A Beginner’s Guide to Cat6 Ethernet Cables

ethernet cables
Fiber optic cabling provides large bandwidth and is a staple of the internet age. The genesis of fiber optics was in 1988 when the first cable connected the United States to France. It has become a global phenomenon since then.

Ethernet cables, on the other hand, transmit data via electrical impulses and refer to cabling that connects a computer to a modem for online internet access. These cables have become an essential part of our digital society and come in various forms. We’ll examine one type in particular.

Some of the different types of ethernet cables include Cat5 and Cat6, and their cousins Cat5e and Cat6a. These types of cables deliver excellent data transmission speeds and are relatively inexpensive. Cat6 ethernet cables work well for online streaming when the cable is not too long. Let’s examine more closely the Cat6 ethernet cable.

You’ll want to make sure you match your cabling with your internet router and modem. It’s a good idea to get new ethernet cables whenever you update your computer or internet equipment.

Cat6 cables are an excellent option for internet connectivity and are often used as an upgrade from another popular type of cable: Cat5e. Cat6 costs more but is worth the price whether for first time use or if you’re upgrading your equipment. The major difference is the increase in bandwidth: 100 megahertz (mhz) for Cat5e compared to 250 mhz for Cat6. There is also less “crosstalk” noise, which is a barrier to data transmission.

It is important to note that the distance your ethernet cable covers affects transmission speed. A run should cover a distance of no more than 320 feet. This is quite a distance, so this should not be a problem for the average user. Within these parameters Cat6 cables support 1 gigabit (Gb). A longer Ethernet cable could negatively affect transmission speed and carrying capacity.

It is important to know your internet connection speed. If your internet speed is 1 Gb per second or if you upload many files or stream high definition movies or videos, a Cat6 Ethernet cable will serve you well. Last but not least, your router is a player in data transmission speeds. Don’t negate the benefits of your Cat6 ethernet cable with an older router that does not support the upgraded speed you desire. Also, if you and your family are heavy internet users and connected to more than one computer, Cat6 ethernet cables are the way to go.

Want to Protect Your Data? Don’t Use a Public Charging Port

cell phone cables

If you’re out shopping, socializing with friends, or traveling across the country, chances are you won’t leave home without your cell phone. But the further we get from your main charger (and the longer we’re away from it), the more drained your battery will become. That can make a lot of people start to panic. What will you do without the ability to text, call, and search the web? Up ahead, you see a public charging station. You sigh with relief and start to plug in your phone. All is well — or so you think.


Although experts recommend charging your phone when it gets down to 35% or 40% to preserve battery life, the reality here is that you might be better off letting your phone die completely rather than resorting to a public charging port. Here’s why.

What’s the harm in using a public charging port?

It seems rather innocuous, doesn’t it? What could possibly be so bad about using a provided cell phone charging cable to boost your battery in a public place? Having the ability to charge up your phone when you’re running low or have forgotten your own charger and lightning cable at home may sound like a stroke of luck. But it could actually corrupt your device and your data.


The cell phone charging cables you’ll find at many public charging ports could, in fact, be compromised. Many cell phone cables are actually USBs, which means they typically contain both a data wire and a charging wire. That means that, without you ever knowing it, the port could steal your data via those cell phone cables when you plug in to charge.


As a result, a hacker could gain access to your text messages, photos, contacts, email, and other protected information. It’s also possible that the charging port could find a security vulnerability and even run a virus of sorts on your device. In other words, you could lose everything and your phone could be rendered utterly useless — all because you couldn’t wait to charge at home and forgot to bring your own cell phone charging cable.

How can you protect your phone?

Granted, this problem is not necessarily a rampant one. You don’t have to look at every charging port in fear. But you should take this opportunity to become more prepared in case your battery starts to die when you’re out and about.


There are a few things you can do to protect your device. The most basic is to ensure your battery is adequately charged before leaving the house and that you make efforts to preserve that battery while you’re away. That could be something as simple as dimming your screen brightness, turning off location services, force quitting any unnecessary apps, and keeping battery draining program use to a minimum.


You can supplement those efforts by bringing your own cell phone cables and portable chargers with you when you’re out. Chances are that you can find a regular power outlet to plug into. This will safeguard both your data and your device — and you’ll probably be able to charge your battery faster than you would at a charging port. Another good alternative is to invest in a portable battery. Many come pre-charged, which means you can put it in your pocket or purse and plug your phone right in if you need a battery boost.


The cell phone cables and chargers you use on a regular basis won’t harm your phone (unless they’re poorly made and not approved by the device manufacturer). But it’s important to approach unfamiliar cell phone cable accessories with caution. To be on the safe side, make it a habit to bring your own, rather than relying on a public charging station.

The HDMI Rule Book

Q: Why am I having trouble finding an HDMI to DisplayPort cable? Does that type of cable exist?

A: The short answer to this question is yes, but only on the black market. The long answer is that there are very strict regulations on how HDMI cables are designed, manufactured and marketed. According to the HDMI consortium, who sets all the rules for HDMI products, the only way the HDMI label can be used is if both ends of the HDMI cable are matching HDMI to HDMI. If one side of the HDMI cable needs to be altered, it must be by an adapter. The only exception to this rule is an HDMI to DVI cable, which manufacturers are still allowed to construct.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) as a technology is patented to what’s called the “HDMI Forum,” which consists of 87 companies who are proprietary owners of the HDMI technology. Manufacturers must pay royalty fees to the HDMI Forum for the use of the HDMI name. There are strict guidelines that enforced by the HDMI Forum, from cable specifications right down to the packaging.

Splitting Monitors

 

Q: I have an HP Slimline Desktop PC. It has only one VGA port in back. I need an adapter to be able to connect two monitors (extended) but not mirrored. What can I use for this?

A: In order to create an extended desktop, you can’t just split one signal, you would need to add a second video-out port which would allow for a second video signal. You can add a second VGA port via USB with an adapter that will transform your computer’s USB port into an extra VGA port.

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HDMI.Org

Q. Why am I having trouble finding an HDMI to VGA cable? I used to see them on the shelves and now I can’t find them anywhere.

A. The short answer to this is: HDMI has pretty strict rules. HDMI.org outlines what retailers can and cannot say on their packaging regarding HDMI cables, and they also outline how cables must be manufactured. In order for a cable to be “legal” it must have two regular HDMI ends. This has been put into effect in the last few years, and when the HDMI Consortium (the group of companies that own parts of HDMI) started cracking down on retailers, and any cables with different configurations were pulled from the shelf. There are still knockoff cables being made, but because they are not regulated there is no guarantee that these cables will work. The best bet is to get an HDMI adapter. This way you can swap out different ends without having to damage the cable.

HDMI: Save your Loot

Q:

What HDMI cable do I need? I just purchased a new Samsung TV. What HDMI cable should I buy for it? There’s so many out there to choose from. Does bandwidth matter? Some sell for $10, others for $70. Does more money equal a better cable?

A:

Any high-speed HDMI cable will work as well as any other HDMI cable on the market. If you purchase a more expensive cable, what you are paying with is the cable’s marketing; which is the packaging and advertising. Cheaper cables will produce the same images as more expensive HDMI cables. Most of the HDMI cables that are on the market today are high-speed, but just be careful to double check. Also be wary of any cable that states the “1.4” or “4K” specification, as those are connection specifications, not cable specs. So those labels have more to do with the hardware of the cable, not the picture it produces. Any HDMI 2.0 will work just fine.

Now take the fifty bucks you saved and go buy yourself something pretty.

Phone Charger for Bonnaroo?

Q:

I’m going to Bonnaroo next month with a few friends. This will be our first time and we want to be prepared as possible. We’re excited! I’d like to have my phone for emergency purposes and also to snap a few photos (no videos probably.) I have a small camera that I can bring so I could just use my phone for emergencies only. Is there an affordable charger should I bring?

Thanks so much!

A:

Your best bet is to get a portable USB battery back-up. The one you choose should have at least two charging ports that will allow you to plug in your own USB cables. This way you can enjoy your festival while charging your phone and camera, and not having to be stuck by an outdoor wall charger. These are also super affordable, and small so you can just throw it in your bag. Have a blast!

How can I Watch TV From my Cellphone on my Big Screen?

Question:

Ok, I have a 32′ Sanyo TV which has HDMI cable inputs and a CW app on my phone which allows me to watch updated TV shows once they are uploaded onto the app. My question is: Can I watch it on my TV just by connecting an HDMI cable to my phone & into the TV, or do I have to download the movie onto my cellphone? If so, what are the steps?

 Answer:

This depends on what kind of phone you have. If it has a micro HDMI port, which is common, then you can just get a cable that connects your phone to your TV and watch that way. So the type of cable you would need is a Micro HDMI to HDMI.

Will HDMI to DVI to VGA Work? – NO!

Q: “I’m experimenting because my monitor doesn’t have the best graphics. I have a DVI to HDMI cable and my monitor only supports VGA. will this work? HDMI to DVI male to DVI female to VGA male?”

A: No, that will definitely not work. HDMI is digital. The DVI on the other end of your HDMI to DVI cable is DVI-D which is also digital. The DVI on your DVI to VGA adapter is DVI-A which would also work on DVI-I ports, but not DVI-D. That adapter is analog. If you connected those together, you would get no signal at all. Unfortunately cables will not help in this situation.

Splitting HDMI

Q: “I have my PS3 that I use for Hulu/Netflix and it’s in my basement. I have an HDMI cable to a TV in my basement and one running upstairs to my TV up there. Now, my question is, do they make HDMI splitters so I don’t have to run downstairs everytime to switch the cable plugged into the PS3. Anyone have good experiences with HDMI splitters? I don’t want anything overly priced either; $50 is way too much. Hope someone can help.”

Answer: Yes, HDMI splitters would work for this. We sell one that runs around $30.

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