A Brief History of Computer Network Connectivity

History of Computer Network Connectivity

In the digital age, we’re so reliant on our devices and on the internet that it’s hard to imagine our lives without this helpful technology. But the reality is that computers and network connectivity have transformed our world in a very short amount of time. We weren’t always able to connect through screens and share information via URLs. Let’s take a look back at where we began — and how far we’ve come since then.

Although there are now more than 1 billion websites that exist on the world wide web, they all have one website to thank for their creation. The very first website was created on August 6, 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. It actually offered what many websites still do: useful information. It was all about the internet itself, detailing how others could create web pages of their own and how to use hypertext.

We’ve definitely come a long way since those basic geocities websites. Having your own website wasn’t always seen as a necessity (or even a possibility) for many businesses and individuals. But now, it’s typically a non-negotiable. Web design is now more sophisticated and the marketplace is much more saturated. That’s thanks to advancements in technology and the increased accessibility of the internet in general.

In the 1990s and 2000s, having access to the internet or a cell phone was pretty rare. But as of June 2018, there are now 3.95 billion internet users all around the world. And a good portion of those users are rather young. People ages 15 to 24 represent nearly 25% of people who use the internet on a global scale.

Of course, it helps that mobile devices have become commonplace. The car phones of the past have been replaced with mini-computers (a.k.a. smartphones) that can access the internet with ease. It’s no surprise, then, that there were 3.7 billion global mobile internet users in January 2018. Mobile traffic is actually responsible for more than half of all internet traffic now, too. In 2018, it accounted for 52.2% of all internet traffic (an increase from 50.3% in 2017). While many of us still use personal computers and laptops to access the internet, it’s clear that the trend shows the majority of us conduct searches and visit sites from our mobile devices — and that’s likely not going to change any time soon.

Then again, if the last 27 years are any indication… the internet as we know it could change in the blink of an eye. So try to keep up — if you can.

Keeping Your Fiber Optic Cables Clean: 3 Tips to Know

fiber optic cables
In the digital age, having a reliable internet connection is crucial. While homes and businesses used to rely on network Ethernet cables to connect, many have now switched to fiber optic cables. Since the very first fiber optic cable was used in 1988 to connect the U.S. to Great Britain and France, these installations have become incredibly popular all around the world for their higher capacity, ability to support long-distance connections, and interference blocking abilities.
While bulk fiber optic cables are quite reliable in terms of their performance, you still need to take care that this technology is maintained properly. Having a clean connection is absolutely essential for preventing network failures. If you are in charge of installing and/or maintaining your fiber optic network, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.

Know the Right Way to Clean

There’s a very specific cleaning process to follow here, as contamination and improper cleaning procedures can lead to significant problems in your network’s performance. Follow every step carefully to ensure you’re able to eliminate dust/contaminants and leave behind a clean environment. First, inspect the fiber cable connector, component, or bulkhead using a fiberscope. Use a dry cleaning technique (like a dry cleaning tape stick or swab) and inspect again. If it’s still dirty, repeat this step. After this has been completed a second time and if the connector is still dirty, you can use a wet cleaning technique (such as a non-volatile optical cleaning fluid) followed by a dry cleaning method to ensure no residue is left behind. Remember that wet cleaning methods are not to be used for receptacles and bulkheads, as this can cause damage. If the contaminant still remains, repeat the recommended cleaning procedures until it is successfully removed. Always wear regulated safety glasses when performing these steps, disconnect cables at both ends prior to cleaning, and to follow all instructions.

Don’t Rely on Eyesight Alone

There’s a very good reason that fiberscope inspections are required for proper cleaning: we simply cannot see most contaminations with the naked eye. Dust particles as tiny as one micrometer can contaminate fiber optic cables and block up to 1% of transmitted light. A speck that’s only nine micrometers in size is way too small for humans to see without the use of a device, but it can block the cable’s core entirely. You’ll need to rely on a fiberscope (or fiber optic microscope) capable of at least 200X to 400X magnification. You can even digitally record the images you capture to examine later on.

Understand Contamination is Inevitable

One point about using fiber optic cable networks is that — even if you use dust caps and install the cables directly out of the bag — you’re going to deal with dust contamination at some point. Oil, dust, debris, and even packaging remnants can easily find their way into connectors and other components. That’s why regular inspection and maintenance is key. Before you ever plug in your cables and to ensure your connections remain clear, you’ll need to make frequent cleaning a priority.
The good news is that, assuming your fiber optics are free of debris, these cables provide a high-quality connection on which you can rely. To find out more about purchasing these cables in bulk or to explore your other cabling options, get in touch with us today.

Why Your Phone is Charging So Slowly (Or Not At All)

smartphone cable

In the digital age, we rely on our smartphones for just about everything. Around 8.1% of all smartphone sales in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2017 involved the iPhone 7, and countless other tech-savvy consumers are loyal to Apple, Samsung, Google, and other companies that make these gadgets. But because we use these devices so much, we’re prone to using up their battery charges quite quickly. In previous posts, we’ve covered the best tips for charging your phone and things you should never do to your phone’s battery. But if you’re struggling with a slow-charging device — or one that refuses to charge at all — you probably want to know why.

Here’s Why Your Phone Might Be Charging More Slowly

  • Your port might be dirty: It’s possible that the port on your phone itself could be to blame for your slow charging time. If it’s gunked up with dust or debris, it won’t charge as effectively. Use an anti-static brush, compressed air, or even a new toothbrush or a paper clip and carefully clean out the port. You might find this fixes the problem completely; if it doesn’t, you may want to keep reading.
  • You’re using the wrong amperage: When you buy a smartphone cable and charger, you need to pay attention to the amperage. iPhones and other Apple devices will charge only at specific voltages or amperages; if your charger has a particularly low amperage, charging will take a lot longer. Be aware, though, that a high amperage charger might not be safe for your phone.
  • Your cell phone charging cable or power source is bad: Smartphone cables don’t last forever. While buying them from a reputable source will help ensure they don’t break down prematurely, it’s possible that any damage done to your lightning cables will slow down the power flow. In addition, pay attention to where your smartphone cables are plugged in, too. If you’re charging through another device (like your laptop), it’s going to take longer to boost your battery. Usually, plugging in directly to a wall outlet will provide the fastest charging time.
  • Your activities may be to blame: If you use a lot of apps that run in the background (and don’t take steps to avoid this), you might need to charge more often and it might take longer to charge. In addition, using your phone when it’s charging will result in prolonged charging times (particularly if you’re using apps like Facebook that drain the battery). Force quit any apps that you aren’t using and go into your settings to determine which apps are draining your battery. And while your phone is charging, vow not to use it unless absolutely necessary. Take a break and get off the screen for a while.

What If Your Phone Won’t Charge At All?

If switching out your smartphone cable, cleaning out the port, and changing your activities doesn’t do the trick — and your phone won’t charge at all, you might need to replace your phone’s battery entirely. But before you opt for expensive repairs or replacement, make sure you’ve tried everything else first! It’s possible that a quick fix like powering your phone on and off could work, or a quick trip to an electronics or phone store could sort out a solution. But if you’ve tried every other possibility on this list, your device might be on the outs. Hopefully, it won’t come to that point. But at least now you know the other techniques to try before you panic and assume you’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars for a working device.

You’ve Been Charging Your Cell Phone All Wrong: Here’s the Right Way to Do It

cell phone charging cable

Because most of us rely on our cell phones on a near-constant basis throughout the day, it’s pretty likely that your device may run out of juice at some point. Of course, the obvious thing to do in that scenario is to plug in your cell phone charging cable and watch the battery charge. But has it ever occurred to you that you might be using your smartphone cables and chargers incorrectly? We’re talking about a few ways to correctly charge your smartphone battery to sustain its life for a longer period.

Don’t Deplete It First

Some cell phone users believe it’s best to let the battery drain to 0% (or close to it) before recharging. But that’s actually a lot worse for your device over time. Of course, if you’re not near your cell phone charging cable, it’s okay to let your phone’s battery dip below the threshold for those pop-up notifications. (If those appear, make sure to switch to low battery mode and dim your screen’s brightness!) However, if you can help it, don’t let your battery get that low. It’s best to charge it when it’s around 35-40%.

Keep It In the Optimal Range

Although seeing that 100% battery designation might be incredibly satisfying, it’s not actually the best for your phone’s battery life. If you’ll be out of the house for the day without access to your cell phone cables or external battery, it’s okay to charge it all the way (though you might not want to make it a habit). But as a general rule, you should keep your cell phone’s battery within a certain range of fullness. It might surprise you to learn that the 65% to 75% range is actually best. That’ll help the battery to last for the longest period of time. Maintaining that sweet spot can be tough, so failing that, the 45-75% range is a bit more realistic and will provide a lot of the same battery life benefits.

Don’t Be Afraid to “Partial Charge”

You might not think that plugging in your device to its cell phone charging cable for a short period won’t do much good. You might even assume this could hurt your phone’s battery life in the long run. But actually, there’s no evidence to back that up. Experts say that these “partial charges” don’t do any harm to your battery. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, charging your battery a little bit can ensure you’re able to access information when you need it most. Since your phone will operate more efficiently (and will put less stress on your battery) when it’s within optimal range, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t charge it often — even in short bursts.

Store Your Phone at 50%

If for some reason you’re going to be powering off your device and storing it for a long period of time, you’ll want to think about the battery beforehand. Experts say that the battery should be charged up to the 50% mark before you put it away. That’s because the lithium-ion batteries in iPhones may destabilize if they’re abandoned for a longer period of time — and that could cause the battery to explode. While today’s lithium-ion batteries do have safety features to will self-destruct prior to destabilization, the triggering of these features will render the battery unusable. If you’re putting that device away for a while but eventually want to use it again, be sure to turn it on every six months or so and make sure the battery charge is hovering around 50%.
Considering how heavily we rely on our devices to power our lives, it’s important that we learn how to power them properly. If you’re in need of high-quality cell phone charging cables and accessories to make your phone function at its best, take a look around our site or contact us today.

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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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 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.