

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This panel meets or exceeds industry standards for the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) Category 6 568-B wiring scheme requirements, along with those for Class E IEC (International Engineering Consortium) 11801-B, for generic cabling standards.

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This patch panel is useful for both Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet Cable configurations. It was developed with high-speed applications in mind, to easily organize both network and phone systems.

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black box

You can patch cables without punching wires down to panels, with this easy-to-use Cat6 panel. This panel type works best in relay racks or communications cabinets.

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Explore the entire array of network products, racks, patch panels, and rack cable management products at CableOrganizer® today!

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