Does it often seem like your home is a tangle of cables, cords, and wires? If you need a replacement for one of these items, you may find yourself bewildered and unsure what to purchase — or what you should even be looking for in the store. Cat6 cables? USB 2.0? It might be a good time to take stock of what you have in your home and what is no longer needed and to make sure that you have the essentials. USB cables, surge protectors, HDMI cables, and Ethernet cables are all vital towards running a home in the 21st century. We use USB cables to charge many of our devices, Ethernet cables to connect to the Internet, surge protectors to protect our data and information from electrical outages, and HDMI cables to connect our devices in different ways.
What’s an Ethernet Cable?
An Ethernet cable connects your devices to your router, which helps give you Internet access. Today, the most common Ethernet cable is the 10 mbps, which was invented by Xerox, Digital, and IntelR, and is perfect for homes with two or three computers. However, many people purchase faster network cables at 100 mbps rates (or greater) to get a faster connection.
Ethernet cables are made up of four twisted pairs of wires. The twisting keeps currents or interferences at a minimum that could occur in the pairs. Even if you have a WiFi connection, having an Ethernet cable can be useful if you’re downloading lots of data or if your WiFi should go down.
What Are Cat Cables and What Kind Do I Need?
Cat cables are essentially different types of Ethernet cables. On a bigger, commercial setting, they may ferry broadband signals between multiple computers, routers, servers, and so on. The number after the Cat designates what category they are. The most common kinds currently are Cat5 cables, Cat5e cables, and Cat6 cables.
Cat5 cables are more reliable than WiFi when it comes to the Internet and can last between five to 10 years. If you need a reliable and fast Internet connection, using a Cat5 cable can get the job done easily.
Cat6 cables are Category 6 cables and the cables that are going to get you the best speed and higher frequencies compared to Cat5 or Cat5e cables. However, Cat6 cables are pricier than the other two cables and can be a little more difficult to install. It can get up to 10 gigabit speeds, but isn’t necessarily the cable you should go straight for.
If you’re transferring large amounts of data, the Cat5 or Cat5e cables should be fine for you — keep in mind that upgrading your cables won’t necessarily make your Internet work faster. It’ll improve your network speed, but not your Internet speed. Since Cat5 cables are older, they might be harder to find in the store, but you may have them in your home if you have an older device.
Tell Me About HDMI Cables and Why It’s Useful to Have Them?
An HDMI cable lets an audio/video source communicate with an audio and/or video monitor over one cable. HDMI cables can handle standard, enhanced, or high-definition video or multi-channel digital audio with just one cable. There are four general types of HDMI cables. They are standard, standard with Ethernet, high speed, and high speed with Ethernet.
The video resolutions over HDMI cables can be 480i up to 4K, but each manufacturer has different parameters for what can be transferred with their cables. For example, HDMI 1.4 was designed to handle 3D Blu-ray Disc standards and can pass two 1080p signals at the same time over the same connection.
HDMI cables are so popular because they’re the best type of cable to show video and sound and as HD has become more widespread, consumers want a clear sound or picture.
Knowing what kind of cable you need in your home can make a big difference in your sound, audio, and video quality. On the whole, your systems can work more efficiently with the right equipment, so see if upgrading is right for you.