The Importance of Cabling Systems for Educational Facilities

The Importance of Cabling Systems for Educational Facilities
Most structural cabling is expected to last at least ten years, and in educational facilities, it’s ideal to get the most time out of your installation. This article introduces the importance of cabling systems for educational facilities and some other things to consider.

Why Are Cabling Systems Important for a School?

High Demand

Schools are always full of devices, from students with their phones and tablets to all of the devices in computer labs and classrooms. In addition, there’s a huge increase in cloud-based applications and storage. So, in other words, schools need some of the best technology installed in their facilities. With higher-quality internet throughout educational facilities, it will also encourage engagement throughout classes with real-time quizzes, videos, and PowerPoint presentations.

In addition to student activities, educational facilities need expert cabling for security reasons. This security can be everything from computer monitoring, cameras throughout campus, and server security. A high-quality cabling infrastructure allows departments to catch any issues early and stop problems quickly. Staff members often need a sturdy connection as well, because they’re using web conferencing more and more.

New Technology

It’s expected in schools to have quality and reliable connectivity—especially in higher education. This is one of the important reasons for having cabling systems in educational facilities. This is due to the expectation of career and skill development in schools. And with technology changing the way we work and function, it’s important to be exposed to the latest technology. These constant advances can be challenging to keep up with, but they provide a competitive advantage and an awareness that can’t be beat. It’s critical for schools to update their technology because students are going to be aware of the changes and will expect them.

Special Needs

Technology has proven many ways that it assists the development of students with disabilities. For example, technology allows students to become more independent. In addition, it offers the opportunity for students to write using their voices, since some individuals can’t hold a pencil or a pen. Put simply, technology gives students the opportunity to grow as individuals.

So, how does all of this relate to cabling? Firstly, the latest technology, more often than not, is not optimized for older ethernet cables, routers, and modems. For example, if you’re running Cat5 or lower, you’re probably going to have some noticeable connectivity issues. Secondly, it’s important to have a reliable connection because it gives the impression that the organization cares about its infrastructure.

Hardware

Most Common Cabling for Educational Facilities

In most scenarios, a school is likely to have hardware that supports at least Cat5e cables. This is because they’re essentially universal in the industry, but it’s also because they’re the most cost-effective. So, it’s best to have hardware that can support Cat6 or Cat6a cables at least—it will provide a noticeable increase in reliability. While these cables are copper-based, with a generic coating holding them together, some facilities are aiming for higher quality. For example, they may opt for a fiber optic cable. These provide the best connections that are available today, but they come with an upfront cost as well.

Routers and Modems Matter

Educational facilities should have high-quality modems, routers, and bridges to ensure the best connection possible. While this article is mainly focused on quality cables, it’d be foolish to talk about cables without mentioning routers and modems. This is important, considering your connection starts with your internet provider, but then the connection immediately goes to the router and modem to connect to the internet. With all of these moving parts and updates, it’s helpful to ensure that someone’s in charge of having a regular schedule to maintain these systems. This position will not only clean and update the hardware as needed, but it will also include running software updates and anti-virus protection on computers. If there’s not someone on site that’s able to do this, you should hire a certified contractor to come out and update anything that needs it.

Plenum vs. Non-Plenum

In relation to the cables, a common debate is if educational facilities should be using plenum or non-plenum cables. Plenum refers to both the jacket around the cable and where cables are running throughout the building. The term “plenum” is from the HVAC industry, deriving from the term “plenum spaces.” These spaces are most commonly between the ceiling and a drop ceiling, though it also refers to the space between the floor space. In simple terms, it’s the space where air moves throughout, which is where heating and cooling comes into play. These spaces allow fire and smoke to move rapidly, which reduces the smoke’s toxicity, since the jacket around plenum cables is fire resistant.

So, here’s where the debate comes in. Some argue that it has to be in every educational facility for the kids and staff safety in the event of an emergency. Others argue that it’s unnecessary because it’s a more expensive cabling option. So, most will meet in the middle and go with a Cat5e plenum, because it’s a plenum cable but it’s still the more affordable cable option.

How Cabling Helps Education

Communication

A reliable internet connection through quality cabling improves communication throughout your educational facility—even communication from offsite locations. For example, if a student is emailing an instructor from their personal device at home, the instructor’s computer is still at the school. That means the connection needs to reach that server before the instructor gets the email notification. It also makes internal communication that much more reliable.

Teaching

Instructors need a consistent and reliable internet connection to teach effectively in the classroom. Arguably the most teaching tool is the PowerPoint presentation, and without a solid connection, the presentation would run slowly.

Higher Education

An effective cabling infrastructure supports professors working on their research. The professors may be studying and researching the systems themselves, or it will assist their research by being reliable. Lastly, online courses have become increasingly popular throughout colleges and universities. With these courses being operated from the school’s servers and infrastructure, there’s no question that it needs to be reliable.

Cabling has tremendous benefits for educational facilities—if it’s done right. But if it’s done wrong, it can give the impression that the school doesn’t care or is “being cheap.” Some of the benefits include reliability, improved communication, increased inclusion for students with disabilities, and improved connectivity for online courses.
The Importance of Cabling Systems for Educational Facilities

Outdoor vs. Indoor Cat6 Network Cables

Cat6 Cable
It’s important to note that the biggest difference between outdoor and indoor cables is the jacket. This article will specifically discuss outdoor vs. indoor Cat6 network cables and their uses.

Indoor

Cat6 cables are most commonly used because of their increased connectivity, as they’re the next generation from Cat5e cables. While residential settings may use these, it’s much more common to use these cables in industrial or commercial facilities. This is because businesses often need the best quality connection possible to serve their customers efficiently. Another thing to note about indoor cables is that since they’re designed for indoor use, they’re also typically designed for shorter connections. Though others will say differently, indoor cables should never be used for outdoor installation, and this includes burying them.

Outdoor

To reiterate, the main difference between indoor and outdoor cables is the outer jacket. The jacket on outdoor graded cables are specifically designed to handle the weather and temperature changes. For example, an outdoor Cat6 cable can be buried and will last for many years, and it can handle the temperature changes underground. If you do not plan on burying the cables, that’s okay too, because they can also withstand UV rays. Some have mistakenly made the argument that you could use indoor cables and put an exterior paint over them, however, that will not work, and it certainly won’t last. In general, outdoor cables should always be used if the cable will be near any outdoor elements such as humidity, moisture, UV rays, and changing temperatures.

In other words, the question of outdoor vs. indoor Cat6 network cables answers itself. The indoor cables are typically used for shorter distances and in office buildings or factories. Outdoor cables, on the other hand, are designed for outdoor use. These have a stronger jacket that can hold up against the environment and it’s elements, which is a huge benefit when burying cables.

What Type of Network Cable Will Fit Your Needs?

lightning cable

The internet in the last three decades has gone from a pretty niche hobby to an integral part of daily life for the majority of people in the developed world. Around 77% of people in America connect to the internet daily, 43% are online several times throughout the day, and 26% are online almost constantly according to the Pew Research Center. Many people use their internet service to stream entertainment, use social media, or pay bills. In an increasingly digitized world, there are also many people who require fast, reliable internet connections for their employment or secondary education.

The increasing need for faster speeds and more powerful internet performance led to the development of devices that were capable of providing internet users with better network capabilities through either PC or cell phone accessories. One of the key additions to improved internet speeds comes from the advent of the ethernet cable. The Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6 cables are among the common ethernet cables that many internet users rely on today.

Ethernet Categories and What They Mean

If you’re thinking about using an ethernet cable to improve the performance of your network, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the products available and learn about the specifications of each cable category.

Starting with the basics, a Category 5 or Cat5 ethernet cable is a standard accessory for connecting a router to a PC or smartphone through the use of adaptor cell phone accessories.

Despite being an older model, it still performs fairly well, sometimes better than a home wifi connection. Because they only require two pairs of twisted inner wires, Cat5 cables are slower than the enhanced version, but they’re ideal for users who would like just a bit of a performance boost. They’re designed to perform at up to 100Mhz of bandwidth.

For users who need more power than that of Cat5, Cat5e cables have four pairs of twisted inner wires which should diminish wire interference or crosstalk. These cables can perform at 1Gigabit speeds and 100Mhz. A well-constructed Cat5e ethernet cable provides excellent performance and can last the user five years to a full decade of use.

Finally, for users who need the fastest speeds and higher frequencies, the Category 6 cable is more of a high-end option, but also comes at a steeper price and might be more difficult to install, according to some users. This cable type contains a plastic core and four pairs of copper wires, which it employs when signaling to perform at its highest. The Cat6 ethernet cable has a 1Gb speed and performs at up to 250Mhz.

Ideal Cables for Your Needs

When choosing a networking cable, speed and bandwidth are only two considerations you need to make as you shop around. Another issue to consider is your price range, necessary cable length (typically 55 to 100 meters), and device that requires a connection. While most ethernet cables connect a PC to a router, there are also cell phone accessories like USB adapters that can connect networking cables to a smartphone, tablet, music streaming device, and more.

While increased internet speed can encourage a world of opportunity and productivity, there are issues to consider when it comes to protecting the equipment you use, especially if you have an expensive setup.  In addition to using networking cables, many users choose to run their computing devices from a surge protector, so that sudden voltage spikes do not damage any of the equipment they use.

Fast, reliable internet is only as good as the device that’s running it, so protecting your devices is a wise precaution to take. In fact, 82% of professionals rely on surge protection to prevent electrical damage to their equipment, according to a survey conducted by the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Surge protectors include a variety of different ports, including standard electrical plug-ins as well as USB ports so that cable cell phone accessories can be plugged in without having to take up a lot of space with a blocky electric adapter.

The variety of different options on the market make it to where users can protect an array of equipment and surf the web with more flexibility than in previous years.

How to Tell HDMI and DisplayPort Cables Apart

displayport cables

Choosing between two standards of technology that are competing with each other can be tough. Not much information is available to help consumers compare what sets HDMI cables and the newer DisplayPort apart. What’s the difference between HDMI and DisplayPort? Here are four main differences you need to know about HDMI and DisplayPort cables.

Connectors

Three of the main HDMI cables you typically see have 19 pins and come in 5 shapes. Type A HDMI cables are commonly used with laptops, TVs, and projectors. Type B mini HDMI cables work with some laptops and tablets. Type D micro HDMI cables are also used with certain laptops and tablets. A Type B cable has 29 pins that are designed for dual-link applications and Type E features a locking mechanism for use in the automotive industry.

There are 20 pins on DisplayPort connectors with two sizes available. There is a full-size standard option and a smaller alternative that is similar to the Thunderbolt. Most of these connectors feature a locking mechanism to prevent them from accidental disconnection. However, be aware that this feature is not an official required specification.

Bandwidth and Resolution

The standard DisplayPort has a 60 Hz refresh rate while the most common HDMI has a refresh rated half that at 30 Hz. The maximum bandwidth for DisplayPort is 17.28 Gbps compared to HDMI’s maximum at 10.2 Gbps. HDMI 2.0 hardware is able to support up to 18 Gb per second of bandwidth. Both feature similar video resolutions. However, you should keep in mind to look at the version number located on both the display and source rather than compare the two in this area.

Audio Features

Both HDMI and DisplayPort connectors are able to support 8 digital audio channels at 24 bit and 192 kHz. The main difference between these two is that HDMI has an audio return channel, which means sound can travel both ways on a TV set. If you want to watch Netflix on a smart TV but want to use a surround sound system rather than the built-in speakers, this is a better option.

HDMI and DisplayPort cables appear to have distinct differences while still attempting to achieve the same outcome. However, DisplayPort seems to solve the shortcomings of traditional cables while meeting the demands of newer technology breakthroughs. By understanding the difference between these two, you will be able to make a more informed decision on the option that is best for you.

These 3 Tech Upgrades Could Help Your Business Operate More Smoothly

networking cable

It can be quite the challenge to run a workplace that is efficient and practical. If you’re running a workspace of any kind, then you should be sure that you’re using the best tech for the job. Here are three important tech upgrades that are crucial to your workplace productivity and performance.

Network Ethernet Cables

In a technology-centered world that is always connected, there is much talk about the network strength of any given workspace. However, most people make the mistake of jumping straight into upgrading their router or their internet service provider in hopes of better speeds. While these things are certainly important, you should never ignore the important role that your networking cables play in the rest of your setup.

While you don’t need to become an expert on all the different types of cable options there are available on the market today, it helps to know what you’re looking for. Even just doing a thorough audit of your current networking cable set up can help to illuminate any weak points in your connections. By ordering newer cables, you’d be surprised by just how much improvement you’ll see in the rest of your network. And we all know how important a strong network is to the rest of your operations.

High-Speed HDMI Cables

When it comes to your audiovisual setup, chances are you probably don’t consider the function of your cables. In fact, HDMI cables account for a large portion of your picture quality and your sound quality. Do everyone in the office a favor by making sure that your HDMI cables are up to speed before that next big meeting. Things will look and sound better, which will help everyone be more engaged and present.

Surge Protectors

When it comes to keeping your computers and other electronics safe from unexpected power surges, you’d be wise to make sure that your surge protectors are up to date. If you have a server room, or even a simpler set up, without surge protectors, you could be jeopardizing thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. Without the security of a high-quality surge protector, your equipment is in danger. It’s unfortunate, but many people don’t even think about their surge protectors until it’s far too late. But by then, of course, the damage has been done. Don’t be one of these poor people who let a power surge destroy their computers.

Different devices will require different types of surge protectors, depending on your typical usage. This is where learning a bit about joules comes in handy. The number of joules listed for the surge protector represents the energy absorption rating. The more the better. For a computer or home theater equipment, you’ll want to consider surge protectors with joule ratings of 2500 or more.

Whether you’re looking to order new high-speed HDMI cables, networking cables, or any other type of cable tech for your workplace, then you want to be sure that you’re ordering from a supplier who knows their stuff. At Cable Wholesale we have years of experience in the industry and we’d be happy to assist you in making your workplace a brighter, more efficient environment through the use of the right cables. Get in touch with a member of our team for more information.

What You Didn’t Know About the Power of Fiber Optic

While you may not realize it, fiber optic cables have become the backbone of today’s society. This type of cable has been used to connect cities and countries since the beginning of the internet. The first submarine fiber optic cable connected France and Britain to the United States in 1988, with hundreds more currently connecting the world across the ocean floor. Today, the global fiber optics market is estimated to grow to $9.1 billion by 2025.

Fiber optic cables send data using light. There are many thin strands of glass inside each cable in which photons travel down, varying from just a few to several hundred. These strands are less than a tenth as thick as a human hair. If you’re talking about telephone calls, each strand can carry somewhere around 25,000, leading entire fiber-optic cables to carry several million.

Data transfer speeds through fiber optic cables are able to reach extremely fast speeds. Since light moves so fast (186,000 miles per second), this directly translates into data transfer speeds. This enables up to one Gigabit per second transfer speeds on fiber-optic networks. This is almost 100 times faster than the average broadband speed in the United States of 11.7 Megabits per second. When these are properly installed, a lot of possibilities are unlocked. For instance, you set it up to transmit 15.5 terabits of data per second, 1,000 times what the average capacity is.

This technology is growing day in and out, despite some not even knowing. Around 25% of the Internet in the US is provided by fiber optics, with 280 million kilometers (over 170 million miles) in demand globally as of 2018. Using fiber optics directly for consumer use has grown as well, with Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber growing in popularity and reaching speeds of 500 Megabits per second and 1 Gigabit per second respectively.

The Importance of Using the Right Cables for Your Phone and other Electronic Devices

usb 3 cable

Although most people have one (or several) electronic devices that they use every single day, most people are also oblivious about using the right cables for their device. With so many different cable types, from USB 3 cables to power lightning cables, it can be quite confusing and frustrating to find the right cables for your devices. Sure, you may think it’s easy to choose the right cables to charge your devices and connect them to networks and other devices, but there could be some information you’re missing. Here’s just some of the key benefits to using the right cables for your device.

Using the right USB cables will speed things up

When it comes to transferring data from an external device such as a digital camera or a portable hard drive, the type of USB cable that you use makes all the difference. Not only will the wrong cable be incompatible, but you may also discover that it leads to enormous wait times when transferring files from one device to another. For example, USB 3 cables allow for faster transfer speeds than its USB 2.0 counterparts. Far too many people make the mistake of only looking for the right connectors, without even stopping to check and consider other important factors such as data transfer rates and compatibility. Keep this in mind the next time you’re shopping around for USB cables to move files between your devices and computers.

Using the right charging cables for your cell phone

When it comes to phone cell phone charging cables, a lot of your phone’s battery life will depend on your approach to charging its battery. Even though most people are unaware, there are certainly best practices when it comes time to charge your phone. For example, you shouldn’t wait until your phone gets close to a 0% battery charge before you plug it in and recharge it. Experts recommend waiting until your phone gets down to around a 35% or 40% charge and then plugging it into a charger. Following these methods whether using a USB 3 cable or any other kind of smartphone cable will ensure that you get the most possible life out of your cell phone battery as you use it.

If you’re in need of a USB 3 cable, a surge protector, a zipcord fiberoptic cable, or any other kind of cable, then it’s always a good idea to choose a reputable, high-quality supplier. At Cablewholesale.com, we have the products and customer service approach that you need to handle all of your cable needs. Even if you’re not totally sure what you’re looking for, a member of our team would love to help you get started toward finding the right products for your phone, your office, and your workplace. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get in touch with us today so we can help you take the first step toward finding the right cables for your electronics.

Understanding the Different Types of USB Connectors and Their Applications

usb cables

USB cables are everywhere nowadays. Most devices use them to connect to one another and transfer data. But you may be surprised at just how many different types there are available. Here’s our quick guide to the three general USB connection types that you may encounter, and how to use them in the most applicable ways:

USB Type-A

If you have ever plugged a USB device into your computer, then chances are you did so using a USB Type-A connection. These are the most common types of USB connections and can be found with USB keyboards, mice, microphones, and thousands of other devices. These cables provide great universality for most applications.

USB Type-B

USB Type-B cables are very unique, and not as common as the other types of connections. This connector is almost square in shape, containing four pins for USB 1.1 and 2.0 cables, and 9 pins on USB 3.0 cables. These are most commonly used for electronics like printers, audio interfaces, microphones, and external hard drives.

A variation of type-B connector that are much more popular is Micro USB. While they aren’t typically referred to as “type-b,” they’re still considered a variation of this type of connector. These are usually found to charge and connect mainly portable electronics like phones, wireless-headphones, e-readers, portable power banks, and other devices that need charging.

USB Type-C

Thanks to USB Type-C connectors, this technology is now more flexible and compatible than ever before. This type of cable has grown in popularity over the years and is quickly becoming the new standard when it comes to USB connectivity. USB Type-C cables provide fast transfer speeds and are perfect for expanding a laptop. As an additional bonus benefit, USB Type-C cables are popular because they are compatible with Macs and other electronics that support Thunderbolt 3. For maximum flexibility across all your devices, consider picking up a USB Type-C cable.

Whatever your intentions may be, these cables are incredibly powerful tools and are essential for transferring data between devices. If you are in need of cables with any connectors or variation, USB 2.0 cables, USB 3 cables, or any of the newest USB cables on the market, then finding a trustworthy supplier is imperative. With years of experience in the industry, we are here to help you find the cables that are right for you and your workplace.

The Different Types of HDMI Cables and When to Use Them

category 5 cable

While most people are well aware of category 5 cables and other networking cables, the different types of HDMI cables are often overlooked. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans go online daily, 43% say they go online several times per day, and 26% say they’re online almost constantly. With these numbers, you might assume that most people are informed when it comes to using HDMI cables for their internet activity. But this is not the case. If you are using any type of highspeed HDMI cables, it is important to know the different types and when it is appropriate to use a certain type to meet your needs.

Here’s a basic overview that you should consider when you need an HDMI cable:

Standard HDMI cables

As the name suggests, this type of High Definition Multimedia Interface cable is the most common type that you will encounter. These cables are used to convey audio and video from a larger device to a screen. Most often you will see standard HDMI cables used for desktop computers, laptops, gaming systems, and projectors.

There is another kind of HDMI cable that belongs to this class. It is known as HDMI high-speed with Ethernet. These cables essentially support the transmission of higher quality visual data, such as deeper colors and better resolution.

Mini HDMI cables

Going down the list, mini HDMI cables allow for high-quality media display from devices that have smaller ports. These ports, known as mini ports, are often found on devices such as tablets. What’s surprising about mini HDMI cables is that they still offer a rich, high-quality resolution.

Micro HDMI cables

Finally, micro HDMI cables have an even smaller connector which is known as a micro connector. These ports can be found on tablets that are smaller than the standard sized tablet. Micro HDMI cables are also seeing a rise in popularity because they allow for media to be displayed from smartphones.

Next time you are thinking about using a category 5 cable, an HDMI cable, or any other type of cable, remember to choose the proper one for your needs. It makes all the difference in the quality and performance of your devices.

What is Thunderbolt?

what is thunderbolt

Technology runs our lives. It is a tool that allows us to create and experience things that were previously impossible for some. This quintessential part of our society has developed greatly over the years, growing into something that enables us to live our lives to the fullest.

With the inspirational speech aside, it’s helpful to understand the tools that allow us to create and experience these wonderful things. Thunderbolt is a technology that is constantly stretching the hardware capabilities of how we can transfer data, becoming something that consumers search for when buying a new computer.

So what is Thunderbolt, and why is it so important?

The History

Thunderbolt technology (originally named “Light Peak”) was developed by Intel in the late 2000s to incorporate optical data into traditional data transfer methods (combining wire and fiber optics). This technology allowed for faster data transfer rates for these two methods, packaged nicely into one port.

Thunderbolt 1 was the first iteration of this. The transfer speed started out at 10Gpbs, using the same connector type as a Mini Displayport. The second version, which was released in June of 2013, was mainly to enable the transfer and display of 4K video files. This version doubled the previous’s speed, upping data transfer speeds to 20 Gbps, still using the Mini Displayport connector. Finally, Thunderbolt 3 started to ship in late 2015. Instead of fighting with the growing popularity of USB-C, Intel decided to join it. Now incorporated into USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 doubles the previous speed once more, now up to 40Gbps.

Benefits of Thunderbolt

Here are a few reasons you may want to consider investing in a computer with Thunderbolt capabilities:

  • Power Supply: Thunderbolt 3 supports up to 100 Watts of power transfer, charging everything from phones to laptops. This allows you to use the same charger for multiple devices, decreasing the number of things you need to carry with you on a daily basis.
  • Many Peripherals:Thunderbolt 3 allows you to connect up to 6 devices daisy-chained through a single port. This includes your typical keyboards and mice, but also monitors and graphics cards. This can help transform your laptop into a fully-fledged desktop.
  • Data Transfer:If you’re someone who transfers a lot of data physically from one source to another (like a photographer or videographer), then Thunderbolt 3 is the way to go, providing you with up to 40 Gbps of data transfer.
  • Multiple Displays:With Thunderbolt 3, you can connect two 4K 60Hz monitors through one port, allowing you to expand your productivity. Paired with a laptop, you can get 3 screens with only one port.

Thunderbolt 3 is a wonderful development for everyone, from those who enjoy video games to those who are creative professionals, and everyone in between. When choosing your next laptop, be sure to check if it has Thunderbolt 3. You won’t regret your decision.