Fiber Optic Cables vs. Other Cables

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which monitors economic trends in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and other developed regions, found that subscriptions to fiber optic broadband internet increased by about 13.9% from June 2012 to June 2013. This significant growth shouldn’t be too hard to understand as fiber optic cables are one of the best means to transmit data over long distances and at higher data rates than other cables.

In comparison to traditional copper wiring (which is more commonly found in homes) fiber optic cables offer much higher data rates and have the ability to reach longer distances. Copper wiring is typically installed in phone lines and cable TV services, which can make it more convenient, but fiber optic cable can transmit data at rates of 100 megabits per second to one gigabit per second.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for traditional copper cabling to meet growing bandwidth needs. As data traffic on wireless networks continues to explode — from 90,000 terabytes of traffic per month in 2012 to 3.6 million terabytes per month by 2014 — optical fiber’s scalability makes it the best choice going forward, hands down.

Not too long ago, such speeds would have been considered “overkill” for most internet connection needs. However, the advent of modern computing uses has made the need for 1Gbps or even 100Mbps broadband beneficial in homes today. The requirements for even a “basic” internet connection have steadily increased in recent years as online features such as streaming audio, streaming video, online backup, software updates, video chat, multiplayer games, animated GIFs, and more have become popular.

It may not look it, but pound-for-pound, fiber optic cable is one of the strongest and most durable of materials. Inch for inch it is even stronger than steel and more durable than copper. Every centimeter of optical fiber is strength tested at a minimum of 100,000 pounds per square inch to ensure its mechanical integrity. Corning’s Center for Fiber Optic Testing sets the industry standard for performance testing.

In fact, fiber optic cable is so strong and durable, experts in the industry aren’t even sure what the “theoretical lifespan” is for them. Fiber optic cable that was made and installed over 40 years ago is still in use today, and newer cables now being made are of even better quality. In other words, if you don’t already use optical fiber to connect to the internet, you may not be very far off from adding this feature to your home.

The Death of eBay?

Not too long ago, if you had something you wanted to get off your hands while making a couple bucks at the same time, you headed straight to eBay or Craigslist. But that was yesteryear. In the past few years, there have been a bunch of new apps to hit the market that do exactly what eBay does, just in a more localized format. These apps allow you to showcase things you want to sell, and at the same time search for items you would like to buy. All of this without the pain of shipping. Some of the newest apps allow you to list your stuff within seconds, all at no cost to you. Is this the wave of the future when it comes to selling your stuff online?

Letgo: This app was released this year, and has quickly became one of the most popular seller apps on the market. You can both buy and sell through this app, and the best thing about it is that it gives a generalized location, not your exact address. The Letgo app is really popular with parents, as it offers a wide selection of children’s and baby clothes. www.letgo.com: This free app is available for both iOS and Android.

Wallapop: Using GPS, this app will list all items for sale within a predetermined radius that you set. The Wallapop app offers a vast variety of different items to choose from: electronics, appliances, clothes, accessories and even cars or real estate. You can sell your own stuff on the app too, just take a picture, name your price and wait to be contacted. If your items aren’t selling, you can always choose to drop the price. If you are looking to buy, but don’t see anything that you fancy, the app moves with you. Whenever you are in a new area, you have new items to choose from. Contacting a seller is easy, just shoot them a message. You can also haggle prices with sellers this way. This app is free, and available for iOS and Android.

Carousell: What differentiates this app from the rest of the bunch is that it is available worldwide. It also allows you to post up to four pictures with your item’s description, so that a potential buyer will be able to view the item from a few different angles. Adding more pictures allows you to get a little more creative when listing the stuff that you want to sell. This app also offers the most variety when it comes to categories, which makes it easier to navigating if you are just browsing and not looking for anything in particular. This app is free, and available for both iOS and Android. https://carousell.com

*As a side note, for your own security, it’s always best to meet up at a public place like Starbucks to meet up and swap your items. It’s never advisable to give a stranger your exact address, as you never know who is going to be a weirdo!

All about the new iPhone “SE”

So if you haven’t heard Apple’s big news, seems they are releasing a new iPhone, or sort of new at least? We have all the details about the newest smartphone on the block, which is available for pre-order tomorrow, March 23rd 2016.

The new phone has been named the “SE” which differentiates itself already by not just being labeled under another iPhone number. Let’s start with the outside. The outer shell is basically the same as that of the iPhone 5s that was released back in 2013. With a 4” retina display, it is definitely reminiscent of the 5s, but fully loaded with some of the best internal features of the iPhone 6s. The size This is great news for you if you hung on to a few old 5s cases, they will fit the SE perfectly.

The biggest draw to the iPhone SE is the price: Apple is releasing this new phone at the low price of $399. At this price-point, the SE will be targeting a few certain markets; teenagers who can’t afford expensive phones, people on budgets who don’t want to spend a lot on a phone and non-techies folks that could care less about having the next best phone on the market. And if price-point is your deciding factor, you won’t find a better deal. There is not currently an Android on the market that can beat this price. The iPhone 6s is currently being sold for $649.99.

Besides price, there are a lot of folks that are attracted to the SE’s smaller screen. The last iPhone release back in November introduced a much bigger screen, which went against the notion of the smaller the smartphone, the better. Plus, there is no denying that smaller phones just fit in your hand better.

Apple gives the choice of either 16GB or 64GB, and the color variety remains the same as the iPhone 6s: silver, rose gold, gold and space gray. The iOS version is the same as the 6s, and it comes with an iSight 12-megapixel camera, as well as a Sapphire crystal lens cover, burst mode and a timer mode too. As for video, the SE offers up the 4K camera that also comes with the 6s. The new SE even has the live video option, which was one of the more exciting updates from the 6s release. The CPU speed will also mirror the 6s, and Apple Pay is available with the new phone too. Touch ID will be included as well.

So, for a much lower price of $399, the SE basically offers you a smaller version of the iPhone 6s. For those of you who have been wanting to upgrade to the newest phone, but didn’t want to use your upgrade before the iPhone 7 is released in the fall, this phone is the perfect option to hold you over until then. It features all of Apple’s newest technology, without emptying your pocketbook.

To Shield or Not to Shield?

One question we at CableWholesale get asked all the time is: “do I need to buy a shielded cable?” So today we will go over some instances where buying a shielded cable is appropriate, which types of installations require them, and what different types of shields are available.

The main reason you would want to buy a shielded cable is if you will be running the cable through a busy electrical environment. This usually means there will be many electrical signals mixing together in one space, which may cause electrostatic interference. This is also known as “crosstalk,” which is defined as what happens when “a signal transmitted on one circuit or channel of a transmission system creates an undesired effect in another circuit or channel.” Shielding your cable also cuts down on EMI, otherwise known as electromagnetic interference, which occurs when there are electromagnetic signals that run into each other in a close environment.

There are a few different types of cable shields available. Any cable can come with a shield, but the most popular types are Ethernet, VGA, USB and other network cables. You may run into a “quad-shield,” and this is typically used with coax-cables only.

Braid Shield: This type of shield is the most productive when trying to cut through interference. These types of shields are typically constructed out of pure copper or foil. Keep in mind that this type of shield can make a cable more difficult to terminate.

Spiral Shield: This is similar to the braided shield; the difference is just that it is constructed with single strands of aluminum wire wrapping around the cable’s core.

Tape Shield: This type of shield can consist of a few different materials, usually consisting of some sort of polyester and aluminum. This type of shield is typically sensitive to pressure, and can be fragile.

For environments that are exceptionally heavy with electrical interference, you might think about a double shield. This will add another layer of protection against crosstalk, EMI and other types of interference.

Everything You Need to Know About the Cat-5 Crossover Cable

We live in a world where technology now dominates large sections and entire industries. Its ever-improving nature means there’s constantly a new device or product being created. One of the most consistently used and practical is the Cat-5 Ethernet cable.

For those looking to connect two computers together directly, one of the ways to do so is via their Ethernet ports by using a Cat-5 crossover cable. Cat-5 is just the name given to cables with four wire pairs that each meet the “Category 5” specification for data communications. The conductor size, insulation quality, wire twists, and a multitude of other performance characteristics make up the precise specifications for these cables.

The Cat-5 is most commonly used for household devices, and the improved Cat-5e (or Category 5 enhanced cable) is now available for slightly better performance and results. These can generally be purchased at the same locations. Cat-5 cables will run 10/100 Ethernet, or Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. Cat-5e on the other hand can support 10/100/1000, which includes Gigabit Ethernet.

Cat-5e cables are typically used to wire networks that will carry up to 1000 Mb of data transmission through a number of connections, especially if the cables connecting the peripherals will be physically close to each other. The Cat-5e is viable for connecting a network for anything from a home office or family network to a small business. Even some larger businesses use Cat-5e if they do not manipulate huge amounts of data on a regular basis.

In addition to crossover cables, which are designed for networking two like devices (e.g. computer-to-computer or hub-to-hub), Cat-5 cables can also be made in what’s known as patch cables. Patch cables are designed for networking and devices that aren’t the same; examples include computer-to-router, DSL/cable modem-to-router and computer-to-hub connections.

Cat-5 Ethernet cable is certified up to 100 meters (328 feet), meaning it can perform optimally without any deterioration in signal quality in that range. If the distance is any longer than that, it is recommended that cat-6 cable be used. In short, although these cables serve a multitude of purposes, users need to know what these versatile cables can (and cannot) do.

Samsung S7: What’s New?

The brand new Samsung S7 was released this week, Here’s a peek of what to expect.

To start with the most obvious, there will be two colors to choose from; Black Onyx and Gold Platinum. One of the biggest rumors that had been swirling around ended up being true; the new S7 really is waterproof. This means that it will survive splashes and spills, and will even survive a drop into a bucket of H20. While there were many rumors that the charging port would be a USB Type-C, Samsung surprisingly with the Micro USB 2.0 cable.

Samsung dropped a bomb regarding the new camera and it’s addition of duel pixel sensors. While the S7 camera has downgraded from 16mp to 12mp, the addition of f/1.7 aperture plus larger megapixels will allow for more light exposure, therefore resulting in a truer picture. The camera also features a quicker auto-focus, to cut down on those blurry pics. If you are a fan of selfies, there is still a front-facing camera for you to take those solo pics.

Perhaps the biggest news is that you will once again be able to expand your phone’s storage. Samsung did away with this feature with the S6, but it is back by popular demand. The S7 includes a micro SD card slot that will fit cards up to 200GB.

As for the phone’s physical design, the back has been curved, while the front of the phone stays in the same line as the S6. Samsung stayed with the 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display that was featured on the S6; it was such a success on the previous phone, there is no reason to mess with success. Galaxy S7 edge will offer the dual edge 5.5”.
In the event that you are confused about what a certain feature does, or just need help navigating your new phone, Samsung is there for you. Go and download Samsung+ from the Google Play store. This free app puts live chat support right at your fingertips. Here you can also gather tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your new phone.

International Women’s Day: Pledge for Parity

Today on March 8th, we are celebrating International Women’s Day to help raise social awareness of women’s issues, as well as celebrating women’s achievements. Here is a brief history of how IWD began back in the early 1900’s.

Back in 1908, 15,000 women took to the streets of New York to demand the right to vote, shorter workdays, better pay and an end to child labor. At this time, women where starting to be more vocal about their rights in the workplace. Two years later, in 1910, over 100 women from 17 countries formed to organize and celebrate the first Women’s Day, or as it was known at the time, “International Working Women’s Day.”

While woman eventually “won” the right to vote, there are still major inequalities that are present in workplaces all across the globe. In present day 2016, over a hundred years after IWD’s inception, there is still a gender pay wage gap that exists between female and male workers. This is on top of other troubles, such as sexual discrimination and harassment. As long as these issues still exist, so does the need for International Woman’s Day.

This year is the 105th Anniversary of IWD, and this year’s theme is Pledge for Parity, and is a call for people around the world to focus on equality for women. Join us today in a celebration of women’s achievements, and a call to action for the end of gender inequality.

Fiber Optic Cables Can Connect Villages

Cables as thin as strands of hair are now connecting two villages: Western Springs and La Grange. The cables will save the village money on data transmission, and up to potentially $25,000 a year on the cost of consolidating telecommunication devices. Everything from camera systems to phones are connected to the fiber optic cable. Why fiber optics? The cable is ideal because it’s not only very durable in general, but also resistant to damage from lightning and water.

Cables can make an incredible difference when it comes to speed, and we offer lifetime warranties on our cables, guaranteeing that they last as long as you need them. Here are a few more things that may interest you regarding cable quality.

What’s the Difference Between Cat5e Cables and Cat6 Cables?
Cat5e are used for multi-phone systems, as well as networks. The maximum frequency for this cable is 100 MHz. Cat6 cables are used for the same purposes, but can handle a higher data transfer load of 250 MHz. Cat6a cables, similarly, are used for networks, but can handle up to 500 MHz.

How Expensive is a Good HDMI Cable?
Although many people believe that high-speed HDMI cables can cost $50 to $100, you can actually buy a quality cable for much less in most cases. It’s worth noting that the length of your cable will not affect video or audio quality. There are four main types of HDMI cables: standard, standard with Ethernet, high speed, and high speed with Ethernet. If you need to handle 3D, you’re going to want a high speed cable.

Fiber Optic Cables: Incredible Data Abilities
Fiber optic cables are used for things like connecting villages because of their capabilities. A single fiber cable has been demonstrated to transfer 1 petabit per second. Today, an average fiber cable will contain up to 1,000 individual fibers, allowing potential bandwidths of terabytes per second. While fiber optic cables are reliable and strong, dynamic fatigue can stress the cables over time.
When it comes to cables, it makes sense to invest in quality. Pay attention to the needs of your specific setup and you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right cables for the job.

Category Cables: Solid Vs Stranded

When it comes to picking out Ethernet cables, one of the questions we often get asked is “what is the difference between solid and stranded?” If you are unsure of the answer, you’re not alone. Today we will go over the differences between solid and stranded cables, and which ones will work best in different types of installations.

To begin, the biggest difference between a solid and a stranded cable is the way they are designed. A solid cable has just one thick copper wire running through each conductor, while stranded cables have a few small copper wires that are twisted together to form a single conductor. These design differences are what make these two different types of cables work better in different environments.

Solid cables are stiffer and more rigid than stranded cables, and because of this they can be ran through walls easily, and they are more durable when it comes to impact and abrasion. This stiffness also makes solid cables easier to terminate. However, the rigidness of a solid cable also makes them less portable. Solid wires also stand up to corrosion better than stranded, which makes it ideal for outdoor installations. Cables with PoE (power over Ethernet) use a solid core. Solid cables have also have what’s referred to as a lower “attenuation,” otherwise known as resistance.

Stranded cables are much more flexible than a solid cable, which makes them perfect for shorter installations like in workstations, where they cable may need to be moved around a lot. Keep in mind that stranded cables are more expensive to manufacture, so therefore they are more expensive than solid cables.

So which should you choose, solid or stranded? In the end it depends on what you are looking to do. If you are looking for a shorter wall-to-patch panel cable, your best bet is stranded. If you are looking to run a cable in-wall or in a more permanent installation, then your best bet is to go with a solid core.

So now that you have the differences between solid and stranded down, you can pick which type will work best to keep your install running flawlessly and to give you peace of mind.