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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.