iPhone Charging Myths

myths about iphone chargingThe iPhone is undoubtedly one of the top-ranking smartphones on the market today. In 2016, Apple sold more than 210 million iPhones, making the company more than $54 billion in revenue during the first quarter of the year alone. The next year, there were an estimated 85.8 million iPhone users just in the United States. And every day, there were an average 48 billion iPhone sessions that took place in 2017.

Those smartphone sessions mean a lot of activity — and that, in turn, means a lot of battery usage. Although the iPhone X has an average single charge battery life of 1,940 minutes (or roughly 32 hours), all that texting, gaming, and social media app usage can take a toll. Not only can it drain your battery, but it can actually make your stress levels spike. According to research conducted by LG, a staggering 90% of people feel anxiety and fear over their phones dying due to low battery.

An overwhelming number of iPhone users don’t want to be caught without their connection to the world. So understandably, they make charging their devices a priority. You probably charge your own device at least once a day. But are you charging it the right way? Not if you believe certain charging myths.

One pervasive misconception is that plugging in your phone to charge overnight is bad for the battery. The reasoning here is that doing so could “overload” the battery and shorten its lifespan overall. But actually, your iPhone’s Lithium-ion battery is pretty smart: once it reaches 100% — which typically takes an hour or two — it pretty much stops charging completely. It’ll recharge if your battery falls to 99%, but it won’t ever overload. That means you can sleep soundly knowing you can safely keep your device plugged in during the night.

Another myth is that it’s best to let your phone’s battery reach 0% and actually die before you charge it again. Some people think this is somehow better for the battery, but nothing could be further from the truth. The best option? Charge your phone when the battery percentage is between 30-40% and unplug it when it’s around 80% full. That’s ideal for your battery life.

The two aforementioned myths make at least a bit of sense; it’s easy to see why people think charging for too long or charging too soon could harm the battery. But this last common myth really makes no sense at all. The idea is that if you stick your iPhone in the freezer, it’ll prevent battery issues. Unfortunately, some iPhone users have probably found out the hard way that technology and extreme cold don’t mix. Putting your phone in the freezer will shorten the battery life and could even do irreparable harm to the device. Of course, allowing your phone to get too hot will cause problems, too. In fact, Apple says that charging phone batteries in temperatures in excess of 95 degrees Fahrenheit can permanently damage the battery. In general, keep your phone in a nice, mid-level temperature range and out of extreme heat or cold.

As long as you know the truth behind these charging myths and follow all official Apple recommendations, your battery life should be just fine.

Types of USB Cables and Their Uses

bulk usb cablesIf you’ve ever wanted to transfer data or even charge a device, you’ve probably seen and used a USB cable. But — as you may have realized with utter disappointment when those bulk USB cables you bought failed to fit the gadget you wanted to use — not all USB cables are the same. The Universal Serial Bus (yes, that’s what it stands for) was first developed in the 1990s, and there have been a lot of technological developments since then. The newest USB cables may offer faster speeds and different compatibility, which means it pays to know a bit more about the differences between each type. Let’s examine them below.

USB-A

A type-A connector is one you’ve probably used a fair amount. If you’ve ever purchased these bulk USB cables, they’re what you typically plug into a computer USB port when you transfer data, use an external keyboard for typing, or utilize a mouse for a PC.

USB-B

Type-B connectors are almost square in shape. You’ve probably seen them when you plug in a printer cable or an external hard drive cable to a computer. But they aren’t as common a sight as type-A these days.

USB-C

One of the newer USB cables on the scene is the type-C. Unlike other connectors, this one is actually reversible, meaning that it can be plugged in upside down if you want. It also offers data transfers of higher speeds and is generally thought to be more powerful. It’s become the standard for many new laptops, tablets, and phones (and even by Apple).

Mini-USB

These connectors used to be the standard for mobile devices, cameras, and MP3 players. Like their name suggests, they’re smaller than a regular USB port. That’s why they’re often used for smaller devices. They aren’t used as often anymore, but you still may find some devices that have this compatibility.

Micro-USB

This is currently considered to be the standard connector for mobile devices and other gadgets — except the devices that Apple produces. The micro allows information to be read without help from a computer, meaning you can connect one device directly to a phone with help from one of these bulk USB cables.

USB 3

USB 3 cables are what’s known as “backward compatible,” meaning they actually work with older USB ports and other bulk USB cables. But these cables have different shape pins so they can be used more frequently (and are often colored blue so you can tell them apart). However, it’s important to note that all devices have to be USB 3 compatible to obtain those higher speeds. For example, if you have a USB 3.1 compliant device, you’d be able to transfer data at 10 Gbps if you use these cables. But if you have an older device, you won’t be able to achieve the same speedy data transfer rates.
Depending on the number of devices you own and the way in which you use them, you’ll probably have at least a few of these USB cables in your possession. But now, you’ll be able to identify them — and understand the lingo if you need to replace them.

That Cheap Cell Phone Cable Could Kill Your Device (Or You)

cell phone cables
Last year, 64% of all Americans owned an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, Apple Watch, iPod, or other Apple product. But when you spend that much on the device itself, it can become tempting to look for more affordable cell phone accessories. Although we might realize cheap cell phone cables won’t work as well, we might take the chance anyway, believing we really don’t have anything to lose. However, that might not be the case. As it turns out, you could be risking a lot by purchasing low-priced cell phone cable accessories — particularly when you can’t verify who makes them or where they come from. These accessories could actually cause irreparable damage to your device or (worse yet!) even cause bodily harm. Let’s take a closer look at the risks you take when you buy cheap cell phone accessories from an unreliable source.

Your device will charge more slowly (or not at all)
Really, the best case scenario when buying a cheap cell phone cables is that your battery won’t charge as quickly as it should. In some cases, the cable might not work at all. Your phone may fail to recognize the product or the cable could be a dud. Ultimately, that translates to wasted time (while you wait longer for your phone to charge) and wasted money (on a product that doesn’t function as it should). And if you think to yourself, “hey, it was a really cheap cable; I can always buy another one,” remember those costs add up over time! If you have to replace your charger every couple of months, you won’t be any better off than if you had bought a reliable charging cable from the very start.

Your phone might become damaged
Apple’s lightning cables contain authentication chips, specific circuitry, and wire shielding that can protect your phone and recognize when your battery is fully charged. But cheap imitations often don’t contain these components, which can actually permanently fry your battery or even your phone’s logic board. If your phone’s USB charge chip becomes damaged, you won’t ever be able to charge your decide again. If this element, your battery, or your processor sustain permanent damage, you’ll have to replace them or even your entire device — and that will set you back quite a bit. Is a $700 to $1,000 device really worth risking for the sake of a $5 cheap charging cable?

The cord could cause electrocution
It might seem far-fetched, but the threat of electrocution due to cheap phone chargers is very real. This phenomenon has been known to cause fatalities due to the cables’ low-quality internal components and non-compliance to industry standards. If the elements inside these inexpensive or knock-off cables are not properly insulated, electrocution can occur. A UK-based study found that only 1% of 400 lightning cables tested actually passes basic safety assessments. That’s not surprising, seeing as some users who have bought these cables have said they could “feel” the electric current coursing through them! Your safety (and your life itself) is a lot more important than saving a few dollars on cheap USB cables.

These cell phone cables could start a fire
In addition to the electrocution risk they pose, cheap cell phone cables have also been known to start fires. While Apple’s cell phone cables prevent power surges and overheating, knock-off versions don’t. In 2014, a PCWorld report records nearly 100 cases of overheating, smoke, or fire involving smartphone charges and cables. If this happens to you, your phone will undoubtedly be toast — but your home could also go up in smoke and your family’s safety could be put at risk. To avoid this possibility, always buy the real thing.

While you might assume that buying a cheap cell phone charger will work in a pinch, the truth is that this quick decision could have major consequences. Unless you’re okay with risking your device or your health, make sure to by authentic cell phone cables every single time.

How to Protect Your Lightning Cable: Tips to Follow

lightning cablesWe’re definitely living in a digital world these days. We rely on our gadgets for both personal and professional applications. Some of us may even feel like a piece of us is missing if we accidentally leave our phones at home. With 395 iPhones sold every minute, it’s no wonder we’re dependent on this technology. Research has even shown that many of us experience a particular type of fear and anxiety if we can’t access our phones or if the battery dips too low. That means having functional cell phone cable accessories will prove vital. But even when they’re of the highest quality, lightning cables don’t last forever. They may be durable, but they’re not indestructible. So what can you do to protect them? Follow the tips below.

Pull The Plug (The Right Way)
When you’re in a hurry, you might be inclined to tug on the cord of your cell phone cables or other electronics cables to unplug them. Even with high-quality cables, this can eventually lead to wear and tear. It could cause the cable to split and thus expose the internal wiring, which can be dangerous. If you want to safeguard your lightning cables for as long as possible, you should get a grip on the plastic jacket that plugs directly into the outlet when you unplug. The connector is quite durable, but even Apple-endorsed cabling can detach from this connector if it’s tugged at roughly and repeatedly. So always take care to grab the right component of the cable when unplugging.

Become a Wrap Artist
This tip applies to not only lightning cables but HDMI cables, ethernet cables, and virtually any other type of cabling. If you fail to wrap your cables correctly when they aren’t in use, you could be cutting their lifespans short. Instead of simply winding your cell phone cables around your hand and throwing it in your purse or glove compartment, you should do what’s called coil wrapping. Essentially, this involves looping the cable around to create a smooth circle. This will eliminate the possibility of kinks, which can actually do damage to the internal wires. By mastering this type of wrapping, you’ll be able to preserve those lightning cables even when you’re on the go.

Don’t “Bend and Snap”
An iconic movie involving a spoiled blonde coed-turned Harvard law student would have you believe that the “Bend and Snap” is a great move for getting what you want. But if you bend your iPhone cable, the type of snap that’ll occur isn’t desirable at all. Creating sharp bends in these cables will ruin the internal wires and can render the charger unusable — particularly if bends occur near the connector. That’s why you should always make sure to have a direct path for your cable to travel without bending it around furniture. Although these cables can last a long time, they can easily split if you don’t take good care of them.

Keep Them Clean
You probably don’t give lightning cable maintenance that much thought. But keeping these cables clean can make all the difference. Any little bit of moisture or friction can present a hazard to the exposed pins on these cords. Be sure to clean these components off immediately if you spot any moisture or foreign debris to ensure that the cables continue to function as intended. Keep in mind that if you use these cables frequently in your car or when you’re traveling, you should clean and inspect them even more often.

Although you shouldn’t have to be overly cautious when you buy high-quality lightning cables, it does pay to follow these protective tips. That way, you’ll feel secure in your investment and won’t ever have to panic over your device’s low battery.

Everything to Know About USB Type-C

usb cables
Technology keeps getting better with time, and USB ports are doing the same. And with the announcement of the USB type-C port, we’re really learning what the future of USB and connectivity can be. Never heard of the USB type-C? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is It?

The idea of the USB type-C is nothing too complicated. In fact, it was actually created to make things simple. So imagine you have one type of port and USB cables that can work with anything and make it easier for you to work on your laptop. That’s what type-C is in a nutshell. You can do anything from charging your laptop to working with external hard drives using the USB type-C. It also allows you to eliminate the orientation process because it supports the reversible connection feature on most devices. It’s a smaller version compared to its USB counterparts in the past.

Benefits of a USB Type-C

There are many different benefits that come along with working with a USB type-C. Among many, one of them is faster data transfer. Inspired by the concept of USB 3.1, there are two different types of USB type-C. These are named Gen 1 and Gen 2. Gen 1 promises the ability to deliver 5 Gbps and Gen 2 ensures the delivery of 10 Gbps. Along with it being faster, it’s more compact. USB type-C is smaller in size and has a flexible port that will allow you to achieve an ultra-slim design. Tech experts believe that Android smartphones will start developing their future phones of this connectivity standard. Many people wonder how one single port can put some ease in your work life. It can easily be done by connecting an external USB type-C hub.

What’s to Come for the USB Type-C?

There is so much more in store for the USB Type-C, and this is just the beginning. Over time it’s expected to become faster, even more powerful, and create different ways to make your life a lot easier.

On average, about 3 billion USB ports are shipped each year, making it the most popular type of peripheral connection technology by far. Whether you plan on using a USB 3 cable, USB 2.0 cables, USB 3.2 cables, or any other USB cables there’s a lot that USB type-C can do for you and your work. It’s very flexible, and allows you to use one instead of many USB cables, and makes your work life a lot easier.

Getting Wired: 4 Times You Should Pass on the WiFi

ethernet
WiFi is everywhere: our homes, coffee shops, parks, and even our cars and planes. There were 3.74 billion internet users on Earth as of March 2017, and many of them experience the majority of their internet access via WiFi. In a wireless age, wires on technology can appear outdated but don’t be fooled — a wired internet connection still cannot be beat, especially in these four situations you may find yourself in as an internet user.

  1. You’re working with sensitive information
    WiFi connections, especially those in locations like shops and public transportation, are never fully secure. Information your device processes on WiFi can easily be intercepted and used, including private information and login credentials. It’s quite easy for unsavory people to set up a false WiFi network in a public space to fish for unsuspecting users’ information, and using a wired connection can minimize some of that risk. Using an ethernet cable in public spaces doesn’t always negate the risk of an information breach, but using a wired connection at home especially ensures a safer web experience.
  2. You’re downloading or uploading large files
    Wireless connections often simply can’t handle the transfer of large files, so you’re stuck banging your head on your desk with a painfully slow connection. If WiFi coverage cuts out in the middle of a file transfer, all that slow progress can be lost in just a second. Wired connections provide a little more peace of mind that your files will get where they need to go on time.
  3. You frequently need to send or receive files from computers and devices on the same network
    You simply can’t beat the speed of file transfer from device to device on a wired network. If those little cutbacks in time used feel oh-so-satisfying to you when sharing across work computers or printing, a wired connection is the way to go.
  4. You’re a gamer. Nothing is more annoying to a gamer than lag
    If you’re playing something that needs precision and good reaction time, a cabled connection is your best bet to keep up with the pack. WiFi sometimes lack the oomph to keep up with intense gameplay, even if your gaming rig is prepared.

Keep in mind that there are many options in the realm of ethernet cords, like cat5 cables, cat5e cables, and the heavyweight cat6 cable. Beyond ethernet, fiber optic cables are an interesting alternative for you to research. If you need that extra boost of stability, speed, and security, take the time to find the perfect option for you or your workplace — your computer will thank you.

How to Select the Best Ethernet Cable For Gaming

cat6 cables
Although most households will fare just fine with a 100-Megabit network which would be run with Cat5e. However, avid gamers need high-speed, reliable internet access. That means that choosing the right Ethernet cable for gaming can feel as high-stakes as the games being played. There are a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting your Ethernet cable for these purposes. We’ve created a little guide to these considerations below.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ethernet Cable For Gaming

  • Length of Cable: A shorter patch is going to work best. Instead of buying the longest cable available, get a cable that offers the shortest distance without sacrificing personal comfort.
  • Cable Category: As you may know, Ethernet cables come in a few different categories. Cat5e cables are good for the typical electronics user, while Cat6 Ethernet cables are often used in commercial or professional settings. But both Cat5e and Cat6 cables are also preferred by gamers. Cat5e cables are rated at 100MHz, while Cat6 cables are rated at 250MHz — which means the latter can offer higher speeds. Cat6 cables are also best-suited to the latest technologies and/or heavy game files. You can technically use either one, but serious gamers may opt for Cat6, assuming that the devices they use are top-of-the-line.
  • Compatibility: Say you’ve decided you want to use the gold standard for gamers — the Cat6 cable. Before you make a purchase, you’ll need to make sure that all of your equipment is compatible. Double-check to make certain that all of the cables in your network are the same; if they aren’t, it can slow your entire system down and lead to gameplay interruptions. You may also want to purchase internet cables that are actually manufactured by the same provider, as these will provide peace of mind that both the jacks and cables will function properly. This isn’t necessarily a requirement, though.

If you’re a die-hard gamer, you’ll want to do everything you can to boost your internet connection. By selecting the correct type of Ethernet cable, you’re actually making an investment in your ability to play the way you want. For more information on the Ethernet cables we offer, please contact us today.

Ethernet Cables Explained: Which Category Is Best?

If you require a wired internet connection at your home or office, you’re probably familiar with what an Ethernet cable is for. But you might not realize that your choice of cable could impact your connection in a big way. Although all Ethernet cables serve the same purpose and consist of four twisted pairs of wires, there are differences between the various categories that could affect your overall experience. If you want to take full advantage of your higher bandwidth and speed up your downloads, you might want to pay attention to this guide.

Cat3 and Cat5 Cables
First, let’s talk about a couple of cables you might have used in the past but don’t see nearly as often today. Cables in these two categories may still exist, but they aren’t always readily available anymore — particularly the Cat3. That cable was used frequently in the 1990s, but since it has a maximum bandwidth of only 16 MHz, it’s obviously fallen out of favor and has been replaced with better options. Cat5 cables are still used on occasion, but the next category of cable tends to be the preferable alternative.

Cat5e Cables
Cat5e ethernet cables are the enhanced version of Cat5 (that’s what the “e” actually stands for). You might not be able to tell the difference between the two just by looking at them. But the Cat5e safeguards against unwanted signal transfers. This makes it a more reliable product in general. Plus, it’s faster and affordable — which means it’s no surprise it’s probably the most popular of all the ethernet cable options. This is usually a good go-to for many casual home users. That said, it might not be quite enough for those who depend on fast connections and have the router capabilities that necessitate a better cable.

Cat6 Cables and Cat6a Cables
Cat6 cables are more expensive to produce than Cat5e cables. The trade-off, though, is that they support higher bandwidths. And unlike Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat3 cables, these ones can come with shielding to even further protect against crosstalk and noise interference problems. Cat6a cables are even more advanced. These augmented variations maintain higher transmission speeds over greater distances and actually support twice the maximum bandwidth of regular Cat6 cables. They’re less flexible than Cat6 due to their sheathing, which can be a concern for some. But the fact that they can actually eliminate interference and unwanted signals may be worth it, especially if you frequently stream a lot of video content and use several different devices on a regular basis.

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the different cable categories, we hope you’ll feel more informed when it comes time to make a purchase. Don’t forget: a new cable isn’t the only component you’ll need for fast internet and high bandwidth capabilities. So buying the newest type of cable may actually work against you if you’re on a slow network with a low-quality router. For more information about determining the best kind of cable for your needs, please get in touch with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ethernet Cables

If you don’t have too much experience with technology, all the various types of cables could lead to some major frustrations. Ethernet cables, for example, can seem simple to an engineer, but to the average person, they might be quite complicated to understand. Hopefully, these frequently asked questions can help you better understand Ethernet cables and how they work.

Q. What is the general purpose of Ethernet cables?
A. Ethernet cables connect technological devices together through a local area network. They are most commonly found attached to computers, routers, televisions, game consoles, and switches.

Q. What are the most popular types of Ethernet cables?
A. There are two industry standard cables that are widely used: Category 5e (Cat5e) and Category 6 (Cat6).

Q. What do Ethernet cables consist of?
A. Every type of Ethernet cable has an outer jacket containing four twisted pairs of wires. The twisting of the cable prevents any interference that would otherwise occur within the pairing.

Q. What are the benefits of using Cat6 Ethernet cables?
A. Cat6 Ethernet cable is backward compatible with other cables and uses the standardized twisted pair for connection. Although Cat5 and Cat5e are quality cables, Cat6 cables use more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. These cables can also specify performance of up to 250 megahertz (MHz).

Q. How many times can the plugs be used?
A. The RJ45 plugs on the ends of Ethernet cables can be used between 1,000 and 2,000 insertions.

Q. What is the maximum length of a Cat6 cable?
A. The maximum allowed length for Cat6 runs is 328 feet. This length consists of 295 feet of solid cabling between the wall jack and the patch panel, and 16 additional feet of stranded patch cable between the two jacks and their attached devices.

This has been a brief explanation of the various types and aspects of Ethernet cables. If you want to learn more about Cat6 Ethernet cables, HDMI cables, or any additional information about connections, contact CableWholesale today!

How To Protect Your Data From Power Surges And Fires

The information you store on your tech devices can be put at risk by a number of common hazards. Fires and power surges can unexpectedly wipe out your data if you don’t have any backup files. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid these potential incidents.
Protecting your data from disaster

Power surges are known to happen when lightning strikes, but most often they occur when the electricity inside of the house is interrupted and then abruptly continued again.

Power surges are dangerous for your data because even so much as a fluctuation in 10 volts can cause functional problems in your tech devices. So you can imagine the damage when a power surge of an average 500 volts rips through your set up.

A surge protector keeps your technology safe from these electric monsters by diverting the excess voltage away from your devices. A surge protector may be a little bit on the expensive side, but ultimately it’s cheaper than the $10,000 that may result in insurance claims. Therefore, consider purchasing a power strip surge protector to keep your information and your devices safe.

Fire is another unfortunate and expensive way to lose your important information and data. There are up to 101 million American iPhone users, which means there are 101 million phone chargers out there in the United States. Among the most common causes of fires are frayed cords from these phone chargers as well as other cables such as lightning cables and HDMI cables. These frayed wires can cause sparks.

These sparks may result in small or large fires depending on their location and what’s around to fuel the flames. Not only does this put the lives of your loved ones at risk, but it also risks your data. Throw away old cords and replace them with new models to keep yourself and your family safe.

Finally, the best way you can protect your data and information is by keeping your files on a backup device. Having a backup of your information on a USB or on a hard drive will guarantee the safety of your information even in the event of a disaster.

However, be sure to keep not just one, but multiple backups in various places. This will keep your original files as well as your first backup files from both being destroyed in a fire.