The ethernet cables are very handy for those who want to extend their networks to get a longer range. They aim to provide steady and uninterrupted connection by physically connecting the wired cables, and many people prefer this to Wi-Fi.
Commercially, these extenders can provide a speedy and stable connection to various devices in a building. This is a great option for businesses, and multiple features are available for a more tailored solution for business owners. There will always be something available that can meet your needs.
The speed of the extenders is often 10 Mbps or more. Their bandwidth will generally affect their connection and coverage, and the ones that can go up to 100 Mbps can be more expensive. The more bandwidth available, the longer you can extend the wires.
What are the Things to Look For?
Buying an ethernet cable and calling it a day might not be possible for many people. After all, there are a lot of selections available such as Cat 7, Cat 6, Cat 5e, or Cat 5, and there are a lot of colors and lengths available as well from various manufacturers.
You might want to research the features first to get the best ones for your needs. There are various ethernet cable types to know about, and you have to consider some aspects like quality, availability, and price. Here are other tips to help you out.
LAN connections are very common nowadays. The routers will not only give the devices around them Wi-Fi access, but they also have the option to connect to wired ethernet. This can be possible on home LANs or small offices where every device might need access to the internet. A dedicated Wi-Fi access point or router is a good option for larger buildings. More switches and routers can mean a need for many Ethernet cables that the owners need to provide.
Although there are various advances with Wi-Fi today, and they have started to offer relatively stable performance, many still prefer wired connections because they have a lot of advantages in various situations. Wi-Fi is generally dependent on one’s location; if there are hindrances around, the signal will likely become poor.
Ethernet cables are still an excellent option for more reliable and uninterrupted performance. Many offices prefer them, and they also tend to be useful for houses with multiple computers. Make sure to know the requirements that will help them work well with your devices. Some of the things that can guide you when shopping are the following:
- Copper-Clad Wires
So many manufacturers might utilize cost-efficient materials and methods to stay in business. When you buy the less expensive ones, you should consider the pros and cons before deciding. One of the cheaper alternatives that many manufacturers use is to produce copper-clad wires that are dipped in aluminum instead of going for pure copper. This can result in slower speeds and low-quality cables. Learn more about copper-based cables on this page here.
Some might not even expect the amount of loss they can get with aluminum-coated copper. There’s evidence that low-quality cables transmit only about 60% compared to their pure counterparts.
You should also watch out for overheating and the inability to handle a heavy load. This might be caused by LED lights that were attached primarily to the cable and caused the issue to arise in the first place.
The aluminum can also break down in time. They may need replacement now and then compared to their other counterparts.
- The Underwriter’s Laboratory or UL Mark should be Present
One of the signs that you’re getting a high-quality wire is to look for the mark of the underwriter’s laboratory mark or the cable or box. This non-profit and global safety company generally validates, audits, certifies, and inspects new products in the market for the public’s safety. Most of their tests are done with various industries like computers and electricity to create a standardized practice that many manufacturers should adhere to.
A certified UL mark will mean that the ethernet has passed the required tests. Most of these testing phases are carried out in North America, Europe, and Asia. Beware of the pirates who try to copy and counterfeit the UL mark and ensure you only purchase from trustworthy manufacturers. Check the UL website and see the markings so you can be sure that the cables you’re buying are authentic.
- Plenum-Rated Matters
The plenum-rating can generally be seen on the cables themselves. They consist of words or letters that are on the wire. Oxygen generally increases the likelihood of appliances catching fire. Those plenum-rated products indicate that there’s low smoke and special insulation added to reduce any instances of fire.
This coating will significantly reduce fire hazards because it prevents the oxygen from igniting and contacting any heated internals of a specific cable. Another thing is that these generally tend to emit less toxicity in their smoke while burning. In cases of emergencies in commercial places where there’s a huge density of humans working inside, the plenum-rated cables are becoming essential.
- Look for IEC and TIA Standards
There are standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association about products and services that are installed in large buildings. Most of the standards were driven by a community and are collaborative. They follow the latest research discoveries and development in the tech industry, and some engineers are often more concerned with structured cabling.
Most of the time, the Cat 6 and Cat 5e twisted pair are part of these guidelines. Get more info about the Cat 5 in this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable. This is when you must ensure that you only choose high-quality cables and be aware of their lifespans. Generally, these extenders can last up to 15 years, and you might want to replace them if they are too old.
Look also for the ones that have IEC or International Electrotechnical Commission certified so you could have more protection. These standards on the product generally help the consumers get the best speeds they need in their homes or offices.