Can Ethernet Cables Go Bad?

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Can Ethernet Cables Go Bad

One of the things I dislike most about the internet is Wi-Fi. If you are the owner of your house and do not mind having a few holes in the walls of your home, installing Ethernet cables around your home is certainly the ideal way to get the best value for your money. Several things make Ethernet connections wonderful; however, one source of concern about people is the question of “can Ethernet cables go bad? We will attempt to answer that while also looking at some of the unique features of Ethernet connections.

Can Ethernet cables go bad?

Yes, they can go bad. Usually, long segments of such cables which dangle from the connections may with time pull away from the connections. It should be noted that Ethernet cables have the potential to go bad over some time especially when they are exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or vibration.

Furthermore, when Ethernet cables are bent rather sharply, it can lead to degradation until it adversely affects the signal passing through it. There can also be oxidation of the contacts which would, therefore, lead to the cables going bad. The major things that cause and Ethernet cable to go bad include ether cut, damage from an external force as well as a spill. One major cause is a situation where the connectors become bad after being jerked from their sockets. Ethernet cables do not go bad from usage on theirs.

What does an Ethernet cable look like?

An Ethernet cable has some semblance with a phone cable; however, it is quite larger and comes with a higher number of wires. They both have the same plug and shape; however, Ethernet cables come with 8 wires while that of phone cables has four. In addition to this, Ethernet cables are known to be larger and come in different colors. Ethernet cables usually plug into Ethernet ports that are usually larger than phone cable ports. Usually, an Ethernet port on a PC can be accessed via the Ethernet card located on the motherboard.

What Are The Types Of Ethernet Cables?

At least one industry standard is supported by Ethernet cables. These include category 6 and category 5. The majority of technicians tend to prefer CAT6 and CAT5 and as a result of this, several online stores that retail cables make use of the aforementioned abbreviations. It is worthy of note that Ethernet cables are manufactured in two major forms. These include the stranded Ethernet cables and the Solid Ethernet cables.

In the case of the Solid Ethernet cables, they offer you improved performance and protection against every form of electrical interference. More often than not, they are used on business networks and beneath lab floors. As for the stranded Ethernet cables, they are usually less susceptible to physical break and cracks thus making them the ideal choice for travelers.

What Are The Limitations Associated With Ethernet Cables

An Ethernet cable usually has a top distance capacity thus meaning that the cable comes with an upper limit as regards how long it can stay before signal loss known as attenuation. This situation occurs as a result of the effect of electrical resistance on its performance. Usually, either end of the cable ought to be near enough for them to receive quick signals or they should also be far from any form of interferences that may cause interruptions.

However, these apparent limitations should not affect the network size because certain hardware such as hubs and routers should be able to connect different Ethernet cables using the same network.  The distance that exists between the two networks is referred to as the network diameter.

Usually, the highest length of the CAT5 cables before it experiences attenuation is about 324 feet. In the case of the CAT6 cables, it can extend to about 700 feet. Ethernet cables can be stretched longer; however, this may expose them to loss of signal. This is especially so if they are passing via any large electrical installation.

The length of Ethernet cables is quite different in the case of thin Ethernet cables and thick Ethernet cables. The former is about 600 feet while the later measures about 1640 feet long.

How Do I Buy The Right Ethernet Cables?

How Do I Buy The Right Ethernet Cables

It is quite important to choose the right Ethernet cable to get the best in terms of performance and pricing. Purchasing Ethernet cables are not as straightforward as many may want to believe. They usually come in different cable types such as the Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat 6e as well as Cat 7. They come in different shapes and colors from different suppliers. It is therefore vital to purchase the ideal network cable. You must ensure that you do not under or over-specify it as this may lead to a compromise in quality and performance.

By choosing the perfect Ethernet cables, you will be guaranteed of the best in terms of performance at the best available cost. The first thing you need to factor in when buying Ethernet cables is that you must have some measure of understanding of what is required. You need to know the available options for the cable.

Furthermore, you need to know things such as price, performance, and quality because they are the major decisive factors. Even though some of them are quite hard to judge, having ample knowledge of these parameters should help you make better decisions in the long run.

What Are The Requirements For Ethernet Cables?

It is not uncommon to find local area networks everywhere these days. Houses that have broadband also usually come with routers that do not only give Wi-Fi but also permit Ethernet. Also, routers for home or small office use are known to have up to four Ethernet ports. On the other hand, those dedicated to large offices will be mainly Ethernet routers. In this case, the availability of switches and routers will mean that more Ethernet cables will be required.

Even though there are innovations with Wi-Fi, we are also beginning to see improved features and performance with Ethernet. Unlike Wi-Fi connections that are subject to several variables, Ethernet connections usually offer a better prospect in terms of performance and reliability.

When trying to figure out the right cable to use, always have it at the back of your mind that when it comes to connections, the internet connection plays a big role. Usually, fiber broadband may even be slower than Ethernet cables. It, therefore, suffices to say that Ethernet cables will be enough for just surfing.

However, when it comes to real work such as file transfer, video and game streaming, and the likes, that is where we will know the strong one. Usually, the updated Ethernet cables will produce better and quicker results in this regard.  Usually, using older Ethernet cables may lead to issues.

What Are The Compatible Issues With Ethernet Cables?

Ethernet cables are unique because they are backward compatible and interchangeable. The only major challenge with using an older cable such as Cat 5 is that they will not give you is the desired speed. What this simply means is that you could get a Cat 5 cable plugged into a router that uses the latest 10G Ethernet interface. The only challenge here is that the cable will cause a slower data transfer.

In the same vein, you could get a Cat-7 cable plugged to an older router which does not support the latest speeds and it will turn out fine. Buying an Ethernet cable offers you a lot of flexibility. It should be noted that Ethernet cables usually come in several lengths depending on the desired use.

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Conclusion

Having understood the factors that can make an Ethernet cable go bad and other unique features of the same, it is imperative to state that Ethernet cables can only get better. They offer a lot of unique features which makes them the ideal technological choice. It is, however, important to state that as with all other technology, they come with their challenges,  some of which we have tried to highlight in this article.

About the author

David Huner

Hey, my name is David Huner, a Tech Lover who has written thousands of tech articles for different high authoritative sites earlier and gathered great knowledge on this category. I was graduated from The University of Phoenix-Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance. Also I have an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Cleveland Institute of Electronics. I like to write about different tech ideas the most. Also, I like to test different types of gadgets and write reviews on them. With my huge knowledge in this field, I started this blog to provide you the most informative and accurate tips and tricks. Keep reading and enjoy it!

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