Pros and Cons of Do-it-Yourself Network Installations

If you’re like most Americans, you have a setup for Internet and cable in your home. How else would you be able to connect your wireless devices to the world wide web? In fact, products such as iPods, Macs, iPads, Apple watches, and iPhones were owned by 64% of Americans in 2017. But is it time to install a new system? Here are some pros and cons for a do-it-yourself network installation.

1. Costs

If you decide to take on your network installation, whether it is a 500 ft ethernet cable, a 75 ft ethernet cable, or bulk fiber optic cables, you will save yourself the cost of having a professional come to your home and do the installation. However, you will probably have to purchase an installation kit, which costs money. And if there is a problem that comes up, you will be on your own.

2. Scheduling

Arranging to have a technician come to your home and do a network installation is not an easy process. There are limited appointment times, and limited days during the week that the company may be able to come to your neighborhood. Often it is extremely inconvenient to have a professional come to the house and do an installation. It may even require you to miss work, or to let the technician in unaccompanied or unsupervised. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer who knows what to do with a 500 ft ethernet cable, for instance, and you can do the network installation on your own, then you can decide what a convenient time is. Then, it can be done when you want it done, and when you have time to do it yourself.

3. Owning/Renting Equipment

If you decide to do your own installation, you will be able to purchase the equipment that you need based on the requirements of your household. Don’t need a 500 ft ethernet cable? Then you don’t have to buy one. In addition, you will not have any monthly payments and you will keep the equipment for yourself. However, this is possibly a bit more expensive up front since you have to pay for the equipment yourself. Also, further down the road, it could be a little bit more difficult to get technical support appointments because many internet and cable companies are reluctant to repair equipment that they have not installed themselves.

4. Upgrades

Most of the time with an internet and cable company, upgrades are done as part of the service. However, if you install your own network connection, any upgrades that you are interested in will be entirely up to you. This may result in incurring extra costs. And as previously mentioned, it may be much more difficult to get tech support.

So, if you’re at the point where you’re shopping for a new Internet service provider, you have two choices for installation. You can either do it yourself, or you can have a professional from your service provider do the installation. Maybe you are a pretty good do-it-yourselfer and think you can tackle a network installation. Great, then, go ahead and good luck. Many folks do installations using a surge protection service, power lightning cables, or even cell phone cables successfully. But, if the prospect of a 500 ft ethernet cable seems a bit daunting to you, you may be wise to call and have a professional do the installation for you.

Voyaging to Content’s New Frontier: What You Need to Watch 4K Content

Congrats, you brave pioneer of media! You’ve upgraded your TV and DVD player and can now enjoy Ultra High Definition content, otherwise known as 4K content.

4K Ultra HD basically has quadruple the pixel density of 1080p, its predecessor. For now, 4K runs 24 frames per second, because nearly all of the currently available content is either TV or movies, which are virtually all 24fps. However, there could come a day when content that has a higher framerate — like a sports broadcast — could be shown in Ultra HD. What’s more, considering the previous leaps in AV technology — from black and white television to color to high definition — the sheer quality that this latest jump delivers is truly awesome.

Now, in order to enjoy your new toys, you’re going to need to be able to make them talk to each other, which means you’re going to need the right cables.

You’re more than likely familiar with HDMI cables, which are basically what you need to get your system set up. The key is understanding the specifications and the bandwidth rating.

According to the HDMI Forum Technical Working Group, there are four, basic video resolution guidelines:

  • Standard HDMI runs up to 720p or 1080i at 30Hz
  • High-Speed HDMI runs up to 4K resolution at 30Hz
  • Premium High-Speed HDMI runs up to 4K resolution and has an HDR (high dynamic range) at up to 60Hz
  • Ultra High-Speed HDMI runs up to 10K resolution with an HDR at 120Hz refresh rate

You also need to consider the bandwidth rating. Choosing the wrong one means you’re not going to get quadruple the pixel density, which would be more than a shame. The various bandwidth ratings include:

  • High Speed equates to 10.2Gbps
  • Premium High Speed equates to 18Gbps
  • Ultra High Speed equates up to 48Gbps

Although it might seem common sense, it bears saying: your 4k Ultra HD equipment will require an HDMI cable capable of 4K. Just follow the connection instructions in your equipment’s owners manual, and you’ll be off to the new frontier of content!

5 Things You Need To Know About Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are devices used to control the frequency of the electrical current flowing to your computers, televisions and all other electronics. It is a device often forgotten, but, it’s necessary to have one in every homestead, computer lab, and office.

Another critical thing about surge protectors is that they have ratings in terms of joules. The number of joules for each protector dictates the absorption of energy. Therefore, if you need a surge protector for computers and home theaters, choose one with a joule rating of 2500 and above.

How Does a Surge Protector Work?

When you connect a surge protector into a power source, you can then insert a computer charger into outlets on the device. So, when electric voltage spikes or surge, the device directs the excess voltage to a grounding wire. Inside the power surge, there is a metal oxide varistor that is between the grounding wire and the current wire. The MOV diverts the excess voltage into the grounding wire.

What to look for when buying a surge protector

1. Number of outlets

Chances are, you will always add more electronics. Therefore, invest in a device that has more outlets than you require for purposes of connecting more electronics in the future. For example, if you have four electronics, choose a power surge protector with six outlets.

2. Enough spacing

The spaces between outlets should be large enough to accommodate large plugs. Therefore, when purchasing a power surge protector, consider the space between one socket and the other.

3. Joules

Surge protectors protect your gadgets in the form of units called Joules. If a surge protector has a rating of 1000 joules, it can protect many small electronics. The higher the value, the more likely that the device will handle huge power surge and spikes that might put your equipment at risk.

4. Differentiate between power strip and power surge protector

A power strip is like a wall socket. The only difference is that it has several outlets on it. To use it, you have to plug it into the wall socket then connect your device’s cable on it. It’s essential to have it when you have a few wall sockets that can’t serve all your electronics. But, since it has several outlets, it can conveniently serve all your electronics.

However, it doesn’t protect your electronics from power surge and spikes. It only has a circuit breaker, which is not enough to protect your electronics.

The importance of identifying the difference between surge protectors and power strip is to ensure electronics like fridges are safe. A power strip surge protector seems like the perfect combination to handle power spikes in your home.

 

It’s advisable to have a surge protector for your computer. It might save you from incurring losses in amounts of hundreds of dollars when the computer’s hardware succumbs to a power surge. Above all, source your surge protectors for computer from a reliable supplier — contact CableWholesale today.

A Gamer’s Guide to Lag-Free Internet Connection

Lag can often make or break your gameplay. But once it sets in, what can you do to fix it? Here are a few things you should know and a few suggestions to help you live your best lag-free life.

Fast Facts About Lag

Everyone has experienced lag at some point or another. Whether it’s cost you the win in a video game or not, this phenomenon means something is probably wrong. And you’d be surprised at how fast you notice it, too. While the average lag time on a computer is 0.2 seconds, some gamers will notice a delay as small as 0.05 seconds.

As far as what’s causing your lag, there are three possibilities. It could be that your ethernet cables aren’t functioning properly, your router doesn’t have the capacity you need, or your computer’s ethernet port just isn’t capable of hosting the bandwidth you need.

How Can You Fix Lag?

Fortunately, there are a few easy suggestions that might help you fix your laggy connection. First and foremost, you should adjust one of two settings on your computer: video and audio quality. It could be that your quality settings are just too much for your network to handle.

Next, you should check up on your latency. Keep in mind that any latency under 100ms is acceptable for gaming, but between 20ms and 40 ms is typically ideal.

And if none of that is working out for you, consider that your network might be the problem. If you haven’t changed out your ethernet cables in a while, investing in a new set could be handy. And when you think about the fact that Cat 6a cables can handle twice the bandwidth capacity of their predecessor, Cat 6 cables, upgrading seems like a solid solution.

Don’t let video game lag get you down.

A Deeper Look at Cat 5e, Cat6, and Cat6a Cables

ethernet cables

For technical professionals, differentiating the various types of ethernet cables is an easy task. But, for the untrained eye, all cables look alike. However, there are different types of network cables on the market, all with different bandwidth capabilities.

Cat 5e cable

Cat 5e cables have been in the market for over 15 years. During its initial release, the hardware that would support certain speeds was limited because they were prohibitively expensive. But in the recent past, high-performance hardware has become more affordable, and now it is possible for more businesses and individuals to use Cat 5e cables.

Cat5e supports speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits per second (1Gbps) Ethernet at 100MHz. The Cat5e cable is an improvement of the Cat5. The “e” stands for enhanced due to the reduced crosstalk. Additionally, the Cat5e cable is flexible and good for setups that require frequent changes. Cat5e is available in either shielded or unshielded wires as well as stranded and copper wires.

Cat6 cables

Cat6 cables are an improvement on the Cat5e cables in terms of both speed and reliability. The Cat6 cables have more twisted pairs, which give them less crosstalk than Cat5 and Cat5e cables. Cat 5e and Cat6 ethernet cables have the same size jacket size, despite this. Some Cat6 manufactures will place a spline in the cable to allow for fewer twists and more separation, thus requiring less copper. Since the Cat6 has the potential for higher speeds and less crosstalk, many home and business owners are opting for a network with Cat6 cables.

Like the Cat5e, the Cat6 can also achieve speeds of 1 Gbps, but the main difference is that the latter achieves these speeds at a bandwidth of up to 250 MHz. The cable is more tightly woven than the Cat5e.

Cat6a cable

The other category of ethernet cables is the Cat6a cables. This cable was created to support 10Gbase-T networks, as the Cat5e and Cat6 cables are only able to support a max of 2.5 Gigabit and 5 Gigabit data rates, respectively. The “a” stands for augmented which mean it performs at higher speeds over a long distance, and it is also backward compatible with Cat5e and Cat6. It also has very minimal crosstalk. Because Cat6a cables have better performance, they can support bandwidth frequency of up to 500 MHz which is double the capabilities of the Cat6 and five times the capabilities of the Cat5e.

The cables have more shielding which enables them to eliminate crosstalk. The Cat6a cables have a thicker jacket than the Cat6, but is grooved to help guide the twisted pairs around each other. Cat6a is often constructed with a spline to help with cross talk. Cat6a cables are best suited for more demanding setups like industrial environments, or anywhere you have greater than a Gigabit network connection.

Understanding UTP, S/UTP, and F/UTP

  • UTP – UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair. This is a baseline cable, where there is no shielding. In this type of cable, there is an outer jacket and insulated conductors configured in pairs.
  • S/UTP – S/UTP cables are fairly standard. They are similar to the previous cable, except this has a braided shield in it. This creates a barrier to resist outside interference.
  • S/FTP – This stands for Foiled Unshielded Twisted Pair. As a more complex cable, it is both designed to reduce outside interference through the braided shield, and internal interference through the foil. This foil is wrapped around each pair inside of the cable.

Which Type Of Ethernet Cables Should You Use?

The type of cable that you decide to use will ultimately be informed by several factors. They include cost, the life expectancy of the cabling, network speeds and lastly the environment of the system. Cat5e cables are the most affordable and in most cases will get the job done. However, for heavier usage, you should use Cat6 and Cat6a cables.

The Advantages Of Using Ethernet In Your Business

ethernet

The world is largely operating with wireless technology but local area network (LAN) tech is still in use for many people today. There are at least 3.5 billion global internet users in the world (as of 2016) which means that 45% of the world population accessed the internet. In fact, many of them may be using a LAN connection. In today’s article, we will look at the advantages of using this method of connection.

  1. Bandwidth efficiency: Networks are generally designed to use fixed bandwidth circuits. This restriction contributes to the complexity and operation inefficiencies in the majority of the network since the allocation is rigid. Ethernet, on the other hand, is flexible. During peak hours, for instance, users tend to oversubscribe for network bursts, which combined with network rigidity, results in inefficient use of a network’s capability.
  2. Reliability: Ethernet delivers consistent speed which is perfect for downloading large files. If you are working in a field that requires finer granularity, scalability, and superior transparency, then a LAN connection will be perfect for you. Using fiber optic cables makes it easy for your business to scale its need and maintain high internet speeds, and granularity. You can purchase speed increments, adding more as your needs increase.
  3. Flexible network: Using a bulk fiber optic cable for industrial communication also comes with another advantage. Other networks such as SONET/SDH networks tend to use fixed ring-based designs. These designs make it cumbersome to add any changes in the network. If changes need to be made, you would have to configure the entire system. Ethernet, however, supports ring, tree, mesh, and string-based topologies which make it flexible to accept changes.
  4. Low-cost: Ethernet enjoys the economies of scale and low equipment cost which is a plus for many smaller companies. This is primarily because of the large production volumes and the fact that is found almost everywhere. Although its advantages are many and profound compared to other networks, installation and maintenance is fairly priced which make it a great option for industries and homes alike.

Using fiber optics has a lot of advantages for your business especially if you plan of scaling your capability. The flexibility of using fiber optics, it’s reliability and the simplicity of use make this technology hard to do away with especially in the commercial industry where protection of data is vital.

How to Shop for Your Wiring Needs

coaxial cables

These days there aren’t many industries that don’t require some kind of wiring to do their work. We live in a technology driven world where there were 3.74 billion internet users as of the month of March 2017. With all of the switches to digital records and online customer service, having the proper technology and wiring is just part of setting up a business. This is especially true for IT companies and customer service centers. However, setting up a business can be time consuming as it is, and stocking your electrical supplies shouldn’t be your main concern. Here are some tips on how to shop for your coaxial cables, USB cables, and other wiring needs with ease.

1. Assign the Task

One thing you can do to make this process easier is to assign the task to a set of experienced IT employees. Let workers who have a full understanding of the electronics your company uses handle the ordering and set-up of cables and wires. They can order what is needed and set everything up without any serious hiccups while you are able to focus on the other jobs that come along with setting up a business.

2. Shop in Bulk

A set of bulk USB cables is going to cost less than buying all of the cables you need individually. Most places offer bulk discounts, so that is something you will want to keep an eye out for. It also assures that everything will arrive together so that you can proceed with your set-up all at once instead of waiting for items to arrive one at a time.

3. Make a List

It’s always a good idea to be organized whenever you make business related purchases. Not only do you want to be sure that you don’t forget anything important, but you also want to be able to keep track of spending and inventory. Make a list of the wiring items you need such as coaxial cables and ethernet cables.

4. Shop Ahead of Time

Another good idea is to shop ahead of time. Having everything you need on hand before your set-up date means that you won’t be scrambling at the last minute. Thinking ahead and stocking up gives you more time to get ready and to make sure that your business is set up properly.

Tips for Buying Commercial Office Cables

bulk fiber optic cables

Commercial offices require a lot of cables and wiring. There are all kinds of computers and office equipment that need to be plugged in or wired to the office internet. This can make buying and setting up all of the proper cables feel a bit overwhelming. However, there are some tips you can follow to make the process easier.

1. Buy in Bulk

One thing you can do to make setting up an office space easier is buy cables and wires in bulk. Bulk fiber optic cables, surge protectors for computers, and network ethernet cables will ensure that everyone has what they need for the best price. Buying in bulk often saves you money per unit and gives you all the supplies you need to get every computer, phone, and device plugged in properly. It’s also easier to order bulk fiber optic cables than to order a bunch of individual cables, and it can save you some time and hassle.

2. Use Surge Protectors

In a survey done by the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 82% of professionals agreed that surge protection is a necessity for protecting equipment. This is because these protectors will absorb electrical surges from storms or other sources that could severely damage your office’s electrical equipment. Not only with this save you money on replacements and repairs, but it will save you from unnecessary downtime.

3. Hire a Professional Installer

Another thing you can do to make things easier is hire someone to set up all of your equipment and get the computers properly connected to the network. You may already have an IT team together that can do this for you, but if not you can outsource help with this task. This will give you more time to focus on other business priorities while everything is being set up. It will also ensure that everything is properly wired and connected.

Stay Organized

It also important to put together a floor and wiring plan that will keep things organized and safe. Using longer cords that can be routed away from walkways and taped down will keep employees from tripping on cords and will reduce damage to electrical equipment. Also, setting up your office in a way that allows for space and functionality will help as well.

Did You Know? Fast Facts About Internet Speed

It’s easy to complain that your internet isn’t fast enough, but how much do you really know about internet speed? If you have unanswered questions, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn a few fascinating fast facts about internet speed.

internet speed

When the World Wide Web launched in 1993, dial-up internet was limited to speeds of 56 kbps. Not to mention the only connection was via phone line. Fortunately, the days of choosing between using the internet and answering the phone are over. Now, broadband service has taken over. The internet is an almost immediately accessible commodity in our daily lives.

In fact, as of 2010 Cisco reported that IP traffic hit 20.2 exabytes per month. One exabyte is equivalent to 1 billion gigabytes. Pair that with the fact that as of December 2018 there were over 4.1 billion internet users and you’ve got a global phenomenon.

But is it fast enough?

Fortunately, there are FCC guidelines in place that help determine what can and can’t qualify as broadband. According to the FCC, an internet service must deliver a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps to actually qualify as broadband. So at the very least, you can count on these minimums. For reference, downloading a 50 MB file at 1 MB per second will take approximately 50 seconds.

And the internet continues to evolve. In fact, Google claims its service Google Fiber is up to 100 times faster than traditional broadband internet. We’re already thinking up speedier ways to utilize the World Wide Web.

These USB-C Products Could Make Up for Lost Connections on Newer Laptops

bulk usb cables

While newer laptops and tablets may be sleeker, thinner, and faster, they’re all losing one thing: external connections. The number of ports on new laptops and other devices is shrinking, mostly for design purposes. But if you’re someone who needs a large number of external connections on your computer, these USB-C products could help. Let’s take a look at a few.

 

Bulk USB Cables

 

When you’re buying cables for an entire office of computers that don’t necessarily have the USB-C ports you need, bulk USB cables that transition from Type A to Type C can be extremely helpful. Not only do they make connecting computer towers to other USB-C devices easier, but buying in bulk has the added benefit of saving you money. When in doubt, bulk USB cables are your go-to lifesavers.

 

USB Micro to USB-C Adapter

 

USB Micro is becoming more and more popular for devices like smartphones, tablets, and other technologies smaller than a laptop. However, sometimes you don’t necessarily have the right cable to connect your smaller device to a USB-C compatible device. That’s where this handy adapter comes in. If you’re part of the 8.1% of customers Apple sold an iPhone to, you may have no use for this adapter, but Android users will likely need it sooner or later.

 

USB-C Mini Dock

 

Want a dock that converts more than one type of cable to USB-C? This is the perfect product for you. When you want all of your cables converted to USB-C in one convenient package, a three-in-one adapter is going to be a lifesaver. Not only will it save you time and effort, it will save space on your desk. Say goodbye to clusters of USB 3 cables getting tangled up underneath your desk.

 

Various USB-C Adapters

 

If you have a bunch of older USB cables, don’t throw them away just yet. We talked about a few different kinds of adapters here, but there are more to discover! These adapters can help you make the most of the cables you currently have and save you money in the future. You might be able to put off buying those bulk USB cables for a little bit longer this way.

 

Whether you need new USB cables or you’re itching to try the adapter route, these devices should help you make up for lost external connections on newer devices.