How To Spot A Counterfeit Apple Lightning Cable

Apple iPhones are one of the most popular phones in the world, and one of the oldest brands. Apple has released nine generations of the iPhone so far and stands as the second biggest smartphone vendor in the world in terms of shipment as of 2015.

But you have to be careful with those phones, more specifically their cables.

Lightning cables are the charging cords specific to Apple phones and products. They’re not compatible with most other devices and don’t allow many Apple products to use the more common android-styled charger and cords. Apple has discouraged anyone from using cell phone cables, not of Apple make, or non-Apple products in general for their cell phone cable accessories.

Thankfully they’re all USB cables or based on a similar design. You can plug them into anything USB based and charge them, Apple or not.

But, despite this exclusivity, there are counterfeit options available.

Counterfeit Lightning cables might seem like a good idea, they’re cheaper than purchasing from Apple, but they have issues. They sometimes stop working after a time period, as they’re not directly compatible. Your phone or device might reject them outright. Or it may even cause damage to the device‚Äôs battery.

This renders them useless, and a risk, and means you’re going to have to buy an Apple brand cable anyway, which means you spent more in the long run.

But how do you tell if you have a counterfeit cable? Here are some tips in figuring out if what you have is truly Apple made.

There are many ways of locating if the product is Apple made, the biggest being if it has the “Made for iPhone” sticker on it somewhere, or similar stickers for other devices. Keep in mind, however, that some companies will use this label despite it not being true, in which case you need to look at the cable itself.

You should look carefully at it to identify whether the cable is OEM, from Apple itself, or counterfeit. OEM cables are always high quality and made of premium materials, as have the guarantee of being MFi certified Lightning cables. Third-party knock-offs or counterfeit cables are going to have a poor build quality, and have signs of poor craftsmanship.

Apple itself has stated that some of the things to look for are:

  1. Make sure the Lightning connector is a one-piece design.
  2. Make sure the Lightning connector has a smooth finish.
  3. Make sure the contacts on the Lightning connector are rounded and smooth.
  4. Check for consistency in the white plastic boot’s width.
  5. Make sure the faceplate insert is gray or metallic.

These characteristics are key to ensuring you have the right cable for your phone or device. There are plenty of guides and images online of what a proper lightning cable should look like. Don’t take the risk, avoid cheap knock-offs and stick with Apple approved products like those you find here at CableWholesale.

Back to Basics: What Are Ethernet Cables? How do They Work?

You’ve likely heard the term Ethernet before, but have you ever stopped to think about how Ethernet cables actually work and why they’re still so widely used? If you haven’t, there’s no need to worry. This short guide will help you understand what Ethernet cables are and some of their most important applications. Keep reading to learn more!

What is an Ethernet cable?
Ethernet cables come in a few different categories, but they all serve the same purpose. They are one of the most popular network cables and typically serve as a stable connection to a building’s Internet service. You’ve almost certainly used these colorful cables before to connect a computer to the Internet. In an age where WiFi has been ingrained so fully into our lives, it’s hard to imagine why these network Ethernet cables would be necessary, but the stable connection they provide often surpasses the capabilities of WiFi.

What does an Ethernet cable look like?
Ethernet cables come in many sizes. These cables could easily run from a second story bedroom to a basement family room if necessary. An Ethernet cable may look similar to a phone cable, but the ends are typically larger and the cables themselves hold more material within.

Are there different types of Ethernet cables?
Yes! Cat5e network cables and Cat6 Ethernet cables are frequently used because they offer efficient, reliable bandwidth to support any normal household Internet connection. In addition, Ethernet cables are often categorized as either solid or stranded. Solid cables are used for infrastructures such as home runs between the wall socket and a panel in a media closet while stranded cables patch the device to our wall socket. Stranded are more flexible, offering a tighter bend radius which can be useful around the desk or in very short situations such as connecting ports from a punch down panel to a switch. If you’re looking for a basic and reliable cable, Cat6 and Cat5e network cables are a great starting point.

Wireless technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth have moved in where Ethernet once stood alone, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’ve reached the end of the Ethernet age. This connection is still important for desktop computers and even smart devices such as televisions or other home appliances that utilize the Internet. Whatever the application, now you have a better knowledge of Ethernet cables to move forward with.

Easy Ways to Organize the Mess of Cables Behind Your Computer

It’s no secret that there’s a mess of cables behind your television and your computer station at home. Between your power strip surge protector, the USB cables, and four different types of HDMI cables, it’s hard to know where one cable ends and the others begin! Not to mention it can make a room feel sloppy and disorganized.

Are you ready to learn how to tame that mess of bulk Cat6 cables without wasting an entire weekend? Here are a few things you can do.

Save Those Bread Tags
The plastic tags found on bread bags are so much more than a simple means of keeping your bread from going stale. If you need to keep track of your cables, look no further than these little gadgets! Simply take a marker and use them as labels. The small holes in the plastic tags make for easy placement right on your cables so you always know which plug not to pull.

Got Paper Towels?
If your cables are already pretty organized and you’re just looking for some storage, step back into the kitchen. You know those old paper towel rolls you’ve been throwing away? Turns out you can use them to store bulk Cat6 cables and any number of other cables lurking about in odd drawers here and there. All you need to do is coil your cable and thread it through a paper towel holder. Better yet, you can use that same market from earlier and label your rolls to keep track of each cable as it’s stored.

When in Doubt, use products designed for the task
If you’re not the crafty type or keeping old cardboard tubes just isn’t your thing, there are plenty of products designed to make managing and organizing your cables simple. Spiral cable wraps are great under the desk or behind the entertainment center. They are able to contain cables and can be cut to the necessary length. Depending on the area you are organizing you may find hook and loop straps or nylon clamps useful for securing the spiral wrapped cables. And, for those runs in open space, you might give a thought to cable raceways.

Are Power Lightning Cables All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

When Apple announced its new power lightning cables and charging ports way back in 2012, it seemed like the whole world was in an uproar. Of course, some people still swear by micro USB cables, but the truth is that Apple has won many people over with its innovative technology.

But why do people love the power lightning cables so much? Here’s a quick look at a few things that make these cables go above and beyond your standard USB 3.0 data cables.

Reversible
One of the biggest innovations of the lightning port continues to be its reversible cable. Like it or not, micro USB just can’t stand up to something like that. Not only does it make for a more user-friendly experience, it creates a lot less wear and tear on both cables and on charging ports. Not to mention that if you put it in the wrong way, nothing is going to get stuck or damaged in the process.

Bi-Directional Transfers
Micro USB 2.0 is unidirectional it can’t charge and transfer files at the same time. This makes it an entirely one-directional cable. While that’s not the worst thing in the world, it certainly doesn’t offer the same convenience that a lightning cable does. It not only works to power your phone, it can power other devices as well without the need for a bulky adapter.

More Power
Despite what you may think, lightning cables are literally more powerful than their micro USB counterparts. While a typical micro USB 2.0 cable is limited to around nine watts of power, a power lightning cable can provide 12 or more watts. This means not only will a phone charge faster using a lightning cable, larger devices such as tablets will also have a reliable source of power when necessary.

Whether you’re a fan of the micro USB standard or not, there’s no denying that lightning cables have some serious advantages over their predecessors. There are more than 101 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone, so it’s certainly safe to say that the lightning cable is holding its own against competitors like the micro USB cable.

The Evolution of Ethernet Cables: 1983 to Today

It’s been more than three decades since the first Ethernet standard was officially approved, but in the years since, it’s become something we expect every day. Ethernet, WiFi, you name it and it all stemmed from this one Ethernet standard. Here’s a quick look at where Ethernet has been, where it is now, and where it potentially could be in the future.

1983
This is the year that 10Base5, thick Ethernet, the very first commercially available variant of what we now call Ethernet was unveiled. The project took approximately three years to complete after the IEEE first commissioned it, but it paved the way for many other changes to come. For example, 1985 saw thin coaxial cables approved, and other modifications were made in 1897, 1990, and 1993.

1995 – 1998
Ethernet was real, but it wasn’t “fast Ethernet” until 1995. This year also heralded the coming of auto-negotiation, which allowed two devices to share data via Ethernet cables. And in 1998, 1 Gbps over fiber optic cables was released. This also marked the development phase for twisted pair Ethernet cables.

2002 – 2006
Ethernet reaches the 10 Gbps milestone in 2002, just after the USB 2.0 specification was released in 2000. This was around the time when Cat5 cables started becoming more relevant and widespread. Unfortunately, 10 Gbps wasn’t feasible over unshielded twisted pair cables until 2006.

2010
This year saw, even more, advances for Ethernet. Cat6 Ethernet cables were in use by this time. In addition, higher speeds were achieved by merging lanes of 10 GBPS technology together.

2016 – 2017
Ethernet evolved past 25 Gbps in 2016. Not only that, but Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, and Cat6a cables were all available to use. This was certainly a transition time for many businesses that were switching to higher speed networks. The next Ethernet standard which will bring us Category 8 has already been approved. It will, however, be a little while before the physical cables catch up.

2020 and Beyond
The future holds a whole world of possibilities for Ethernet. Anything from higher Gbps to even terabit speeds could come up within the next five years or so. Technology evolves quickly, and Ethernet is no exception to that fast-paced world.

The future certainly looks bright for Ethernet development.

A Few Commonly Asked Questions About Surge Protectors, Answered

Surge protector is likely a term you’ve heard before, but do you know exactly what it is or what the device actually does? If you answered no, then this is the post for you. Keep reading to find some answers to those burning surge protector questions you’ve been pondering.

About Surges and Spikes
Before you begin understanding how a surge protector can help you, you need to understand what they protect your devices against. Electrical outlets are designed to provide consistent voltage to any compatible device, but certain events such as a lightning strike or power outage can cause excess voltage distribution, also known as a surge or a spike. Surges usually measure less than 500 volts and last about two seconds. A spike, however, is a much shorter event that can pack a punch with thousands of volts. Needless to say, these drastic increases in voltage can cause damage to any of your unprotected devices. Without a surge protector, you could be saying goodbye to that new $2,000 flat screen TV.

Are power strips and surge protectors the same thing?
Though many people believe power strips are surge protectors in and of themselves, the answer to this question is no — except under certain circumstances. Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, these devices can be the same thing, but that’s not always the case. If a power strip is explicitly labeled as a surge protector, then it’s safe to use as such. But if there’s no information like that in the product description or label, you shouldn’t trust these devices as surge protectors for computers or any other devices.

Do you ever need to replace surge protectors?
Unfortunately, yes. Surge protectors don’t last forever. The components they use to divert electricity can wear down over time and with repeated exposure to power surges. Many of these devices, like cell phone accessories, have indicator lights that tell you when a component needs to be replaced, which means you need to keep an eye out for that signal. Some devices even have alarms that can let you know when a surge protector needs to be replaced.

These devices often go unnoticed in our daily lives because a power surge isn’t exactly something that we can see or hear. If your power strip surge protector does its job, you shouldn’t even realize it’s happening.

But whether you can detect a power surge or not, they most certainly happen. And when they do, it’s important that you have the surge protector for computers and for all of your expensive electronic devices.

When WiFi Isn’t Enough: The Best Ethernet Cables for Gaming

In an increasingly technological age, the Internet has become essential for a multitude of things, including several forms of gaming. Whether it’s a multiplayer game or an online platform entirely, a fast, secure Internet connection is essential for those gamers whose focus is online.

But what happens when WiFi isn’t enough? If you’re concerned about congestion and high latency in your WiFi connection, here are some things you need to consider when choosing an Ethernet cable.

Category
All Ethernet cables are made up of 4 twisted pairs of wires, the twisting prevents interference. But when you’re searching for an Ethernet cable, you’re going to be awash in Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, and even Cat6a cables. When considering which category, or cat, to choose from, it’s important to remember that Cat5e cables are the oldest of the bunch, while Cat6a cables are the newest and fastest. So if you’re looking for speed, security, and durability, a Cat6a cable is probably the way to go. But in a pinch, Cat5e or Cat6 bulk cables are still commonly used.

Length
Your gaming center might not be right next to an Ethernet port. While that’s not ideal, it happens. And it’s an instance in which a 75 foot Ethernet cable is necessary. Your cable needs to be long enough to connect from your home Ethernet port, over any appliances that night be in the way, and into your computer’s Ethernet port. When in doubt, buy a longer cable. You might think a 10-foot cable is long enough, but sometimes it is safer to assume that a longer Ethernet cable is a better option.

Every Other Piece of Equipment
You can have the best, most durable Ethernet cable on the market, but it won’t mean squat unless your other gaming equipment is set up to handle an Ethernet connection. WiFi is pretty standard nowadays, which means some equipment might not even be built to handle an Ethernet connection. This is especially important to consider if you’re gaming from a laptop computer.

If the Internet is essential to your gaming style, you should consider buying an Ethernet cable that fits these specifications. But make sure your gaming system is up to the challenge before you purchase the mother of all Ethernet cables.

What Kind of Ethernet Cables Should I Be Using at Home?

No two Ethernet cables are created equally, but that doesn’t mean you can't use one or the other in your home. The key to choosing the right kind of Ethernet cable is knowing what makes each one unique and what you need for your home. The most common Ethernet cable used today is the 10 Mbps, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

If you've struggled with cable selection in the past, this is the blog for you. Here, we'll discuss some different types of Ethernet cables and what they can bring to the table for you. After that, it's up to you to decide which is best for your needs.

Types of Ethernet Cables
Ethernet cables are sorted in numbered categories. These categories, based on unique specifications, are an indicator that helps people determine which kind of cable will be best for their individual needs. Some of the most commonly used specifications are cat5e cables, cat6 cables, and cat6a cables. As the category, or "cat," number gets higher, so does the speed.

Physical Differences
Now that you know there are different types of Ethernet cables, it's time to get into physical differences. That speed difference is made possible by wire twisting and isolation. Twisted pair is actually the basis for every Ethernet cable out there because it helps eliminate interference between wires. The main difference between cat5e, cat6, and cat6a cables is the number of twists per foot, in some cases a spline to further separate pairs and the thickness of the sheath. Cat6a cables have more twists when compared to cat5e and cat6 cables, which is what allows them to carry greater speeds. In addition, cat6a cables have a thicker sheath and a spline, which provides a barrier to prevent interference.

Solid or Stranded
The final differentiating factor between these Ethernet cables is whether the actual copper in the wires is solid or stranded. A solid wire is for permanent installation, between ports in patch panels, keystones and any other punch down style connection. On the other hand, a stranded cable is more flexible and is used for patch cables, which patch the shorter distances between electronic hardware and/or permanent installations. Stranded cables are more flexible, have a tighter bend radius and are terminated in plugs designed to be plugged and unplugged many times over the cable's lifetime.

A Few of the Best Cell Phone Accessories to Have in Your Summer Arsenal

In the age of smartphones — when almost 395 iPhones are sold every minute — the sheer amount of cell phone accessories available can be a little bit overwhelming. But there's no need to worry; we've compiled a shortlist of must-have cell phone accessories for summer 2017. Here are a few things you should consider buying!

Arm Band
Whether you're a runner or you just want to go for a walk without worrying about your phone falling out of your pocket, an armband is the perfect tech accessory. Not only does it keep your smartphone safe and sound, it gets rid of the bulky pocket or the need to hold your phone in your hand.

Portable Charger
If there's one thing you shouldn't be doing this summer, it's staying glued to an outlet for your phone. Summer is the time to get outside and explore! If you invest in a portable charger, you'll be able to take your cell phone cables on the go and fully immerse yourself in whatever you're doing.

Bluetooth Headphones
With Apple ditching its headphone jack, Bluetooth is the way to go for headphones. Not only do they look cool, they solve the issue of getting tangled up in your cell phone cable accessories. And if your phone falls out of your pocket, there's no need to worry about your head getting jerked towards the ground.

Bluetooth Speakers
Similar to headphones, Bluetooth and other forms of wireless speakers allow you to DJ any summer party or barbecue without being attached to USB cables all night long. Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, these fun tools offer versatility in addition to convenience.

Selfie Stick
If you want to take picturesque selfies in front of the sunset without getting tangled in HDMI cables from your camera, the selfie stick is the way to go. It provides an extra long "arm" for you to work with as you snap the perfect picture. Not to mention its ability to reach high up for those just over the crowd concert photos.

Whether you're looking for outdoorsy cell phone accessories or you just want to make traveling with your phone a little bit easier, these smartphone accessories should definitely be on your summer shopping list.

Know the Cables You Need For Your Home

If you’ve been experiencing Internet connectivity issues help guides may suggest using an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to the router for a stronger signal. For many of us, it can be difficult to tell which cable is used for what purpose. It seems that every device we have requires at least one or two cables or wires for charging or hooking up to other devices. So how do you keep them all straight? What kinds of basic cables should you have in your home? Do you need a surge protector to keep your electronic devices safe? We’ll address all of these questions and more below. We do offer lifetime warranties on all our cables, as well as both pre-and post-sale tech support for any needs or questions you might have.

What Cables Should I Have at Home?

There are now (to date) nine generations of the iPhone and as of 2015, it was the second biggest smartphone vendor globally. So it’s no surprise to learn that the iPhone has driven much of the smartphone technology of the last decade, including the use of lightning cables for charging our phones and connecting them to computers, tablets, and even televisions. Many of our devices now require a lightning cable for connection or charge and it’s always good to keep them on hand. Having a back-up is smart and keeping one at work, a partner’s house, or in rooms of the house you frequent can make your life easier.

You should also have an Ethernet cable, which transmits broadband signals from your modem, router, and computer to each other. These can come in a variety of lengths, such as a 100 ft Ethernet cable or a ten-foot cable. Unless you’re stretching your cable quite far, you probably won’t need a 200 ft Ethernet cable, but it’s good to know they exist, should you need such a length.

USB cables are another staple you should keep around the house. The other end of a lightning cable is often a USB cable (USB Type-A male), which plugs into desktops, laptops, and certain charge ports. Everything from printers to portable chargers needs a USB cable to function.

HDMI cables can also be useful to have around, to transmit audio and video in one cable. For example, many people use an HDMI cable to connect their computer and TV, in order to stream videos, movies, or TV shows onto a larger screen.

So while it’s doubtful you’ll need a 300 ft Ethernet cable, you should check and see what length you might need and whether you need a category 5e or category 6 cable for best results.

Do I Need Other Types of Equipment?

Having a surge protector or power strip surge protector can help protect your electronics from getting damaged in case there’s a lightning strike, power surge or spike, or malfunction with the power grid. With just one incident, your valuable electronics could be damaged or completely broken — an expensive problem to have. If you get a power strip surge protector, you can plug multiple things into it — helpful for a room like a home office or your bedroom, where you may have multiple devices that need to be charged.

Screen cleaners and protective cases for your gadgets can also help keep them in top working condition. Keep extra batteries on hand for your remotes and make sure you know what kind of remote you might need for the proper replacement.

Whether you need a 200 ft Ethernet cable, a USB printer cable, or a cell phone charger, knowing what you’re looking for can be helpful indeed. Label your cables as you receive them with your devices to keep them straight. A quick Internet search can often help you figure out how to label existing cables and cords.