Cable vs. Fiber Optic: Which Option Is Better For You?

ethernet cables

Ahh, yes, the age-old debate: cable or fiber optic? Although it may not be as argued as Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Apple vs. Android (although we will admit that the iPhone 7 accounted for 8.1% of smartphone sales in the third quarter of last year), fiber optic has gained traction in the few years since its public debut. Boasting lightning quick speeds and data delivery over long distances, fiber optic cables have begun to rise in popularity. But does that mean it is inherently the best choice? Let’s take a look.

Cables Defined

Both technologies offer their own pros and cons, but to understand why that is, we first need to understand how they work. Fiber optic falls into two categories: single and multi. Single Mode uses a laser light to send signals over long distances — around 50 times greater than Multi Mode. Multi Mode uses diodes and multiple lasers of light to send signals over shorter distances, usually around a rate of 10 Gbits/s over lengths of up to 2000 ft. Although, this fascinating story about a group of researchers who were able to send 255 terabits per second down a single strand of glass fiber — which is the same as “[transfering] a 1GB movie in 31.25 microseconds (0.03 milliseconds)” — reveals what could be achieved with fiber optic. However, you certainly won’t find that kind of speed in your own home.

Traditional copper cables (such as Cat5 cables, Cat5e cables, and Cat6 cables) send data via electrical current. Though speeds have been greatly improved in copper cables over the years, their dependence on electricity makes them more likely to suffer from interference (potentially from bluetooth, transformers, and even microwaves).

Your Needs Make The Cable

Really, it all comes down to personal preference. Fiber optic is capable of offering download and upload speeds superior to copper cables, but they’re more expensive. If you have a full household of people trying to stream, download, or post at the same time, you’re going to want a fiber optic Internet service. If you live by yourself or rarely use the Internet, copper cables are perfectly suited for the job.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll be able to plug ethernet cables directly into your router to gain even faster speeds. All Ethernet cables link you to the source of your Internet, so your choice between copper and fiber makes no difference there.

How to Protect Yourself From a Power Surge

Electricity is unequivocally seen as a real positive in our lives. Without it, we couldn’t power our household lights, our kitchen appliances, or our technological devices. However, there can be too much of a good thing. And when that happens, our electronics are vulnerable to damage.

We’re talking about power surges.

How to Protect Yourself From a Power Surge

It may sound exciting, but it’s really quite dangerous. A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage. Power surges can happen during lightning storms, power outages, and even when we switch on or off a large appliance. In fact, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association estimates that 60-80% of all power surges can be traced back to internal sources within a home or a business. These relatively normal occurrences can actually be so strong and sudden that they may damage your equipment or even start a fire.

During a power surge, the voltage levels will increase far beyond the limits of a given device. Typically, most electronic devices can handle 120 volts, though they may fluctuate between 0 volts and 169 volts. But the volts associated with power surges can extend far beyond those parameters and permanently damage your devices.

The truth is that any appliance can be irreparably damaged by a power surge. But there are certain devices that are more prone to power surge damage. These devices include computers, television sets, space heaters, and washing machines. It’s essential, therefore, to protect your devices (as well as your home and your family!) by taking the proper precautions. To do this, you can use power strips that offer surge protection, surge stations, or uninterruptible power stations.

Keep in mind that the way you plug in your appliances matters, too. Never use a power strip for delicate electronics and large-scale appliances (like air conditioners). This can lead to mini-surges and put your devices at risk for damage. You should also ensure your plug-ins have a UL Standard 1449 in the second edition and have a clamping voltage of 400 volts or less. They should be able to handle 600 joules, shut down immediately if a surge is detected, and protect the neutral line, ground line, and hotline.

In the event of a major storm or unexpected outage, protecting your charging or plugged-in devices may not be your first thought. But if you want to ensure the longevity of your gadgets, you may want to change your point of view. By taking a few easy precautionary steps, you can safeguard these electronics from harm and give yourself some peace of mind.

Never Lose To Lag: When To Use Ethernet Cables For Gaming

cat5e cables

We’ve all been there before; you’re in the middle of a round of your favorite multi-player online game, and just when you need a fast connection most, you’re taken down by every gamer’s worst enemy: lag. If you need a fast connection for gaming, it might be time to consider an upgraded ethernet cable. Here are a few situations where an ethernet cable might be able to improve your gaming setup.

Online Gaming

If you’re a fan of MMORPGs, or if you’re a competitive Smash player wanting to improve your game, or even if you typically just play with a few friends online, ethernet cables might be able to help you. Cat6 cables and Cat5e cables can improve your internet speeds and overall connection to the network. That means reduced lag and improved game performance when playing any sort of online game. No need to worry about someone stealing your XP because your computer or console lagged.

If you frequently find yourself struggling to connect while streaming your favorite game, or experience slower speeds while streaming, Cat5e cables or Cat6 cables could help you create a better viewing experience for your followers. Streaming can tax your systems and your network connection, and an ethernet cable upgrade can help prevent problems frequently faced by streamers.

Console vs. PC

Regardless of where you sit on the console vs. PC gaming debate, ethernet cables and fiber optic cables can improve your gaming experience. Ethernet cables are able to connect to both consoles and PCs, making them a useful tool for any serious gamer, whatever your gaming system of choice is.

Fiber optic cables can be incredibly useful for the intense console or PC gamer. Fiber optic cables first connected the U.S. to France and Britain in 1988, and since then, hundreds more have been installed all over the globe. If you need heavy-duty equipment to handle your gaming, this could be a good choice for you.

Looking for Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, or other sorts of cables to improve your connection and gaming experience? CableWholesale has a wide variety of ethernet cables and other cables available to improve your network connection today.

An Overview of Cat6 Ethernet Cabling

cat6 cable

We may live in the digital age, but not every web user connects to the internet in the same way. If you’ve ditched wireless in favor of Ethernet, you may not realize that there are several categories of Ethernet cables to choose from. One of the newer options, which is still immensely popular in 2018, is the Cat6 cable. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the main points you’ll want to understand about this cable in order to achieve the best possible connection for your needs.

Category 6 Ethernet cables, also known simply as Cat6 cables, were first released back in 2002. That may seem like a lifetime ago in terms of technological advancements, which makes it even more impressive that Cat6 Ethernet cables are still one of the preferred options 15 years later.

These cables contain four pairs of twisted copper wire. This technology uses all four pairs to achieve its high levels of performance. That’s just one of the reasons Cat6 cables are used regularly for computer networking, security systems, and even phone services. Perhaps most notably, Cat6 is backwards compatible with Cat 5, Cat5e, and Cat3 cable standards, meaning that it can work with older systems without the need for a complete technological upgrade.

But the benefits of Cat6 don’t stop there. This type of cabling follows more restrictive specifications for the elimination of system noise and crosstalk. Ultimately, that means its performance is better and more versatile. The improvements made from Cat5 to Cat6 include more available bandwidth, higher reliability, increased data rates, and a better signal-to-noise ratio. That translates to better reliability and fewer errors and data losses. It’s no wonder that this category of cable quickly became the obvious preference for those operating in network installation.

Of course, there are some slight drawbacks. Installing a Cat6 network is a bit more complex than installing previous categories, due to the way the conductors are twisted. While this can easily be performed by a professional, the installation process may take a bit more time. That said, most people feel that the effort is well worth it.

Generally speaking, it’s best to opt for the newest forms of technology. Given how quickly this landscape evolves, it’s important for businesses to have access to equipment with all the improvements and support available. After all, opting for a much older cabling category could result in an inability to make repairs or a comparable replacement. But by using Cat6 cables, you can be assured that you’ll be able to access what you need for many years to come. Because this cable category is compatible with older technology, you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run; instead of having to replace your network and your technology later on, you’ll be able to continue using your existing infrastructure because you thought ahead. And doing that will speak to your success overall.

To find out more about Cat6, Cat5e, and the other categories of Ethernet cable we carry, please contact us today.

Cat Cable 101: The Three Types Of Cat Cables

cat5e network cables

With 3.47 billion users connected to the internet as of March 2017, there are plenty of people making use of Cat cables to stay connected every day. But what are Cat cables? “Cat” is short for Category cables, a type of ethernet cable used for carrying broadband signals to a wide array of computer networks and devices. But not every Cat cable is going to be right for every job. Here are the three types of Cat cables and what you need to know about each of them to make the most out of them, and to ensure you’re getting what you need.

Cat5 cables

A trusty old standby, Cat5 cables are dependent and reliable ethernet cables. Cat5 cables might not be the newest model with all the fancy add-ons, but they’ll certainly do the job and do it well. It might be a bit harder to find them as they’re gradually being phased out, but these tough cables can last between five and ten years. Cat5 cables are well-suited to most home needs, though they might struggle with a larger network.

Cat5e cables

Cat5e network cables are a step up from Cat5; physically, the two look the same, but Cat5e cables can provide just a bit more oomph for faster speeds. They’re also designed to reduce “crosstalk,” or interference between wires, making them more efficient. Cat5e network cables are fairly common and work well for phone lines, home networks, and office networks.

Cat6 cables

The newest type of Cat cable on this list is the Cat6 cable, and this one provides the fastest speeds of the bunch. Cat6 cables can be a bit more pricey, but for some people, the extra speed and power are worth the cost. This type of cable has even more shielding to prevent crosstalk than its predecessor. This cable works well for many of the same applications as a Cat5e, but some devices require specifically a Cat6, so be sure to check which cable is right before purchasing.

Looking to purchase one of these Cat cables, particularly in bulk? CableWholesale has everything you need. Contact CableWholesale for deals on Cat cables, cell phone charging cables, USB cables, and more.

How to Avoid the Dreaded Dead Battery: 3 Phone Tips to Follow

cell phone charging cable

Because we use our devices on a nearly constant basis, we go into crisis mode when our battery levels run low. And unfortunately, that experience typically happens to us at least once a day. Since a recent study found that nearly 90% of people experience anxiety and panic when their phone battery dips below 20%, it’s likely you’ll do everything you can to ensure your device doesn’t die on you. But never fear: our tips are here to help. If you keep these in mind, we’re betting you’ll rarely have to face a reality without your smartphone by your side.

Know How to Make Your Battery Last

This might seem like an obvious tip, but you might be surprised by the number of people who don’t make an attempt to keep their battery usage low. When you use a ton of apps, keep your screen at its ultimate brightness level, and have all push notifications turned on, your phone’s battery is going to drain more quickly. Unless you want to be tethered to your cell phone charging cable 24/7, we suggest you avoid playing games (especially those with ads), disabling your location services, and ditching automatic email fetching. You should also turn down your screen brightness, force quit any apps you aren’t using (and disable any option that allows them to operate in the background), or enable airplane mode when you don’t need to use your phone. Ideally, you should take these steps well before you get the low battery mode notification to preserve your juice throughout the day.

Buy Multiple Cell Phone Cables

Nearly 395 iPhones are sold every minute, but cell phone cable accessories may be a bit of an after-thought. In many cases, you may buy a cell phone charging cable only when yours starts to split and fray or if you’ve traveled a great distance and realize you’ve left yours at home. But you can avoid these panic-inducing scenarios by purchasing multiple cell phone charging cables and keeping one wherever you go. That way, you can have one in key locations throughout your home, at the office, in your purse or travel bag, and in your car. Buying so many charging cables may seem unnecessary, but you’ll be grateful for your foresight when you realize your phone has only a 10% battery charge and you’re far away from your nightstand.

Understand When to Charge Your Phone

There are a lot of misconceptions about phone charging. Some people believe you should wait until the battery dies to charge it up, but that’s actually really bad for your battery. The optimal percentage for your battery is actually between 65% and 75%. If it gets down to 30% to 40%, you should start charging at that point; otherwise, you could jeopardize your phone’s long-term battery performance. Actually, it’s best to charge your phone for a little bit, whenever you have the chance. So if your phone is at 70% or 80% battery, you won’t harm it by plugging it into your cell phone charging cable for a few minutes. That little bit of extra juice can make all the difference if you’ll be traveling all day and need reliable access to the internet and maps.
We hope these tips will help you avoid low battery anxiety and the dreaded dead battery. Of course, quality charging starts with a quality charging cable. To learn more about our cell phone accessories and chargers, please contact us today.

Care Tips For Smartphone Cables

smartphone cable

In the digital age, we need our devices constantly. After all, 64% of Americans owned an iPhone in 2017 — and that doesn’t include the percentage of consumers who rely on non-Apple smartphones. Not surprisingly, most of us have to charge our gadgets at least once a day in order to safeguard our constant connections. To do that, it’s essential to have a smartphone cable (or two) on-hand. But if you don’t maintain your cell phone cables properly, you might have to replace them more than you’d like. You’ll want to follow our top care tips for smartphone charging cables to ensure you won’t be stuck with a low (or dead) battery at the worst possible time.

Wrap the Right Way

When you’re traveling, you might be tempted to just throw your cable in your bag or wrap it haphazardly. Not only can this cause the cable to become tangled, but it can actually shorten its lifespan, too. Cables of all types need to be wrapped in a certain way. Hold one end of the cable and begin wrapping the cord around your hand in a loop, making sure it’s smooth with no twists. You can then secure the cable with a tie or rubber band to keep it in this position. This allows you to avoid bends and crunches in the cable, both of which can impact its performance.

Unplug Properly

When your phone is done charging and you need to bring your cable along with you somewhere, how do you unplug your charger? If you pull on the cable wire itself, rather than disconnecting it from the port or the plug, you’re doing it wrong. Unplugging a smartphone cable by tugging on the jacket is a bad idea that can impact its performance down the line. That’s because you’ll be putting pressure on the cable’s weakest point. If you do this a lot, you may find that your cable won’t charge consistently and that you’ll buy replacements often. In some cases, it may not be that these cell phone accessories are cheaply made knock-offs; it could simply be that you aren’t handling them as you should.

Set It Straight

Examine the stations you normally use to charge your phone. Does your setup require you to bend your cable in order to reach your device? That could be an issue. A bend or kink in your cable can add tension in vulnerable spots and lead to fraying later on. Your smartphone cable should have some slack and should be able to connect to your device without that pressure. If your cord isn’t long enough, invest in one that gives you some more wiggle room.

Of course, protecting your smartphone cable starts with buying a high-quality cord from the start. But if you follow these maintenance tips, you shouldn’t have any issue charging your device in the foreseeable future.