If you run a business in the digital age, connectivity needs to be a top priority. When your staff can’t connect to a given device or to the internet, productivity will certainly suffer. Unfortunately for your organization, this problem is probably more common than you’d think. More than 80% of businesses said they experienced office internet connectivity issues on a regular basis during 2017. And on average, those businesses reported more than four internet service disruptions every month. Not surprisingly, 77% of businesses that experienced these disruptions said the events had a negative impact on their organization’s profitability.
That’s often where having the right equipment comes in. The type and quality of cables your office has, for instance, can make a big difference in your ability to stay connected. Here are five different types of cables your office shouldn’t be without.
- UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Cables: UTP cables are used for both telephone and Ethernet access. AT&T originally developed the 25-pair color code that’s still used today in most UTP cables. These cables include four pairs of wires protected by colorful jacket sheathings. The wires are twisted a specific number of times to reduce interference from other kinds of wires and electronic devices.
- Fiber Optic Cables: Fiber optic cables contain a glass or plastic core that’s surrounded by protective materials. They’re typically associated with high-speed internet access (many businesses use them to ensure a connected network between different buildings), but the technology is nothing new. Fiber optics have actually been around since the 1870s, but this technology is still considered to be one of the fastest and most cost-efficient options for data transmission.
- HDMI Cables: First developed in 2002 to transmit audio and video signals, HDMI cables can connect personal computers, TVs, Blu-Ray and DVD players, gaming consoles, digital audio devices, video projectors, and more. Many digital cameras and mobile phones come equipped with miniature versions of HDMI ports. Rather than being used for data transfer, these cables are used to send signals for higher quality viewing. They’re what allow you to hook up a laptop to a large screen TV for presentations — a must for many businesses today.
- USB Cables: Unlike HDMI cables, USB cables are used to actually connect two devices and transport data between them. USB-B cables typically connect routers, computers, or printers. USB-A cables are often used in the office to connect your keyboard or mouse to your desktop computer. If you’ve ever connected your smartphone to your laptop to sync it or a digital camera to a computer to upload some images, you’ve used a USB cable.
- Ethernet Cables: Rather than relying on a wireless network, many businesses opt for a wired connection. Ethernet cables like Cat 5e and Cat 6 are often faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi. Although Wi-Fi networks can theoretically manage speeds of 1.3 Gbps, Ethernet connections can realistically provide speeds of 2.5 to 5 Gbps (as of 2018). In many cases, that makes for higher productivity and lower stress for employees.
In order for your organization to run smoothly, you’ll need access to reliable tools that keep you connected. By prioritizing the acquisition of high-quality cables like these, your employees will be able to do their jobs with ease, resulting in higher success rates for your business.