Ethernet Cables

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Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:19 pm

Hey guys,

My integrated NIC is half busted and doesn't work with my old kinked up cable, I don't know a whole lot about networking, (my brother deals with the router and networking in my house). So anyways I bought an Intel pro 100 GT card... hope that fairly decent, it was cheap... and ofc will be better than integrated. But onto my question; I'm was looking around to buy a new cable, I found that all the retail stores are insanely expensive, and new egg and other websites have them for in some cases 1/5 of the price for as far as I can tell, the same thing... but even on sites like new egg i notice they have cables exactly identical, maybe the color is different and the price is a fair bit different. So I'm wondering what the difference is.. I did some research and figure I want a cat6 utc, so why are the prices so big? are some of these cables crap for some reason? or are certain brands crap? or are retail stores a huge ripoff for cables or what?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:28 pm

The cheapest generic CAT6 cable will be just fine. Don't succumb to the entreaties of the Cable Cabal.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:37 pm

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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:41 pm

excellent... thank you sirs
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:14 pm

I had a similar problem with guitar cables as well, and one of my computer friends told me about the cable cabal. It's totally insane, but it's how a lot of companies make money. I have super cheap cables on everything, and I've never noticed any difference when I've tested out the more expensive stuff.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:29 pm

We use Monoprice (the site bdwilcox linked) for all of our networking cables where I work. They're dirt cheap, and work great.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:44 pm

I have some cables that I made myself back when I was in school, and even with my crappy job, i'm still using that cable 5 years later at home and it works just fine. so no, theres no need to go spend an arm and leg on an ethernet cable. go for the cheap ones.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:18 pm

It's all digital these days. The signals in the cables go through or they don't. Get the cheapest cable that will do the job. All the gold plating, silver cores, and whatever else they have is not going to magically improve your signal.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:31 pm

sid1089 wrote:It's all digital these days. The signals in the cables go through or they don't. Get the cheapest cable that will do the job. All the gold plating, silver cores, and whatever else they have is not going to magically improve your signal.


This isn't really true for Ethernet cables. If you're just going from a router to your computer in the same room, any cable will do. But if you're putting several Ethernet cables together and running them through a building, you'll want quality cables.

They won't just 'stop working' - they'll start producing bad data (which is corrected via tcp/ip but your throughput will suffer). I know this from experience - we are about to re-wire our entire building because the original contractor used crappy cat 5 cables and it is causing us all sorts of problems.


Edit: Count me in for monoprice.com. I've used them plenty of times in the past. Their HDMI cables are soo cheap it is ridiculous. I really like their cat 6a cables because of the metal connectors on the ends. My cats have bitten through the plastic ends on lesser cables and destroyed them :(.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:25 pm

The quality is cable you need depends on the application. For home or small office use, the cheapest cat6 wire is sufficient, and it's what I use. My ham radio setup requires more precision, but even then, you'd be surprised how tolerances can produce acceptable results.
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:24 pm

sativa wrote:
sid1089 wrote:It's all digital these days. The signals in the cables go through or they don't. Get the cheapest cable that will do the job. All the gold plating, silver cores, and whatever else they have is not going to magically improve your signal.


This isn't really true for Ethernet cables. If you're just going from a router to your computer in the same room, any cable will do. But if you're putting several Ethernet cables together and running them through a building, you'll want quality cables.

They won't just 'stop working' - they'll start producing bad data (which is corrected via tcp/ip but your throughput will suffer). I know this from experience - we are about to re-wire our entire building because the original contractor used crappy cat 5 cables and it is causing us all sorts of problems.


Yes I know that. But you know what I mean. It is not like an analog medium where worse cables would produce worse data. You could still use this "worse" analog data. But in digital transmissions, if the data is noisy beyond error correction measures, it must be dropped and retransmitted - which will cause your throughput to suffer. There exists a hard line between good data and bad data. Such a hard line doesn't exist when you are transmitting analog signals.

And that is what I meant by "The signals in the cables go through or they don't".
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Re: Ethernet Cables

Postposted on Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:04 pm

Of course, if you're willing to spend more for peace of mind... there are other options available. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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