The Signal is Strong with This One — Three Network Cable Mistakes that the Techie in Training can Avoid


Cat5e cables

There’s a lot of terminology and voltage involved in network installation. First time techies may be understandably intimidated. Whether you’re installing a new home office, updating the entertainment center, or extending your sound system to the back yard, installing a network ethernet cable can be an inexpensive and easy home upgrade. Just avoid these three common cable mistakes to install your network right the first time

  1. Don’t start with the Wrong Cable

    Your friend, the Ethernet expert, probably has a storage bin full of old cables and cell phone accessories that might come in handy one of these days. Let’s be clear, home network installation day is probably not that day.

    It’s true-there are some HDMI DVI cables that are built to last a long time–for instance high quality CAT5 cables can last between five and ten years. However, every year, old or fraying technology like cell phone cables result in house fires and electronic damage. Make sure your fiber optic cables are new or in good condition before you get started.

    So, if I’m buying new, what highspeed HDMI cable do I go with?

    Even if you have a CAT 5 crossover cable in great condition, a new home network might be a good excuse to upgrade. CAT 5e cables and CAT 6 cables are much faster than their CAT 5 predecessor. What’s more, quality bulk fiber optic cable is not that expensive. Don’t be fooled into paying $50+ for an HDMI highspeed cable; shop around. There are usually less expensive options that are made with the same high standards.

    One standard that you should be sure to pay attention to is cable safety ratings. Bulk fiber optic cables often have to run through ceilings or below floorboards in order to travel from room to room. In this case, it’s important to find bulk plenum zipcord fiber optic cable–which means that the cords are safe from smoke, flame, and exhaust. While all CAT5e cables and CAT6 cables are fine to use in open rooms or riser spaces, only bulk plenum zipcord fiber optic cables have the highest flammability rating.

  2. Don’t try to Save on Distance

    So you bought the flashy CAT 6 bulk plenum zipcord fiber optic cable of every internet enthusiast’s dreams. Now–how much do you really need? The best answer is: too much. It’s never a good idea to put pressure on cables by pinching them or pulling them taught. Even when traveling around corners, it’s important to leave slack so that cable housing and internal wiring does not sustain pressure.

    Won’t that make my signal fuzzy?
    No–fiber optic cables should carry not compromise your quality. If you think you’ll need more than 100 feet of cabling, make sure your bulk zipcord fiber optic cables are designed to cover that distance. A 75 ft ethernet cable will deliver the same quality audio and video as a 500 ft ethernet cable, so it’s best to overestimate rather than fray or damage your cables.

  3. Don’t Get Zapped!

    Of course, you’re smarter than that — but this tip is important enough that it deserves the reminder. Turn off the power source before you connect your cables for the first time. CAT6 cables can carry as much as 250 MHz — and who wants to know how much those hertz can hurt?

    It’s easy enough to protect yourself with a power strip surge protector. The surge protector will allow you to plug multiple devices into one outlet and save you from getting fried. Switch off the power strip and connect your cords, then check each audio or visual component separately just in case you need to trouble shoot.

Listen, you’ll have friends who fancy themselves as network gurus, but they will fall into each of these traps. They will try to recycle old cables, or patch together wires in order to cover a large distance. They will get too excited about their progress and try to turn on and test all their devices at once. Avoid these common mistakes! Before you know it, they’ll be coming to you with questions about bulk plenum zipcord fiber optic cable.

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