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CAT 5 ethernet cable buyers guide

[Q] Why are there so many price differences in CAT 5 ethernet cable?

[A] There are many reasons, but we will try and focus on those that really matter. It is not uncommon to find an incredible range of prices for what seems like the same cable, but do not be deceived.

Most of the really cheap cables you will find for sale on the internet and in the stores are generally going to be imported, inferior products. Both the raw materials, and the production methods reflect only one mode of thought: cheaper is better. We know this is not the case.

Cables assembled from top quality materials assembled here in the U.S.A. have many advantages over the cheaper import cables. Quality is first and foremost. Top material brands of CAT 5, CAT 5e, and CAT 6 cable are the very foundation of a superior cable. The difference in performance data between these two classes of cable can easily be revealed on test equipment, and is not denied by the makers of the cheaper material. Next time a cheap cable maker boasts being as good as top end American made cable, ask them to show you the performance data for the raw material. This will usually end the conversation. Anyone with even the slightest level of expertise with regards to patch cables will tell you the same thing.

Many people do not realize that a lot of the cable sold from these cheap companies actually achieved their Bandwidth rating from failure to achieve the rating it was designed for. They may have intended for a run of cable to achieve 350 Megahertz, but it ended up testing out at around 200 Megahertz instead. So what do they do? Change the specifications and stick it in a different box.

RJ45 Plugs - Yet another area that cannot be compromised. The materials in the plug are absolutely critical in making a good cable. Cheap cable makers will by a cheap plug, one made with cheap metals that are finished out to appear gold and shiny. This in no way compares to a real quality RJ45 plug, precision machined with intelligent fork design to strike the individual wires firmly and solidly. This makes for a true connection between the wire and the fork. These high quality plugs will also boast a 50 micron (or better) coating of real gold - which has superior electrical conduction properties.

Crimping procedure - Cables made in a press are often subjected to excessive crimping force which can warp the RJ45 plug, bend the forks, and ultimately cause damage to the entire cable assembly. It is a well known fact among many IT professionals, that cables that can be hand assembled are more reliable and therefore a much desired item. Although very few companies assemble CAT 5 cable by hand, it is still the practice of CAT 5 Cable Company.

Quality Control - under rated concept by many companies. They are willing to gamble that even though they may have a high failure rate of their cables in the field, they accept this and move on happy in the knowledge they are producing thousands of cables, figuring few buyers will pursue replacements or will simply assume they damaged the cables on their own during installation or removal. At CAT 5 Cable Company, we find this practice unacceptable. 100% of every order, that's every single cable that we produce is hand tested by the technician who assembled it prior to being added to your order. No one can match this level of dedication to quality.

The bottom line is: You get what you pay for.

If you are unconcerned with performance and quality, and don't mind replacing your cables after every equipment change, then you will be happy to know that there are hundreds of companies out there all selling the same kind of cable.

If you are serious about quality and performance, it is well worth the extra money to get the very best. You will find that the best will still end up being an exceptional value. Get the best. Your network deserves it.

CAT 5 Cable Company provides CAT 5 and CAT 5e patch and crossover cables for all networking applications in 9 colors, and any custom length. Hand assembled and 100% tested to ensure the finest quality.

RELATED FAQ QUESTION: What is the difference between a patch cable and a crossover cable?

Keywords: CAT 5 Cable, CAT 5e cable, patch cable, crossover cable

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