How Cables Affect Internet Connection Speeds

In today’s world, we’re constantly connected. If we aren’t able to find a Wi-Fi connection or send a text to a friend, our blood pressure starts to rise. Even a slow-loading web page can send us into a panic. But what you might not realize is that your choice of internet cable might be making it harder for you to work, play, and communicate online.

internet connection speeds

A lot of us use our cell phones to surf the web, but that doesn’t account for all internet traffic. While 39% of people used their smartphones to access the internet in 2017, around 59% used a residential broadband connection to do so. But that doesn’t mean connections are always reliably fast. In Q1 2017, the average internet connection speed for U.S. users was 18.75 Mbps. A year prior, there were 1,169 thousand fixed wireless connections throughout the United States with over 200 kbps in at least one direction. Still, according to a recent survey, only four in every 10 users said they were satisfied with their average Wi-Fi speed.

It’s possible that this dissatisfaction could be the result of inconsistent internet speeds. Wi-Fi may be popular, but it’s simply not as reliable as Ethernet. In fact, many consumers believe that they’re guaranteed faster Wi-Fi speeds than they are. When the average user pays for a specific Wi-Fi speed, their actual usage speeds will be only 30% to 60% of what’s advertised — which is perhaps why customers don’t feel contented with the speeds they’re getting.

Fortunately, wireless internet isn’t your only option. Copper cabling came into favor around the time the telephone was invented, but fiber optics have emerged as a more popular and more dependable alternative since then. In fact, one source estimates that fiber optic cables lose only 3% signal strength over a 350-foot distance, while copper wiring loses around 94% of its signal strength over that same distance.

Generally speaking, wired internet provides a more consistent connection that isn’t dependant upon router proximity or the number of devices connected to a given network. If you’re tired of feeling frustrated with your unreliable Wi-Fi connection, it might be time to consider an alternative you can count on.

5 Cables Every Office Needs

If you run a business in the digital age, connectivity needs to be a top priority. When your staff can’t connect to a given device or to the internet, productivity will certainly suffer. Unfortunately for your organization, this problem is probably more common than you’d think. More than 80% of businesses said they experienced office internet connectivity issues on a regular basis during 2017. And on average, those businesses reported more than four internet service disruptions every month. Not surprisingly, 77% of businesses that experienced these disruptions said the events had a negative impact on their organization’s profitability.

5 cables every office needs

That’s often where having the right equipment comes in. The type and quality of cables your office has, for instance, can make a big difference in your ability to stay connected. Here are five different types of cables your office shouldn’t be without.

  1. UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Cables: UTP cables are used for both telephone and Ethernet access. AT&T originally developed the 25-pair color code that’s still used today in most UTP cables. These cables include four pairs of wires protected by colorful jacket sheathings. The wires are twisted a specific number of times to reduce interference from other kinds of wires and electronic devices.
  2. Fiber Optic Cables: Fiber optic cables contain a glass or plastic core that’s surrounded by protective materials. They’re typically associated with high-speed internet access (many businesses use them to ensure a connected network between different buildings), but the technology is nothing new. Fiber optics have actually been around since the 1870s, but this technology is still considered to be one of the fastest and most cost-efficient options for data transmission.
  3. HDMI Cables: First developed in 2002 to transmit audio and video signals, HDMI cables can connect personal computers, TVs, Blu-Ray and DVD players, gaming consoles, digital audio devices, video projectors, and more. Many digital cameras and mobile phones come equipped with miniature versions of HDMI ports. Rather than being used for data transfer, these cables are used to send signals for higher quality viewing. They’re what allow you to hook up a laptop to a large screen TV for presentations — a must for many businesses today.
  4. USB Cables: Unlike HDMI cables, USB cables are used to actually connect two devices and transport data between them. USB-B cables typically connect routers, computers, or printers. USB-A cables are often used in the office to connect your keyboard or mouse to your desktop computer. If you’ve ever connected your smartphone to your laptop to sync it or a digital camera to a computer to upload some images, you’ve used a USB cable.
  5. Ethernet Cables: Rather than relying on a wireless network, many businesses opt for a wired connection. Ethernet cables like Cat 5e and Cat 6 are often faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi. Although Wi-Fi networks can theoretically manage speeds of 1.3 Gbps, Ethernet connections can realistically provide speeds of 2.5 to 5 Gbps (as of 2018). In many cases, that makes for higher productivity and lower stress for employees.

In order for your organization to run smoothly, you’ll need access to reliable tools that keep you connected. By prioritizing the acquisition of high-quality cables like these, your employees will be able to do their jobs with ease, resulting in higher success rates for your business.

4 Cell Phone Cable Accessories You Never Knew You Needed

cell phone cables

If you’re like most Americans, you love your cell phone. Many of us are rarely more than a few dozen feet away from our smartphones, and as a population, we buy cell phones at an astonishing rate. In fact, every minute nearly 395 iPhones are sold. That’s more than six iPhones sold per second!

As much as we love our phones, cell phone accessories make them even better. A cool case or charging cable personalizes a smartphone and makes it more functional for meeting our daily needs.

If you’re looking to make your phone even better, you’ve come to the right place. Never go without a connection again, and check out with these four clever and useful cell phone cables:

Extra Long Cell Phone Cables

Nothing is more frustrating than sitting next to an outlet on the floor because your charging cable doesn’t reach the nearest seat. Make sure your charger reaches your bed, the sofa, or the booth at a restaurant with an extra-long cable. Standard cables are about three feet long, but you can find chargers six, 10, or even 12 feet long to reach across entire rooms!

Car Charging Cables

These days, driving with a dead cell phone is a bit frightening. What if you get lost and need to navigate? What if an accident happens and you need to call for help? Never drive without a phone again by purchasing a car charger. USB adapters can fit into cigarette lighting ports, so even older cars without USB ports can still charge your device.

Cell Phone HDMI Cables

If you have a phone and an HDMI-compatible T.V., you can stream any internet video service to the bigger screen using an HDMI-micro USB conversion cable. Skip the squinting and watch your favorite shows and movies on the T.V. screen like a real adult.

Portable Charging Banks

Are you someone who is always on the move? Whether you’re traveling, on a run, or simply out of the house, a portable charging bank can ensure your phone battery lasts all day long. Just charge the portable battery at home, then plug into your phone while you’re out and about for a phone battery boost.

These smart cell phone cables and accessories can keep your phone charged in nearly any circumstance. As the holidays approach, cell phone accessories also make great gifts. For more great cables to connect to all your favorite devices, visit today!

A Simple Guide to Buying the Right Ethernet Cable

cat5 cables

When it comes to having access to the internet, people have several different options to choose from. This is especially true seeing as how there were 3.74 billion people using the internet around the world as of March 2017. While many people use Wi-FI, Ethernet cables are often a more practical and reliable choice. But how do you choose between Ethernet cable types? Let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when choosing Ethernet cables.

Solid vs. stranded cable: When referring to the copper conductor in the ethernet cables, you generally have to choose between solid or stranded Ethernet cables. In solid cables, one solid wire per conductor is used, which is often seen in Cat5 cables. On the other hand, a stranded cable consists of multiple wires per conductor, which are wrapped around each other. Solid cables are good to use for structured wiring, as they can easily be put into patch panels and wall jacks because they only have one conductor. Stranded cables can be used for crimp conductors or to create patch cables.

Desired speed: Different Ethernet cables will offer different internet speeds. If you’re looking for basic internet speeds, Cat5 cables are a great option. Cat5 cables are easy to install and they can last for several years without needing replacing. Furthermore, they’re reliable and often faster than Wi-Fi connections. But if you’re looking for even faster internet, Cat6 Ethernet cables could be a good option. While they can be more difficult to install and have a higher price tag, they do offer more speed. So depending on what you’re looking for, keep internet speed in mind.

Environmental factors: It’s also important to consider what type of environment the Ethernet cable will be in, as this will impact what kind of cable you need. If the cable is going to be in a low-vibration area or an enclosed environment, you should go with a solid conductor that offers high bandwidth. But in areas that have high vibrations and temperatures, you may want to consider a flexible cable option that is resistant to torsion and trailing.

Choosing between Ethernet cables can often be a complex process. But keep these tips in mind and buy your cables from a reputable company to ensure you’re getting the right Ethernet cables for your needs.

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Surge Protector

surge protectors for computer

When you purchase surge protectors for computers and other devices, you’re making an investment that can safeguard your technology (and your valuable data) for the foreseeable future. That said, like your smartphone cables and other tech accessories, your power strip surge protector won’t actually last forever — even if it’s of the highest quality.

Actually, surge protectors are designed to have a finite lifespan. When surge protectors for computers, television sets, and other gadgets absorb that extra energy — thus making sure your devices stay safe — those surges will deplete the protector’s ability to do its job in the future. Surge protectors get rid of that additional voltage by diverting it to a metal oxide varistor (MOV). Once the MOV is exposed to a certain amount of surges, it’ll start to degrade. And when that happens, you’ll need to replace your surge protector completely.

Fortunately, this doesn’t happen right away. If you’ve purchased a reputable surge protector, it should have an energy absorption rating of 2500 or more (particularly if you’re using it to protect a computer or a home entertainment system). While that joule rating represents quite a bit of protection, it doesn’t last forever. In an article posted on the How-To Geek website, contributor Chris Hoffman explains:

“Every power surge your surge protector absorbs decreases the amount of future joules it absorbs. If that 1000 joule surge protector takes an 1000 joule hit, it’s done for. But it’s also done for if it takes ten 100 joule hits — or if it takes a thousand one joule hits. It’s all cumulative… It’s all about how many joules your surge protector has absorbed. But the older your surge protector is, the more it’s likely degraded.”

There are a few different ways to know whether it’s time to replace your surge protector. Some surge protectors for computers and other devices will let you know (usually, with a light-up component) when your devices are no longer being protected. That said, you can’t always rely on this warning system to be accurate. If you know for a fact that your protector took a big hit during a storm or outage, you may want to consider replacing it just to be on the safe side. And if you can’t remember when you purchased your current surge protector — or you know for a fact that it’s more than two years old — it’s probably time to replace the unit to ensure your devices won’t suffer any unexpected damage. Keep in mind that surge protectors are relatively inexpensive, so replacing an outdated one won’t cost you much. But not replacing it can cost you a lot.

Purchasing a high-quality surge protector can provide you with valuable peace of mind. It will ensure no harm will come to your devices due to an energy surge and that no information will be lost. However, a single surge protector doesn’t represent a permanent solution. In order to keep your devices protected at all times, you’ll need to keep a record of when your surge protector was purchased and of any big energy surges that your protector might have redirected. That way, you won’t have to guess whether your devices are actually safe; you’ll know for sure.

Cable vs. Fiber Optic: Which Option Is Better For You?

ethernet cables

Ahh, yes, the age-old debate: cable or fiber optic? Although it may not be as argued as Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Apple vs. Android (although we will admit that the iPhone 7 accounted for 8.1% of smartphone sales in the third quarter of last year), fiber optic has gained traction in the few years since its public debut. Boasting lightning quick speeds and data delivery over long distances, fiber optic cables have begun to rise in popularity. But does that mean it is inherently the best choice? Let’s take a look.

Cables Defined

Both technologies offer their own pros and cons, but to understand why that is, we first need to understand how they work. Fiber optic falls into two categories: single and multi. Single Mode uses a laser light to send signals over long distances — around 50 times greater than Multi Mode. Multi Mode uses diodes and multiple lasers of light to send signals over shorter distances, usually around a rate of 10 Gbits/s over lengths of up to 2000 ft. Although, this fascinating story about a group of researchers who were able to send 255 terabits per second down a single strand of glass fiber — which is the same as “[transfering] a 1GB movie in 31.25 microseconds (0.03 milliseconds)” — reveals what could be achieved with fiber optic. However, you certainly won’t find that kind of speed in your own home.

Traditional copper cables (such as Cat5 cables, Cat5e cables, and Cat6 cables) send data via electrical current. Though speeds have been greatly improved in copper cables over the years, their dependence on electricity makes them more likely to suffer from interference (potentially from bluetooth, transformers, and even microwaves).

Your Needs Make The Cable

Really, it all comes down to personal preference. Fiber optic is capable of offering download and upload speeds superior to copper cables, but they’re more expensive. If you have a full household of people trying to stream, download, or post at the same time, you’re going to want a fiber optic Internet service. If you live by yourself or rarely use the Internet, copper cables are perfectly suited for the job.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll be able to plug ethernet cables directly into your router to gain even faster speeds. All ethernet cables link you to the source of your Internet, so your choice between copper and fiber makes no difference there.

How to Protect Yourself From a Power Surge

Electricity is unequivocally seen as a real positive in our lives. Without it, we couldn’t power our household lights, our kitchen appliances, or our technological devices. However, there can be too much of a good thing. And when that happens, our electronics are vulnerable to damage.

We’re talking about power surges.

How to Protect Yourself From a Power Surge

It may sound exciting, but it’s really quite dangerous. A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage. Power surges can happen during lightning storms, power outages, and even when we switch on or off a large appliance. In fact, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association estimates that 60-80% of all power surges can be traced back to internal sources within a home or a business. These relatively normal occurrences can actually be so strong and sudden that they may damage your equipment or even start a fire.

During a power surge, the voltage levels will increase far beyond the limits of a given device. Typically, most electronic devices can handle 120 volts, though they may fluctuate between 0 volts and 169 volts. But the volts associated with power surges can extend far beyond those parameters and permanently damage your devices.

The truth is that any appliance can be irreparably damaged by a power surge. But there are certain devices that are more prone to power surge damage. These devices include computers, television sets, space heaters, and washing machines. It’s essential, therefore, to protect your devices (as well as your home and your family!) by taking the proper precautions. To do this, you can use power strips that offer surge protection, surge stations, or uninterruptible power stations.

Keep in mind that the way you plug in your appliances matters, too. Never use a power strip for delicate electronics and large-scale appliances (like air conditioners). This can lead to mini-surges and put your devices at risk for damage. You should also ensure your plug-ins have a UL Standard 1449 in the second edition and have a clamping voltage of 400 volts or less. They should be able to handle 600 joules, shut down immediately if a surge is detected, and protect the neutral line, ground line, and hotline.

In the event of a major storm or unexpected outage, protecting your charging or plugged-in devices may not be your first thought. But if you want to ensure the longevity of your gadgets, you may want to change your point of view. By taking a few easy precautionary steps, you can safeguard these electronics from harm and give yourself some peace of mind.

Never Lose To Lag: When To Use Ethernet Cables For Gaming

cat5e cables

We’ve all been there before; you’re in the middle of a round of your favorite multi-player online game, and just when you need a fast connection most, you’re taken down by every gamer’s worst enemy: lag. If you need a fast connection for gaming, it might be time to consider an upgraded ethernet cable. Here are a few situations where an ethernet cable might be able to improve your gaming setup.

Online Gaming

If you’re a fan of MMORPGs, or if you’re a competitive Smash player wanting to improve your game, or even if you typically just play with a few friends online, ethernet cables might be able to help you. Cat6 cables and Cat5e cables can improve your internet speeds and overall connection to the network. That means reduced lag and improved game performance when playing any sort of online game. No need to worry about someone stealing your XP because your computer or console lagged.

If you frequently find yourself struggling to connect while streaming your favorite game, or experience slower speeds while streaming, Cat5e cables or Cat6 cables could help you create a better viewing experience for your followers. Streaming can tax your systems and your network connection, and an ethernet cable upgrade can help prevent problems frequently faced by streamers.

Console vs. PC

Regardless of where you sit on the console vs. PC gaming debate, ethernet cables and fiber optic cables can improve your gaming experience. Ethernet cables are able to connect to both consoles and PCs, making them a useful tool for any serious gamer, whatever your gaming system of choice is.

Fiber optic cables can be incredibly useful for the intense console or PC gamer. Fiber optic cables first connected the U.S. to France and Britain in 1988, and since then, hundreds more have been installed all over the globe. If you need heavy-duty equipment to handle your gaming, this could be a good choice for you.

Looking for Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, or other sorts of cables to improve your connection and gaming experience? CableWholesale has a wide variety of ethernet cables and other cables available to improve your network connection today.

An Overview of Cat6 Ethernet Cabling

cat6 cable

We may live in the digital age, but not every web user connects to the internet in the same way. If you’ve ditched wireless in favor of Ethernet, you may not realize that there are several categories of Ethernet cables to choose from. One of the newer options, which is still immensely popular in 2018, is the Cat6 cable. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the main points you’ll want to understand about this cable in order to achieve the best possible connection for your needs.

Category 6 Ethernet cables, also known simply as Cat6 cables, were first released back in 2002. That may seem like a lifetime ago in terms of technological advancements, which makes it even more impressive that Cat6 Ethernet cables are still one of the preferred options 15 years later.

These cables contain four pairs of twisted copper wire. This technology uses all four pairs to achieve its high levels of performance. That’s just one of the reasons Cat6 cables are used regularly for computer networking, security systems, and even phone services. Perhaps most notably, Cat6 is backwards compatible with Cat 5, Cat5e, and Cat3 cable standards, meaning that it can work with older systems without the need for a complete technological upgrade.

But the benefits of Cat6 don’t stop there. This type of cabling follows more restrictive specifications for the elimination of system noise and crosstalk. Ultimately, that means its performance is better and more versatile. The improvements made from Cat5 to Cat6 include more available bandwidth, higher reliability, increased data rates, and a better signal-to-noise ratio. That translates to better reliability and fewer errors and data losses. It’s no wonder that this category of cable quickly became the obvious preference for those operating in network installation.

Of course, there are some slight drawbacks. Installing a Cat6 network is a bit more complex than installing previous categories, due to the way the conductors are twisted. While this can easily be performed by a professional, the installation process may take a bit more time. That said, most people feel that the effort is well worth it.

Generally speaking, it’s best to opt for the newest forms of technology. Given how quickly this landscape evolves, it’s important for businesses to have access to equipment with all the improvements and support available. After all, opting for a much older cabling category could result in an inability to make repairs or a comparable replacement. But by using Cat6 cables, you can be assured that you’ll be able to access what you need for many years to come. Because this cable category is compatible with older technology, you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run; instead of having to replace your network and your technology later on, you’ll be able to continue using your existing infrastructure because you thought ahead. And doing that will speak to your success overall.

To find out more about Cat6, Cat5e, and the other categories of Ethernet cable we carry, please contact us today.

Cat Cable 101: The Three Types Of Cat Cables

cat5e network cables

With 3.47 billion users connected to the internet as of March 2017, there are plenty of people making use of Cat cables to stay connected every day. But what are Cat cables? “Cat” is short for Category cables, a type of ethernet cable used for carrying broadband signals to a wide array of computer networks and devices. But not every Cat cable is going to be right for every job. Here are the three types of Cat cables and what you need to know about each of them to make the most out of them, and to ensure you’re getting what you need.

Cat5 cables

A trusty old standby, Cat5 cables are dependent and reliable ethernet cables. Cat5 cables might not be the newest model with all the fancy add-ons, but they’ll certainly do the job and do it well. It might be a bit harder to find them as they’re gradually being phased out, but these tough cables can last between five and ten years. Cat5 cables are well-suited to most home needs, though they might struggle with a larger network.

Cat5e cables

Cat5e network cables are a step up from Cat5; physically, the two look the same, but Cat5e cables can provide just a bit more oomph for faster speeds. They’re also designed to reduce “crosstalk,” or interference between wires, making them more efficient. Cat5e network cables are fairly common and work well for phone lines, home networks, and office networks.

Cat6 cables

The newest type of Cat cable on this list is the Cat6 cable, and this one provides the fastest speeds of the bunch. Cat6 cables can be a bit more pricey, but for some people, the extra speed and power are worth the cost. This type of cable has even more shielding to prevent crosstalk than its predecessor. This cable works well for many of the same applications as a Cat5e, but some devices require specifically a Cat6, so be sure to check which cable is right before purchasing.

Looking to purchase one of these Cat cables, particularly in bulk? CableWholesale has everything you need. Contact CableWholesale for deals on Cat cables, cell phone charging cables, USB cables, and more.