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.