The Importance of Structured Cabling in Healthcare

The Importance of Structured Cabling in Healthcare

Whether you work at a pediatric office, urgent care, hospital, nursing home, addiction treatment center, or an ambulatory care center, there’s no doubt that connectivity is important. Additionally, the rising demand of telehealth and telemedicine, that is, remote healthcare, requires health facilities to have an excellent connectivity infrastructure. There are a few different ways you could improve connectivity in a healthcare facility such as updating your Ethernet cables and using a wired network as often as possible.

Updating cables and going wired sounds easy enough, but you also need to ensure your connection and cables are reliable and organized respectively. The importance of a reliable network speaks for itself, but why is organization important? Well, if your network were to go down, you (or your IT team) should be able to quickly locate the problem. A mess of cables isn’t going to help you find the problem, if anything you might snag a cable and cause more issues trying to find the problem. So, what’s the solution? Structured cabling. If you’d like to learn the importance of structured cabling in healthcare, our experts have you covered in our guide below.

First, what is structured cabling?

Before we can discuss why structured cabling is so important, you should have a general understanding of what structured cabling is. In simple terms, structured cabling is a building’s connectivity infrastructure that connects via cables from a designated telecommunications room or closet. The necessary components for a structured cabling system include horizontal cabling, backbone cabling, entrance facilities, and finally the work area.

When most people ask what structured cabling looks like, the best way to describe it is organized and intentional. Every cable used is there for a reason, so while there are a lot of cables, they all serve a purpose.

Reliability and organization

In the healthcare industry, you depend on reliable equipment to provide state of the art care for your patients––your facility’s connectivity is no different. Structured cabling will provide your building and staff a reliable connection throughout daily operations. Administrative workers especially benefit from structured cabling because most care facilities use databases to store patient information as opposed to file cabinets. Moreover, structured cabling provides improved bandwidth which allows workers to access data throughout the building from any device on the local area network and beyond.

Because structured cabling follows the TIA/EIA standards, you can count on consistency, reliability, and organization throughout the facility. Organization is more important than a lot of people think when it comes to networks. A messy IT closet and server room can result in a few issues for your facility. When something goes wrong with your network, you’ll want your IT team to fix it as soon as possible. However, an unorderly network system can result in extended downtime because it’s harder to locate the cable, switch, patch panel, or router that caused the problem. If any industry can’t afford network downtime, it’s healthcare, so you should consider structured cabling for the sheer reliability and organization benefits.

Structured cabling supports facility growth

As care centers attract more patients, they often face the decision to turn away new patients or expand their facility. Structured cabling makes the decision easy for you because it’s adaptable. Adding new cables, switches, or work areas to a structured cabling setup is simple for any IT professional. If your facility doesn’t have its own IT team, then we’d suggest hiring an IT service to handle installation or expansion for your structured cabling hardware. Otherwise there’s a lot of room for error for anyone without experience in setting up networks and following standards.

Better care capability

We previously eluded to some of the changes in the healthcare industry, most notably telemedicine and telehealth. Structured cabling supports both telemedicine, telehealth, but also onsite care. By using high-quality Cat5e or higher network cables, you’ll have a much more reliable connection with faster transmission speeds. Along with better speed, structured cabling will also provide a better bandwidth which helps everyone in the facility.

Given that telemedicine and telehealth are both remote care options for patients who are unable to get to your healthcare facility, you need an excellent connection to provide high-quality service. Moreover, structured cabling helps doctors, nurses, and administrative workers provide excellent care onsite because they can access their databases throughout the facility. Additionally, some facilities’ security depends on a reliable network. Structured cabling can support information security, fire safety, closed-circuit television networks, and patient monitoring. In other words, your facility, staff––and most importantly, your patients––can’t afford excessive downtime from an unreliable cabling structure.

It helps you meet industry standards

There are a number of telecommunication standards for the healthcare industry, and one of the most important is the ANSI/TIA-1179-A. While there are several components of the ANSI/TIA-1179-A standard including topologies, cable performance requirements, and security, there are also details that guide you through the structured cabling requirements. By keeping your facility up to industry standards, you can rest assured that your facility’s infrastructure can support the latest technological advancements.

At the heart of every healthcare facility is the desire to improve the lives of their patients, and structured cabling supports you in just that. While the importance of structured cabling in healthcare helps administrative workers locate files and patient information, there’s a much more serious reason it’s important. As we mentioned before, many facilities (especially hospitals) utilize patient monitoring systems that connect to your network. A failure of your network could lead to a medical emergency for your patients, so to avoid downtime you should always have structured cabling system installed professionally.

The quality of your cables and structured cabling hardware is equally as important as professional installation and CableWholesale can supply top-quality hardware and cables for your system. Whether you need switches, panels, Cat5e plenum cables, or bulk Cat6a Ethernet cables, we’ve got you covered. Our team is made up of industry experts with extensive experience which allows us to not only supply excellent products, but top-quality customer support too. We understand how important connectivity is in our digital world, that’s why we offer free technical assistance to all our customers and back our cables with a lifetime warranty. Why do we offer a lifetime warranty? Because we know things can go wrong, and we want to help our customers get back online as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team; otherwise check out all our inventory today!

Structured Cabling in Healthcare

Crossover Cable vs. Straight-Through Ethernet Cable

Crossover Cable vs. Straight-Through Ethernet Cable

Even though it’s wrong, a lot of people use the terms crossover cable and straight-through cables interchangeably because they’re technically both Ethernet cables. To help you avoid using the wrong terminology, we’re going to compare crossover cables vs. straight-through Ethernet cables in our guide below. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to read on.

Straight-through cables

In general, a straight-through cable is essentially your standard Ethernet cable with an RJ-45 connector on each side and usually a twisted pair cable. Some people will also refer to straight-through cables as patch cables. On a straight-through cable, the connectors have identical pins on both sides which allow them to connect one device to a different type of device. A few common applications for straight-through cables include:

  • Switch to PC
  • Switch to server
  • Switch to router
  • Hub to PC

Crossover cables

While straight-through cables connect different types of devices, a crossover cable connects the same type of devices. In order to learn how a crossover cable works, we must look at the pins at the connector. Within the RJ-45 connector, you’ll notice that the pins on a crossover cable don’t match on both sides and that’s intentional. To allow two alike devices to connect using a single cable, one connector must receive the data while the other sends data and vice versa. The applications of crossover cables range from:

  • Switch to switch
  • Hub to hub
  • Router to router
  • PC to PC

If you ever had what appears to be an Ethernet cable, you can determine if it’s a crossover cable vs. straight-through Ethernet cable by looking at the pins. You could also look at the cable’s jacket, as most manufacturers indicate the cable type there. If you can’t clearly identify the type of cable by looking at it or the cable’s in rough shape, you’re better off purchasing a new cable.

Whether you’re looking for a 20 ft. Ethernet cable, 100 ft., bulk cables, or even switches, CableWholesale has you covered. Our team is made up of industry veterans giving us the know-how and technical knowledge required to be successful in this business. That said, we always guarantee top-quality products and customer service because we refuse to settle for anything less. Check out our inventory on our online shop and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

The Different Types of Network Topologies

The Different Types of Network Topologies

Every individual wants a reliable internet connection that’s fast, but businesses want it even more. In fact, they need it. Without a high-performing network, businesses could experience downtime, an unreliable connection, and an overall frustrating work experience. All of these situations can force the company to incur unnecessary costs. Of course, your internet provider is the foundation to good connection, but there are several other factors to consider.

First and foremost, are you running a wireless network, wired network, or both? There’s no debate that connecting wirelessly is convenient, especially when wireless providers, routers, and modems have improved significantly over the years. The problem is, wireless networks are more susceptible to interference. Wired networks ensure the best connection, security, and reliability. Although merely using a wired network isn’t quite enough––you’ll also need to consider the different types of network topologies. A topology is way to identify how devices (or nodes) connect to each other. There are six common network topology types, and we’re going to break each of them down in the guide below.

Bus topology

As the simplest design, a bus topology requires nodes to be in a linear order. Each device in a bus topology setup connects to a single cable. You should note that a bus and linear topology doesn’t transmit data bidirectionally. In other words, the data can only go from one end to the other. As with all different network topologies, there are advantages and disadvantages to a bus topology.

The most notable advantages are cost and ease of setup. Because a bus topology connects via one primary cable (known as the backbone cable), your cable costs will be lower than in other topologies, yet performance will be faster. An added benefit of the backbone cable is that your installation is a lot easier. You should be aware of a couple disadvantages of bus topologies. Most notably, a linear topology limits the number of nodes you can have. That said, a bus topology is especially common for small to medium-sized businesses. The other issue is that if your backbone cable goes down, your whole network does too. Alternatively, if the cable failed, it’s an easier fix because there’s only one cable, so there are both advantages and disadvantages to using linear setups.

Ring topology

Another simple design is the ring topology. As you might suspect, the ring network topology type is in the form of a circle, where each device has two adjacent nodes. A typical ring topology will have four nodes, but there could be more if the need arises. Ring topologies are versatile and fitting for all sized businesses, and many businesses use them because of their advantages.

Arguably the most important advantage is that the number of nodes doesn’t affect the transmission of data. You can make a ring topology unidirectional or bidirectional, which makes future growth much easier. Much like the bus topology, ring topologies are also very easy to install and expand upon. There are two disadvantages to be aware of. First, troubleshooting is more difficult with more nodes transmitting data in different directions. Another disadvantage is that if one node experiences a crash or downtime, it’ll disturb the entire network.

Star topology

Unsurprisingly, a star topology’s setup resembles, well, a star. In the center of the star is a central hub that each node connects to. Because of the central hub, star topologies are more reliable than the previous setups and have several advantages. Since each node has its own connection to the central hub, trouble shooting is much easier. Additionally, the performance is faster because data doesn’t have to go through each node before reaching its destination. Finally, if one node fails, the rest of them will still work as normal.

Of course, there are two disadvantages you should consider: the cost and the central hub. Because star topologies need more cables and a central hub, they are more expensive to setup and run because of the increased energy use. Moreover, if the central hub fails, your whole network will fail as well.

Mesh topology

A mesh topology is like a glorified ring topology. The mesh topology is among the most common setups for businesses for a few reasons, but mostly for its reliability. The reason mesh network topology types are so reliable is that each node is connected directly to other devices with point-to-point links. Because the devices connect to other devices in the network, you’ll experience little to no problems caused by data traffic. Additionally, if one node were to fail, the rest of your network will work fine. The interconnected devices also improve security and privacy, something that’s especially important to businesses. The reason mesh topology is secure is because all the connections are point-to-point, ensuring unauthorized users cannot access the database.

You’re probably wondering what the disadvantages are. The main one is the mere number of cables you need, but keep in mind that more cables also mean a more secure network. Additionally, troubleshooting can be challenging if you’re not organized or experienced with mesh topology. Lastly, because of the point-to-point connections, expanding on a mesh topology is both time consuming and difficult.

Tree topology

Many organizations like to use a tree topology (sometimes referred to as hierarchical topology) because it’s great for Wide Area Networks. A tree topology requires what’s called a root node, which then connect to sub-root nodes, and continue expanding to other nodes as a top-down effect. You can see why it’s also called the hierarchical topology. The primary benefit of tree topologies is that you’re combining the reliability of bus and star topologies. Moreover, troubleshooting is very simple. Although with primary hubs, you guessed it––if one goes down, they all go down.

There is also a networking topology type known as a “hybrid” which combines two or more topologies. Hybrid topologies can be beneficial, but they can easily become a disaster if you’re not careful. Hybrid topologies require experience or a good IT department. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll likely have a hard time not only setting up but also maintaining a hybrid topology. As you can see with the different types of network topologies, each have their respective pros and cons. Before choosing a topology, you should consider the size of your business and the potential for future growth. That way, you can ensure you’re investing your time, energy, and money into the appropriate setup.

Of course, regardless of the topology you choose, you’re going to need high-quality network cables, and that’s where we come in. CableWholesale takes immense pride in providing top-quality products to our customers. Whether you need a Cat5e cable in 1000ft, patch cables, adapters, and all things cable related, we’ve got you covered. Check out our online shop for all our amazing products or reach out to us with any questions.

Network Topologies

The Importance of Structured Cabling During a Crisis

The Importance of Structured Cabling During a Crisis

Companies and individuals alike have been searching for every possible way to survive during COVID-19, and understandably so. Luckily, many companies can have their employees work from home, but nothing compares to having a full office. And while office re-entry varies by state, you’ll need to ensure your office is prepared for social distancing and efficiency. Our experts break down the importance of structured cabling during a crisis in the following guide.

Efficiency, reliability, and longevity

Let’s not forget that structured cabling is a building’s cable infrastructure which includes several components such as Ethernet cables and patch panels. In other words, structured cabling is an organized way to connect your facility’s connectivity devices. Certainly, one of the biggest advantages of structured cabling is its efficiency, reliability, and longevity.

In the midst of a global pandemic, many companies are preparing a safe return to the office. While the definition of safety can vary depending on the severity of your city and state, one thing’s for sure––you’ll need to practice social distancing. While you don’t have workers in the office, take the opportunity to install structured cabling over point-to-point cabling because it’s much more efficient. Plus, structured cabling allows you to connect several floors of a building without running one cable for every device, which is beneficial when workers need to socially distance. Moreover, structured cabling is merely a good long-term investment because it reduces downtime and boosts efficiency.

Supports remote workers

Again, we don’t know your company’s situation when it comes to re-entry, but there’s a good chance your employees’ will work from home for the foreseeable future. While your employees’ health and safety are most important, they’ll still need to access data and information from the office. Having a reliable structured cabling infrastructure at the office will support your team even when working remotely. Your employees can’t directly access information on their work computers (that is, unless they have it at home). However, structured cabling boosts your network’s ability to transmit data and support your team even when working from home.

So, what’s the importance of structured cabling during a crisis? Essentially, it’s the lifeline between your office and remote workers. The best part about installing structured cabling is that it’s not temporary, as structured cabling has several advantages for your business going forward. Now, if you’re ready to install structured cabling in your office, you’re going to need some equipment.

Between patch panels, bulk Cat5e cable, connectors, and wall plates, CableWholesale has you covered. We’ve been in the business of supporting other companies through providing high-quality cables for over twenty years. If you need technical support, have questions, or you’re ready to purchase, contact our team today.

Key Factors in a Work From Home Office Setup

Key Factors in a Work From Home Office Setup

When the coronavirus first began, no one anticipated a global pandemic. Additionally, nobody expected working from home would become a reality for so many people. And if all that wasn’t enough, no one thought remote work would last for as long as it has. After all this time, a lot of people are still trying to figure out the best home office setup for their workdays. While everyone’s needs are different, there are some key factors in a work from home office setup. If you’d like to learn more, we put together some recommendations below.

Maintain a clean and organized workspace

Whether you want to admit it or not, a cluttered workspace stresses everyone out, and being at home makes being cluttered much easier. You don’t have to maintain a clean workspace because your boss isn’t going to walk by. However, if your workspace is messy and unorganized, your work from home experience will be more stressful, and you’ll see a decrease in productivity.

Keep ergonomics in mind

While some of you probably have a home office, the Coronavirus forced a lot of people to develop a makeshift office somewhere in their home. That office space could be your dining room table or your couch; either way, your home probably isn’t equipped with an ergonomic setup to the extent that your office was. Every workspace needs a quality chair and desk because it’ll help you maintain good posture. Proper posture not only helps your overall health, but it will also make you more productive because you’ll be comfortable.

Improve your internet connection

Your home internet has never been more important, and while there are several things you can do to try to improve your connection, some methods are better than others. To get the most reliable internet connection, consider connecting directly to your router with an Ethernet cable. Using a wired connection significantly reduces the chance of radio frequency interference. In other words, connecting with an Ethernet cable will offer faster speeds and lower latency.

Most modern routers can support a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable, but you never want less than a Cat5e grade cable. Now we recognize that some of you don’t have a router right next to your workspace, so you might need a 100-ft. Cat6 Ethernet cable; we’ve got you covered.

One of the key factors in a work from home office setup is reliable internet, and CableWholesale can help. Our manufacturers use only the highest-quality materials for our cables to ensure peak performance. Moreover, we provide free technical assistance to all our customers to get you up and running sooner. If you have any questions or need help choosing the appropriate cable for your needs, contact our top-notch customer support team. Check out our inventory on our online shop today.

How the Weather Can Affect Your Internet Connection

How the Weather Can Affect Your Internet Connection

Everyone knows a poor Internet connection could stem from a faulty cable, a cheap Internet plan, or a router that’s too far away. But does weather affect Wi-Fi signal strength? Many people forget the weather can play a significant role in your Internet connection. If you want to learn how the weather can affect your Internet connection, read our guide below.

Precipitation and wind

Even if you primarily use a wireless network, several factors—such as rain, snow, and wind—can all affect your connection. How does weather affect Wi-Fi, though? Even the lightest rain or snowfall can absorb radio frequencies that allow you to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Additionally, strong winds can cause several problems that lead to slower speeds. For instance, they could knock down power lines that supply your signal.

Varying temperatures

Believe it or not, even the temperature can strongly affect your connection over time. Take a very hot climate, for example; as the temperature increases, the jacket on broadband cables can soften or expand, causing your speeds to diminish. In extremely cold temperatures, aboveground cables could freeze or get covered in ice during a storm. Furthermore, if the cable is subterranean, the ground may harden over time and cause frost heaving, which could ultimately break the cable.

Other Factors Affecting Your Internet Connection

Several more common culprits other than the weather can affect your Internet connection. For instance, you might need a new router that can handle the number of devices you’re connecting to it, or you could simply be too far from your router. Another possibility is that you’re using low-quality, old, or outdated Ethernet cables. After all, connecting directly to your router with an Ethernet cable is your best chance of having a reliable connection. Finally, you might need to simply upgrade your Internet plan with your provider, because you could be overloading your service.

While weather affects internet speeds, you can combat outages with quality cables. We always suggest trying high-quality Ethernet cables because they’re the best way to get fast speeds and a reliable connection. Whether you’re in the market for Cat5e or Cat6 cables or you’re replacing your outdoor Ethernet cables, CableWholesale is your one-stop shop. In addition to our fully stocked inventory, we also offer free technical service to help you get up and running faster. To boost your connectivity and upgrade to high-end cables, check out our online shop today.