Make Sure Your Cat6 Cables are Really What They Claim to Be

Cat6 Ethernet cables — or Cat6 cables for short — are essentially Cat5e cables that have higher quality specification standards in terms of crosstalk and system noise. Except for when they don’t. According to the technology site Hackaday.com, a recent case study done by a Cat6 cable supplier found that many of the Cat6 cables they tested for validity were actually below standard specifications.

The company used a Fluke certification tester on a variety of different alleged Cat6 cables and found that close to 80% of consumer standard Cat6 cables bulk or otherwise did not meet the qualifications to technically be considered Cat6 cable. Some didn’t even hit the lower standard for Cat5e cables, which can last for five to 10 years if made with quality materials.

These are issues you never have to worry about when you shop at CableWholesale for your cable and connectivity needs. CableWholesale offers a premium lifetime warranty on all cable products, taking the mystery and risk out of the equation.

The Cat 6 cable is one of the most popular networking cables in the market today. It is used for networks, as well as multi-line phone systems. With a maximum frequency of 250 MHz and the ability to transmit data at speeds of up to 10/100/1000Mbps, these cables are supposed to be near the top of the line. One of the only higher-quality products is the Cat6a, which boasts a maximum frequency of 500 MHz and can transmit up to 10/100/1000Mbps and 10Gbps.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case thanks to many dishonest manufacturers. As Hackaday points out, manufacturers are really only held to the honor system when it comes to labeling their products.

Whether it’s for your home, business, or anywhere in between, don’t be tricked into buying a sub-par cable for your connectivity needs. Buy from CableWholesale where the quality is always top of the line. And in the unfortunate event the cable doesn’t work the way it’s intended to, you’re protected by our industry leading lifetime warranty.

I lost my Android! Now What?

Welcome to part two of our “I lost my smartphone” series! Last week we gave some tips to iPhone users on what to do if they lost their phone. Today we will focus on Android aficionados. Because there are so many different versions of Androids on the market, there are various routes to take if your Android ends up lost or stolen. This is especially important when you do your online banking from your phone, or if you use Google Pay and have other credit card information stored, in addition to personal emails, pictures and text messages. These are some of the many reasons that it is important to protect your phone and your information.

To start with, we will go over a few simple things that you can do with your phone that may save you a ton of sweat and tears later. The first step to protecting yourself and your phone is setting a lock screen; pick one that cannot be easily decoded and make sure it is one that you will be able to remember. The lock screen is typically found under settings->security->screen lock. Once you get that set up, you have a few different options for adding protection to your information.

There are a number of apps that you can download that will designate a “device administrator” to your phone. An app called “Android Device Manager” is available in the Google play store, and will allow you to log into any computer at google.com/android/devicemanager and track your phone by GPS. It will also tell you when your phone was last accessed.

If your Android is running off of the Lollipop 5.0 or 5.1 operating system it should have a “kill switch” enabled. It only works if you know how to use it though, so here’s the breakdown.

Under the “settings” tab on your phone, you will find a link to “factory reset protection.” It may also be located under the name “device protection.” Under your device manager, make sure you have both “remotely locate this device’ and ‘allow remote lock and factory reset” check marked. Once you have that set up, you can access your phones whereabouts remotely through Google’s device manager page: www.google.com/android/devicemanager. If your phone is lost, you will now have the ability to make it ring remotely.

If you still can’t locate your phone, you will have the option of wiping your phone clean by doing a factory reset. After the reset, a username and password are required to complete the reset. Without this information the phone will sit in limbo, unable to be used, or what is commonly referred to as “bricked.” With your kill switch turned on, thieves will not be able to access your information without your Google account login. Your phone will be virtually unusable. At this point, chances are that a thief will just toss your phone out. You might be out a phone, but thankfully your information will be kept safe.

One Tech Writer Proves that One Confusing Network Failure Could be a Simple Fix

The network Ethernet cable is one of the simplest, yet most effective and valuable pieces of equipment in the everyday technology world. They come in many different specifications, such as the CAT5e crossover cable or newer CAT6 Ethernet cables, but their connectivity and networking generally work the same way.

That’s why it was somewhat surprising that a former tech writer couldn’t figure out how to troubleshoot the problem he was having with his own network Ethernet cable in his new house. Lex Friedman, former Macworld editor, bought a new home that came equipped with Network Ethernet cables already wired throughout the house, but when he went to plug in his modem and Ethernet switch, it worked fine in some parts of the network, but not at all in others.

It’s unclear exactly what kind of network Ethernet cables were being used. That being said, CAT5e cables are used typically for networks and multi-line phone systems. They can transmit up to 10/100/1000Mbps and have a maximum frequency of 100 MHz. CAT6 cables are also used for networks and multi-line phone systems, but have a maximum frequency of 250 MHz and can transmit up to 10/100/1000Mbps. Mega is a prefix that denotes one million and is used in data communications to describe the speed of data transfer in megabits per second and the bandwidth of a given system in megahertz.

“What was even more maddening is that the LED status lights on the switch and the base station both lit up green, and the light blinked on the switch showing activity,” Macworld writer Glenn Fleishman recalled. “If the cable were truly inoperable, neither light should be lit up; some switches will show a different LED color or pattern for a bad cable, too.”

Fleishman gave his struggling friend the same advice he gives many people with similar types of problems: go through section by section and try to isolate exactly what’s causing the failure to happen in the first place. It could very well be a bad piece of patch cable.

Friedman did just that and eventually tracked down his problem. Essentially, one of his connections was causing the internal network to fail entirely. An electrical short in the connection was speculated to be the culprit.

Friedman’s situation was peculiar, but certainly not entirely unique. It’s a good lesson to learn that sometimes the problem that’s causing your entire network to fail could be fixed by buying something as simple as a new network Ethernet cable.

Learning the Difference Between USB 2.0 and USB 1.1

It took about seven years from the time companies started working on the first Universal Serial Bus cable (USB 1.0) to introduce the second unique installment, which featured a complete overhaul of the USB input/output protocol. Known simply as the USB 2.0, not USB2 or USB 2, this new protocol allowed for much faster speeds than the original cables.

Developers wanted to broaden the range of external peripherals that could be used on a computer when they created the newer USB standard. Even under the USB 1.1, hard drives could easily hit a bottleneck
inhibiting transmission speeds with the older cables.

The Full-Speed/High-Speed specifications on the USB 2.0 requires four wires in total. Two are used for data transfer and two for the power source, and they feature a braided outer shield.

The USB 2.0 is ideal for multimedia and storage applications due to the additional bandwidth it can provide when compared to the original USB cable. It also has a data transmission speed up to 40 times faster than USB 1.1. In practice, the actual throughput for USB 2.0 cables is typically up to 35 – 40 MB/sec.

In an effort to make the transition and utilization of the USB 2.0 model easier for both consumers and manufacturers, they made the USB 2.0 forward and backward compatible with the first USB devices and any
cables/connectors that were made for the original as well.

Regardless of your technological uses, chances are you’ll need a USB 2.0 at some point or another. Even if you buy something like an all-in-one HP multimedia PC with the works, you’ll still need something USB. That’s because virtually every conceivable peripheral has USB 2.0 version. From surround sound gaming headsets to USB video cards, and even external hard drives, the vast majority of consumer tech products would be impossible to use without these handy little cables.

Cat 6 Ethernet Cables: What You Need to Know

In today’s technology-driven world, there are numerous ways to connect
and interact with devices and users. One of the most common is via a Category 6 Ethernet cable. Commonly known as Cat 6, these are standardized cables made for Gigabit Ethernet and other network physical layers. They are backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards as well.

Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise compared with earlier Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables. The cable standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T,100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet).

Typical home routers used to only support speeds of 10 or 100 megabits per second. However, Gigabit Ethernet routers, which Cat 6 cables are compatible with, have become more common recently. Cat 6 cable is full-on certified, and in fact made to handle Gigabit speeds. It’s also suitable for any 10-Gigabit uses that users may run into someday, but at that point, they’re pushing the limits of Cat 6.

Another great aspect of Cat 6 cable is its relative inexpensive cost without sacrificing performance. One hundred feet of cable will cost about $11. Cat 6 cables provide the best performance with the ability to support up to 1Gbps at 250MHz. In addition, they have improved insulation for even more effective crosstalk reduction.

Cat 5e cable can still be effective and shouldn’t be thrown away if you do happen to only have this standard. People with tight budgets can choose to save a couple dollars per 100-feet of cable by going with Cat5e, but they’re better off choosing Cat 6 if they can afford it. While Cat 5e will serve well for the next couple years, Cat 6 will make a system much more “future-proof.” No one would remodel a kitchen to look like 1992, so why do so with a computer or other technology systems?

The Benefits of Fiber Optic Cables

You’ve probably heard about fiber optics from something like a phone carrier television advertisement, but what exactly are fiber optic cables and what are the benefits?

For starters, they’re fast. Very fast. Not quite as fast as the speed of light, but only about 31% slower. The secret behind fiber optic cables lies in the fiber itself. Compared to the traditional copper most cables use, fiber provides more bandwidth and has standardized performance up to 10 Gbps and beyond. Greater bandwidth capabilities means these cables can carry more information (data) with even more reliable integrity than copper wire.

Another benefit of fiber optic cables is that very little signal loss occurs during transmission, because the fiber optic signal is made of light. This allows data to move at higher speeds and for greater distances. As far as 550 meters (984.2 ft.) for 10-Gbps multimode and up to 40 kilometers (24.8 mi.) for single-mode cable.

On a practical level, fiber is lightweight, thin, and more durable than copper wire. You must use a higher grade of cable – which typically have larger outside diameters, weigh more, and take up more space in cable trays – in order to get higher speeds with copper cable.

Fiber cables, on the other hand, have very little differences in diameter or weight. In addition, fiber optic cable has pulling specifications that are up to 10 times greater than some copper cables. The smaller size makes storing, using, and overall management of fiber much easier to handle than copper cable. Plus, it’s easier to test fiber.

Optical Fiber Cables are flexible and versatile. They can be laid either outside of buildings (Shielded Fiber Cables) or inside (Indoor Fiber Cables). Typically, they are buried a minimum of three feet underground using a trench and protective materials.

Finally, there are also what’s known as multimode fibers. These will accept light rays entering at angles of up to 25 degrees off-axis. By accepting a wider range of angular displacement, the light rays entering at wider angles must travel a longer distance for a given length of fiber.

I Think I Lost My iPhone! Now What?

If you have never had your iPhone lost or stolen, chances are that it has happened to someone you know. We have all felt the sheer panic that hits once you realize your phone is not where you thought you left it. Why do we panic? For starters, walking around with a mini computer in your pocket can be stressful. Most replacement smartphones today cost about $600, assuming that you didn’t opt to get the pricey insurance that your wireless carrier offered you. Warranty plans are an added cost on top of an already expensive monthly bill, most people choose to pass. After all, it’s not like you ever plan to lose your phone. Even if you do have insurance, you are still looking to drop around $250 for a replacement phone.

Many of us control almost every aspect of our lives from our smartphones. We can control our online banking, credit cards, email and social media all in one spot. You also store your personal pictures, contacts and text messages. All of this information can be compromised if you lose or have your phone stolen. We all know there are ways to safegaurd ourselves, but most of us aren’t really sure how to go about it. Below we will explore different ways you can protect your identity and your personal information in the event that your smartphone is lost or stolen. This is especially important if you have credit cards stored in your Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

iPhone Users

In this installment of our series, we will be focusing on iPhone users. If you own an iPhone, you might already know how important it is to install the “Find my iPhone” app on your phone during the initial set-up. This one simple step can save you a lot of trouble later on if your phone becomes compromised. Apple is one step ahead of the game when it comes to wiping your information clean remotely. Once you get the “Find my iPhone” app set up, you will have a few options when it comes to finding your device or deleting your information quickly.

The second most important step that you can take in protecting your information is to make sure that you set up a passcode on your iPhone. Pick something that you will remember, and keep in mind that if you forget your passcode there is a good chance that even Apple will not be able to access your information. After too many failed attempts at entering a passcode, your iPhone will become temporarily disabled. After the phone is enabled again, and you are still entering an incorrect passcode, your phone will again become disabled, and now you will have to hook your phone up to iTunes in order to restore service. If you are still unsure of your lock code, and are still attempting random number sequences, at this point your data may be erased and your phone will be restored to factory specifications.

Lost or Misplaced iPhones

If you feel like you have just lost or misplaced your iPhone, you can try to locate it a few different ways. Just log in https://www.icloud.com/#find to any web browser and input your username. You can also do this using the “Find My iPhone” app from another iPhone or iPad. Once you are logged in, you can try to find your iPhone by having it play a sound. The app will also open up a GPS page where you can track the phone. Keep in mind that this option only works if the phone is turned on. If you are still unable to locate the phone, turn on “lost” mode, which will lock your information and suspend any credit card information that you may have stored in your Apple Pay wallet. In this mode you can still continue to track your phone’s whereabouts via GPS until it is found.

Stolen iPhone

If you are confident that your phone has been stolen, you will have to take more drastic measures to ensure your information’s safety. Log into the “Find my iPhone” and select “erase your device.” This option should be used if you don’t have any hope of recovering your iPhone, as this feature will delete all of your information, including the ability to track the phone by GPS. This feature will work even if your phone is turned off. If you have a “family sharing” plan set up, you can do this for one of your family members as well. After all is said and done, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know that your information has been successfully deleted.

In the event that you did not have the “Find my iPhone” app installed, you still have a few options to protect your identity. As soon as you realize your phone is gone, immediately change the passwords on your credit cards that are stored in your iPhone. Don’t forget to change the password for your email accounts as well. Finally, change your Apple ID password, as this will disable anyone from calling or sending a text message from your phone. After all of this is done, you can call your wireless provider to report your phone lost or stolen, and they can cut off your service and disable the phone from being used.

Hopefully this information will just be an FYI, and you will never have to use it. Stay with us later this week as we go over the same info for Android users!

Last Minute Valentine’s Gifts

Valentine’s Day is coming up quick, do you still need to pick a present for your sweetheart? Well, if they are into technology, you are in luck. Here we have compiled a list of this year’s coolest tech gifts that will work for either sex. Whether money is no object, or you are on a tight budget, we have you covered.

1. Check out these cool calendars from Social Print Studio in SF. Pick out a few of your favorite Instagram photos and have your calendar tell a story. The calendar is printed on 170gsm paper, and allows you to choose from three layouts This company also makes cool photo magnets, buttons, greeting cards and photo books. $40 http://www.socialprintstudio.com/calendar/

2. If your significant other has stuck to their New Year’s resolution of getting fit, help them out by buying them a FitBit. With the FitBit Charge, they will be able to track their calories burned, how many steps they have taken throughout the day and even their sleep quality. https://www.fitbit.com/charge

3. R2D2 Car Charger: If your Valentine is a Star Wars fanatic, get them this handy charger shaped like the famed R2D2. Along with being cute, this R2D2 is he will charge your phone too. http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-R2-D2-USB-Charger/dp/B00HE6UW4M $39.99

4. If your loved one travels around for work—Pick them up a CalypsoTag and make sure their luggage never gets lost again. The app will alert you if someone is trying to steal your luggage. Comes in black, orange, yellow and silver. The battery will last up to six months, and is easily replaced. Simply download the app to get synced. https://www.calypsocrystal.com/calypsotag/ $169

5. There is a new laptop stand on the market that MacBook users are sure to be excited about. The BookArc mod is a designer wood stand that will store your MacBook vertically in your workspace. This stand allows you to hook up an external monitor while keeping your laptop upright, closed and out of your way. https://www.twelvesouth.com/product/bookarc-mod-for-macbook. $60

6. If your better half is a music lover, the Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker is the perfect gift. Bose is at the top of the speaker market, and at $129 this gift is one of their most affordable options. This speaker is small enough to throw in a bag and take with you wherever you go. Pick from teal, red, blue, black or white. https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/speakers/wireless_speakers/soundlink-color-bluetooth-speaker.html#v=soundlink_color_red

7. Give her the gift of coffee with a brand new Keurig. There are two types to choose from now; so you can brew either hot or cold coffee. On top of a quick cup of coffee, you can brew up tea and hot chocolate too! Perfect Prices vary. http://www.keurig.com/content/k-cup

8. Give your techie the gift of organization with some romantic cable organizers, in the shape of adorable little tacos. With inspirational love quotes like “be my taco” and “tangled love” these will surely be a hit. $40 for a pack of five.
http://thisisground.com/collections/cordtaco/products/a-sweetheart-tacos?variant=1140618016

9. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have this candy pink battery backup charger. It may be tiny, but it is powerful enough to charge your smartphone twice on a single charge. http://www.cablewholesale.com/products/mobile-accessories/mobile-charger/product-30w1-50040.php $11.57

What Makes USB 3.0 Different — and What Are Its Benefits?


Most people are familiar with what a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable is and know that it’s used as a standard for interfacing computers and electronics devices. However, not everyone realizes that there are actually three different versions of the USB. The newest is the USB 3.0, which was renamed USB 3.1 Gen 1 in 2015. It’s the third such USB connector, and it comes with some major advantages over previous USB devices.

One of the many improvements that USB 3.0 brings is the new SuperSpeed (SS) transfer mode. This setting allows data to be transferred at up to 5 gigabits (Gbits) per second, or 625 megabytes (MB) per second, which is about ten times faster than the USB 2.0 standard. (USB 2.0, it’s worth noting, was 40 times faster than the original USB 1.0, which only offered transfer rates of 12 megabits per second when working at full-speed.)

There are a couple of factors that can help you identify a USB 3.0 cable from its earlier counterparts. The first such feature is the typical blue color-coding on the receptacles and plugs. The other is the ‘SS’ logo that can be found on USB 3.0 devices.The USB 3.1, later named USB 3.1 Gen 2, was first released in July of 2013. The transfer mode SuperSpeed on this model can transfer data at a rate of up to 10 Gbit/s (or 1.25 GB/s, twice the rate of USB 3.0). That’s so fast, in theory, it could compete with the first version of the Thunderbolt interface.

One of the best things about the USB 3.0 is its versatility. Not only can it work with existing 5Gbps USB 3.0 hubs and devices but with USB 2.0 ones as well. In 2012, the majority of new computers were expected to be produced with the new USB 3.0 ports standard. The capabilities of this useful cable have come a long way over the years, and by the look of it, they’ll be around to offer these high-speed transfers for some time.

HDMI Licensing Expects 750 Million New Compatible Devices to Ship In 2016 Total Near 5 Billion

High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cables have been around for about 14 years, providing a new way to transfer audio and video from one device to another. Along with things like USB cables and CAT5 crossover cables, highspeed HDMI cables are one of the most popular technological cords you’ll find in a home, school, or office.

In support of this claim is a recent announcement from HDMI Licensing, the seven company conglomerate that sets the standard for such cables. According to HDMI Licensing, over 1,700 licensed HDMI Adopters are expected to ship over 750 million HDMI-compliant products in 2016. This information was released through the press release news site BusinessWire.com.
Technically, there are three different types of HDMI Standard cables: the original HDMI Standard, HDMI Standard with Ethernet, and HDMI Standard Automotive. There are also two types of HighSpeed HDMI cables: regular HDMI High Speed and HDMI High Speed with Ethernet.

One thing that’s led to the staggering growth of these universally specialized highspeed HDMI cables is their relative inexpensive price. It’s a myth that you have to spend $50 on an HDMI cable. While some people still cough up the money for the high price, many more have become aware that you can buy the same cable from places like CableWholesale for a fraction of the price.

Perhaps even more impressive than the numbers the industry expects to reach in 2016 alone is the overall point that they’re at. The installed base of HDMI-enabled products worldwide is quickly approaching five billion.

Another beneficial quality of HDMI cables is their efficiency. The length of the cable isn’t a big factor when it comes to the quality of the audio and video. The only time that the length of the cable matters is when it’s being stretched over greater distances. If you need a cable that’s 100-feet or longer, you should invest in an HDMI cable specifically designed for that purpose, but otherwise, there’s virtually no negative effects.

The licensing company also announced the launch of a new premium certification for users who want to ensure the highest quality and reliability.