Signs You Need to Replace Your Ethernet Cable

red cable wire

Is your internet running unusually slow, or are you experiencing interruptions? You might need to change your Ethernet cable. Yes, homes and businesses still use Ethernet cables for several reasons, but mostly because they give you the best connection possible. Unfortunately, like anything else, Ethernet cables can eventually wear down and require a replacement. Below are some signs you need to replace your Ethernet cable.

Loss of connection or interruptions

The most obvious sign of them all is a loss of connection. Of course, sometimes you’ll lose connection from other factors such as weather or local outages, but most of the time it’s your individual network. Additionally, you might experience network interruptions such as lagging or slow download speeds. In most scenarios, a new Ethernet cable is going to solve your interruptions or outages but if that doesn’t work you may need to contact your provider.

If the old wiggle trick works

Everyone has their own solutions that always seem to fix their common problems. When it comes to Ethernet cables, that solution is often the old “give it a wiggle” trick. You shouldn’t have to jiggle the cable just to have an internet connection, and if you do, then something’s wrong with your cable. Typically, the problem lies somewhere in the connector, where you could have a broken pin, or sometimes the connector’s merely worn out.

The cable is damaged

Whether it’s an Ethernet, HDMI, or a coaxial cable, the cable should always be in good shape. Some people like to hide cables behind furniture, but if they’re not careful, cables can get pinched and damaged. In severe cases, the damage can break through the cable’s jacket and ultimately damage the copper wires within the cable’s construction. Once you see damage on your cable, you can consider it a sign to replace your Ethernet cable.

While many individuals are very much used to Wi-Fi, that doesn’t mean Ethernet cables aren’t used anymore. In fact, many modems and routers for wireless networks will have an Ethernet cable plugged into the back. Alternatively, if you want the most reliable and secure connection possible, you should connect directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

So, does it sound like you need a new Ethernet cable? If so, then you’re in the right place. CableWholesale offers high-quality cables in various lengths. Our team has extensive industry experience which helps us offer our clients top-notch customer service. So, whether you need a Cat5e patch cable or bulk fiber optic cables, we’ve got you covered. Check our online shop today for your next Ethernet cable, or contact us with any questions.

Basic Elements of a Fiber Optic Communication System

Basic Elements of a Fiber Optic Communication System

Fiber optic cables are the fastest, most secure, and most reliable connectivity cables currently available. They’re the fastest because they transfer signals using light as opposed to using electric currents from copper wire cables. Additionally, they’re the most reliable and secure because most organizations install fiber cables underground and out of harm's way. In addition, copper wires emit electrical signals, making them vulnerable to hacking and several forms of interference.

Because fiber optics are so fast and dependable, it makes sense why so many organizations are installing fiber optic communication systems. A communication system involves several items including transmission systems, relay stations, and data terminal equipment. Each communication can look different, as some are strictly for telephones while others act as networks for sharing data. There’s one important factor that influences the reliability, security, and speed of a communication system, and that’s the basic elements of a fiber optic communication system. Our experts discuss each element and why it’s important in our guide below.

A compact light source

Given that fiber optics operate and transfer information using light, you’re going to need a compact light source. A light source is going to formulate bursts of light in order to pass the data from point A to point B through the cable. Depending on the local area network setups, your light requirements can vary based on your power source, the required speed, and temperature. Many compact light sources will be sufficient for general needs, but if your organization requires extremely quick speeds, you may need a stronger light.

Most (if not all) light sources are going to include light-emitting diodes, better known as LEDs, or laser diodes––sometimes both. For those of you who must transfer data over shorter distances, an LED light source would be adequate. The reason is that LEDs have lower bandwidths and boast lower power usage––hence why everyone is putting LEDs in their homes nowadays. On the other hand, many organizations need to transfer data over long distances, in which case you’d want a laser diode. Laser light sources have a much stronger output power, which increases speeds. The main downfall between the two light sources is their ability to operate at different temperatures. LEDs have minimal reactions to temperature fluctuations, while a laser light source is much more sensitive to its surrounding temperature.

Low-loss optical fiber

The quality and construction of your fiber optic cable are vital to a reliable connection. The four primary components of a fiber optic cable are the jacket, buffer, cladding, and the core. The jacket, as you may expect, is the cable's outer layer that you would handle directly. Manufacturers offer cables with various colored jackets to help users identify their cables during installation and maintenance. The buffer’s primary purpose is to protect the fibers from damage. Buffers can be made up of anything from Kevlar to gel-filled sleeves. Next, we have the cladding layer, which is partially a protective layer for the core, but its primary function is to reflect light back into the core. Cladding is a low-density material that changes the angle of the light back to the core, a high-density material. The last component is the core itself. The core is a circular plastic that runs through the entire length of the cable. As you send data over a fiber-optic network, your information transforms into beams of light and the core carries that information to the next point. However, because light moves so quickly, the light can leave the core at times and that’s where the cladding layer we previously mentioned comes into play.

There are two types of fibers that are available: a single-mode and a multi-mode. Single-mode fiber isn’t very common as it can only transfer one signal per fiber. Single-mode fiber cables are best for minor applications like telephones. The type of cables that most organizations use today are multi-mode cables, as they allow you to transfer multiple signals per fiber. Most organizations will install multi-mode fibers since they can meet higher demands.

Photodetectors

Fiber optics are only beneficial if you can send and receive signals. You can receive signals through the last element, a photodetector. A photodetector is like a small camera that first receives a signal, and then transforms that signal into an electrical signal. The electrical signal will then transfer the data received into content, whether that’s an email, picture, video, invoice, or more. Why is this important? Because modern computers and LANs aren’t yet capable of reading light signals and transforming them into meaningful content. Not yet anyway, so until then, a communication system driven by fiber optics requires photodetectors. Without the photodetector, the light signals are a lot like deciphering the Morse code for your computer.

If your organization wants to send and receive data rapidly, you can’t overlook fiber optics since they offer the best connection currently available. Put it this way, fiber optics connected the U.S. to France and Great Britain in 1988, and the technology’s only gotten better since. That said, fiber optics should be good enough for your organization if the technology was good enough for the government. However, the fiber cables alone aren’t going to cut it, and you need to install the basic elements of a fiber optic communication system that we discussed earlier.

Furthermore, you should purchase all the elements from a reliable supplier that only offers high-quality products. If you neglect to use quality items and only consider the most affordable options, you’re going to find yourself repairing and replacing cables prematurely. In other words, neglecting to invest in quality upfront is only going to cost you more time and money in the long run.

If you’re looking for superior products, CableWholesale has everything you’ll need to create the best fiber optic communication system. Our team has decades of industry experience, and we’re dedicated to helping you find every item you need for your next cabling setup. Our inventory consists of bulk fiber cable, Ethernet fiber converters, standard 1ft to 1000 ft Ethernet cables, and everything in between. If you have questions, or if you’re ready to take your connectivity to the next level, contact us today.

Common Misconceptions About Computer Networks

Common Misconceptions About Computer Networks

Our world is full of technology. There’s always a new device, update, or gadget that we need. In addition, all these devices connect via computer networks, but some people still don’t understand how these networks work and believe in several misconceptions. If you’d like to learn more about the common misconceptions about computer networks, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading our guide below.

The internet and the World Wide Web aren’t the same thing

While many people believe that typing “www” is giving you access to the internet, it’s not. The World Wide Web (WWW) is a chain of domains and pages that merely host information using HTTP protocol. In other words, the WWW stores information for other domains. Alternatively, the internet consists of various networks that connect––and communicate––to one another.

Wireless is not always the better option

The convenience of Wi-Fi is something we’re all used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Wi-Fi has plenty of advantages, such as fewer wires and increased mobility. Luckily, Wi-Fi providers have shown significant improvements in download speeds and bandwidth. On the other hand, there are some disadvantages that many people overlook, such as reliability and security. Even with the Wi-Fi providers showing better results, no wireless network is better than a wired network. In fact, connecting networks with fiber optic cables is the fastest connection that’s currently available. Additionally, a wired connection is less likely to experience interference. Probably the most important reason you would want a wired network instead of wireless is for security. Wireless networks send signals beyond your devices, leaving them susceptible to hackers and other unauthorized users, while a wired network is accessible only through your direct Ethernet cable.

Bandwidth is not unlimited

Unfortunately, bandwidth isn’t unlimited—at least, not yet. When you purchase an internet plan, whether it’s wired or wireless, there’s always a limit. In fact, they usually sell the plan to you something like this: You’re guaranteed to get X speed, but on a good day, you might even get Y speed. However, the provider’s paperwork often makes it look like you’re getting that “on a good day” speed. Now, there are some things you can do to improve your connectivity and speed, but the best solution is connecting directly with an Ethernet cable.

While these are only some of the common misconceptions about computer networks, they’re definitely the most common. Our industry experience has proven time and time again that connecting directly with a cable is always the best option for connection, speed, and security. We know people often have a hard time accepting the fact that connecting with a cable is better, but it’s true. Try an Ethernet cable; you’ll probably never want a wireless connection again, with the exception of your mobile devices.

Now that you want an Ethernet cable, you should know that not all cables are created equally when it comes to quality. We know you want your money to go to high-quality products, and that’s why CableWholesale refuses to settle for anything less than high-quality. Our Ethernet cables come in a wide range of sizes. Whether you’re looking for 1 foot, 10 foot, 100 foot Ethernet cables, or longer, we’ve got you covered. Check out our online shop today.

Ethernet Patch Cable vs. Ethernet Crossover Cable

cable connector

You may be trying to connect two devices, and after doing a little research you might have come across both patch cables and crossover cables, but what’s the difference? They look similar, but they have their own unique uses. To help you learn more about Ethernet patch cables vs. Ethernet crossover cables, our experts put together this guide below.

Ethernet patch cable

Patch cables are used to connect two different devices. For example, when you connect your computer (one type of device) directly to your router (another type of device), you’re likely using a patch cable. In other words, you would use a patch cable to connect a computer to a router, a gaming console to a router, or a computer to a printer. Manufacturers configure the internal wiring and pins similarly but slightly different in both patch and crossover cables, which is really what sets them apart from each other.

Ethernet crossover cable

While the patch cable connects two different devices, crossover cables connect two similar devices. If you’re looking to connect similar devices without using hubs or routers, you’ll need a crossover cable. A major benefit of connecting two hubs together with a crossover cable is that you can share data between the hubs quickly and gain additional ports on the same network. Some other common uses for crossover cables include connecting a computer to another computer, and to a switch that connects to normal ports on each side. Additionally, gamers will commonly connect two consoles to have multiple people in the same match, and crossover cables are excellent for this purpose as well.

While you might understand the highlights between Ethernet patch cables vs. Ethernet crossover cables, don’t make the mistake of trying to connect two similar devices with a patch cable. Because of the patch cable’s wire configuration, it’s only designed to connect different devices. The same goes for crossover cables, in that they won’t connect different devices. In addition, you shouldn’t make the mistake of purchasing cheap cables, because you’re going to receive a mediocre connection. Instead, invest a few extra dollars in a company that only supplies high-quality cables.

To save you time, look no further than CableWholesale for all your cabling needs. We refuse to sell anything that doesn’t meet our high-quality standards. Regardless if you’re getting crossover, patch, fiber optic, or bulk Cat5e cables, all our cables come with lifetime warranties. Additionally, we offer top-notch pre- and post-sale tech support to ensure our cables exceed your expectations. Check out our online shop today, and reach out if you have any questions.

Types of USB Cables and Their Uses

different cable types

The universal serial bus, better known as a USB cable, has become an industry standard for transferring data and charging devices. Between the speed and versatility of USB cables, nearly all companies adopted the technology, though there are some that still have not. If you’ve recently searched “USB cable” on the internet, you likely found yourself overwhelmed with the various options, types, and features. To help you learn more about the types of USB cables and their uses, we put together this comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more.

USB-A

The USB-A has become the industry standard because it’s a rather simple cable to manufacture, and also due to its versatility. You probably have a few USB cables with the type A connector around your home because they’re often paired with computer accessories a mouse and keyboard, but that’s not all. If your car is from the late 1990’s or after, you probably have at least one type A connector. Nowadays, kids find it taboo if a car doesn’t have a USB-A port. Then again, kids also find it unusual when there’s a CD or cassette player.

USB-B

While a USB cable with a type B connector isn’t nearly as common anymore, it’s worth mentioning because some people still use them. Sometimes you have to connect your device directly to another device, but connecting each device with a USB-A could damage both devices. So, manufacturers designed the type B connector to make connecting two devices with a cable safe. Again, most people don’t use USB-B cables anymore, because newer USB cables replaced the B connector, but depending on the devices in question, you might need a type B connector. For instance, if you haven’t upgraded devices like your printer, some older models require a type B connection.

USB-C

The newest industry standard is the USB-C, so much so that even Apple adopted the technology, so if you own a newer MacBook, you already know what we’re talking about. In fact, the only ports on your MacBook are C ports. There are two primary factors that make the USB-C special from the previous models. First, a USB-C cable can support Thunderbolt, but note that not all devices support Thunderbolt hardware. Second, you can directly connect two devices using a USB-C cable without fear of damaging the devices. In other words, a USB-C cable is reversible, while the other cables are a single power stream.

Mini- and Micro-USB

As you might expect, the Mini-USB has a smaller connector than other models and is best for smaller devices. If you have an older camera, MP3 player, or cell phone, you’re probably connecting to those devices via Mini-USB. But much like the USB-B, the Mini-USB was mostly replaced by a newer variation better known as the Micro-USB.

Once the Micro-USB connector came to light, almost every manufacturer stopped using Mini-USB cables and adopted the new Micro-USB. What set the Micro-USB apart from the Mini-USB was the slim design, otherwise both cables had similar speeds and five pins.

USB-3

Some refer to the USB-3 as the super speed cable since it can transfer information much faster than the USB 2.0. The ports on USB-3 cables are usually blue so you can tell them apart from the older models. Aside from the increased transfer speeds, there’s one more important benefit to USB-3 cables and that’s backward compatibility. In other words, you can use a USB-3 cable in a 2.0 port, but you’re going to experience speeds.

What are all these numbers?

By now you’re probably wondering what all this 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, and so on, means. The different numbers all indicate the iteration of the cable, which also indicates the transfer speed capability. Think of it like the first iPhone (or whatever device you want) versus the latest iPhone. The first iPhone––let’s call it the 1.0––was much slower than the newer model––we’ll call it 3.0. USB 1.0 transfer speeds only reached 12 megabits per second. Once USB 2.0 launched in 2001, transfer speeds were reaching 480 megabits per second, a very noticeable difference at the time. Then Intel created the USB 3.0 in 2011 which at first was transferring information at 5 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). The launch of 3.0 also opened the world to what became SuperSpeed. However, only a few years later, SuperSpeed+ became the norm, and transfer speeds climbed from 5 Gbit/s, to 10 Gbit/s, to 20 Gbit/s, all of which is likely leading to the next generation of USB cables with faster speeds.

USB cables appear to be more complicated than they actually are. Everybody relies on USB cables, and the average person probably won’t need any connectors beyond the standard USB-A and the current USB-C connectors. Additionally, 2.0 speeds are sufficient for most individuals, but you could go with a 3.0 cable. That said, we recognize that all of you aren’t “the average person.” So, if you’re a creative professional or organization that regularly works with large files and needs higher speeds, it’s in your best interest to only consider 3.0 cables. Before purchasing your next USB cable, you must understand that not all USB cables are created equal. Some manufacturers have very high-quality standards, while other manufacturers look for any opportunity to cut costs and ultimately produce bad cables.

So, to ensure you’re getting the best cable available, you should buy from a company that doesn’t settle for low-quality products. Since our goal is to supply high-quality products to all our customers, CableWholesale is the right company for you. We have extensive industry experience, giving us both the industry know-how and value for quality products. In other words, we’ve been where you are, and we wouldn’t sell you something that we wouldn’t purchase ourselves. CableWholesale has been a leading supplier for over 20 years, and our inventory is full whether you need a single USB cable a specific product like 100ft Cat6 Ethernet cable. Our top-notch customer service team is ready to help you decipher the different types of USB cables and their uses, and get you back up and running in no time. Take a look at our online shop today and contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

types of usb cables and their uses

Tips for Keeping Fiber-Optic Cables Clean

Tips for Keeping Fiber-Optic Cables Clean

Did you know you can improve connection and increase the longevity of your fiber-optic cables simply by keeping them clean? It’s true. Yet so many individuals don’t keep them clean, and we believe it’s because most people don’t know they should. Luckily, we’re here to help—continue reading for some tips for keeping fiber-optic cables clean.

Regularly inspect the cables with a fiberscope

Given the complexity of fiber-optic cables and how small harmful particles can be, we suggest getting a fiberscope. A fiberscope is a device that offers extraordinary magnification capabilities. In fact, in most cases, you can get as little as 100x and over 400x magnification using a fiberscope. Using a fiberscope with a regular inspection connection will give you the best results for identifying parts of the cable that need a cleaning.

Dry cleaning is an option, but not recommended by itself

One way to clean your fiber-optic cables is a method called dry cleaning. Dry cleaning involves using a cotton swab or dry wipe, which in general is fine, but there are two reasons you shouldn’t exclusively dry-clean your cables. First, some debris is easier to remove when it’s wet as opposed to dry. Second, using a dry wipe can attract other contaminants due to static electricity, which could have the opposite effect you’re going for.

Wet cleaning could be risky, too

To better clean debris that’s easier to remove when wet, you could try wet cleaning. Wet cleaning is a method that involves using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or a pure solvent. However, much like the dry cleaning option, you shouldn’t use the wet cleaning method exclusively for a couple reasons. First, using a liquid can result in negative effects because the liquid can find its way to places it shouldn’t be. Second, the solvent can take an extended amount of time to evaporate, which can lead to damage.

Use a combination cleaning method

So, ultimately the best option is to combine dry and wet cleaning. The most common method is using very little solvent and then cleaning with a dry wipe or swab. By using a small amount of solvent first, you’ll be able to easily remove any tough debris that has built up over time. However, it’s important to clean the cable in a straight line and avoid any twisting, turning, or circular movements. Any nonlinear movement can damage the cable and potentially push debris further into the cable.

Fiber-optic cables certainly give users the best connection, but many people don’t realize they need to maintain their cables. However, with these tips for keeping fiber-optic cables clean, you’ll extend the life of your cables and maintain a superior connection.

If you’re looking for high-quality cables—whether that’s fiber-optic cables or 1000-ft Cat5e cables, CableWholesale has a large inventory for all your connectivity needs. With our expansive industry experience, we’re capable of producing high-quality products and top-notch customer service. Contact us today for more information.

How Does a Network Operating System Work?

How Does a Network Operating System Work?

Efficiency and data sharing is crucial for every company to work effectively. Employees could, of course, merely email documents, spreadsheets, and more back and forth. However, that’s inefficient, so why not consider installing a network operating system (NOS)? They’ll allow everyone on a particular network to access data from a shared location. Continue reading to learn how a network operating system works.

The two types of systems

Traditionally, when organizations set up a network operating system, they have one of the two following systems: peer-to-peer or client/server. However, to ensure reliability and stability and to reduce downtime, most systems are set up with a combination of both.

Peer-to-peer

This system gives users the capability to access shared documents, files, and more on each computer on the network. In fact, a peer-to-peer system treats each computer as an equal entity on the network. That said, computers on these operating systems have equal functionality. The benefit of a peer-to-peer system is that they’re simple to set up, affordable, and common within small businesses.

Client/server

On the other hand, a client/server has become more popular over the years as they allow organizations to store resources with the help of servers. These systems allow all devices to link to the file servers, which significantly improves privacy and security. While client/server systems are excellent, they are more expensive than a peer-to-peer system. Plus, they require more maintenance, so if you don’t have a designated IT team, you’ll need to get one or learn the technical details yourself. Because of these disadvantages, client/server systems are found in medium to large organizations because they have the people to set up and maintain the servers.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to incorporate a NOS in your organization, you’re going to need to know how a network operating system works. Additionally, if you don’t have an IT team, you’re going to become that team in the meantime. However, network operating systems are vital to any company’s success and efficiency.

Along with your NOS, you’ll need to ensure you have an excellent internet connection. One of the easiest fixes for improving a sluggish internet connection is updating your Ethernet cables. So if you need to upgrade to great cables, look no further than CableWholesale. We have everything from 200 ft. Ethernet cables to bulk and custom cables. Contact us today for more information.