The Link Between Using an External Cable and Your Poor Internet Connection

Few things test your patience more than a poor internet connection. Besides being annoying and frustrating, slow internet connectivity adversely affects individuals and businesses by lowering productivity, morale, and motivation.

Fortunately, Cisco Umbrella managed service offers a reliable and fast internet connection. While numerous factors influence your internet connection’s speed and quality, external cable issues are prevalent. Perhaps the cable is broken, the wrong type or has a defective port or connector, slowing your internet connection significantly. This article assesses how your external cable leads to poor internet connection and proposes remedies.

Cable Type

While most internet providers offer reliable and fast internet connection, the ethernet cable type affects the speed. External cables are not created equal and vary in type, design, and support maximum speed. When you experience a poor internet connection at home or at your business, start by identifying the cable’s category, indicated on the cable’s outer layer. The category determines the cable’s age, speed, and shielding type.

High-category cables are newer, deliver faster speeds, and feature added shielding for increased performance, while lower ones support lower speeds. For example, a CAT 3 cable supports 10 Mbps, a CAT 5 100 Mbps, and a CAT 6 1,000 Mbps. People using older CAT 5 cables may witness sluggish internet connections even if they pay for faster speeds –more than 100 Mbps. Advancement in technology has led to the manufacture of high-category cables – up to CAT 8.1 and 8.2 supporting multi-gigabit internet connections.

It is vital to ascertain that the ethernet cable connecting to your router is fast enough and suits your internet speed. If your connection ranges from 200 to 1,000 Mbps, CAT 5e and CAT 6 cables are ideal. Settle for a cable category higher than CAT 6 for multigigabit connections.

Cable Condition

External cables are vulnerable to damage, both intentional and unintentional. It is particularly true for outdoor cables or in the basement and attic. Cables outside your home can be damaged by inclement weather and pests. For instance, the conductor element in the cable can react to extremely high or low temperatures. Likewise, a rodent can gnaw at your external cable, slowing the connection or disconnecting it entirely.

Pets and kids can harm indoor external cables. Cats and puppies are fond of chewing things around the house, and your external cable is no exception. Also, your toddlers can pull these cables when playing, damaging the copper wires inside. Therefore, keep your cables safe and out of reach of pets, kids, and pests to preserve internet connectivity.

Cable Ports

Ethernet cable users report two main problems with their ports, culminating in slow internet. First, the type of cable port can limit internet speed. There’re three main cable ports: Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and Multigigabit Ethernet. Older PCs with a Fast Ethernet port support speeds up to 100 Mbps, so don’t expect to attain higher speeds than this. If you need gigabit speeds, consider Gigabit and Multigigabit Ethernet ports.

Second, a faulty cable port can frustrate you with slow speeds or no connection. Consider switching ports if you suspect your internet issues emanate from a defective port. Since most routers come with four ports, you can use any remaining three. When the connection improves with the new port, the older one may be problematic. Cover it with tape to avoid future use. If your router has only one or two ports, use WiFi and contact the manufacturer.

Cable Length

Most Ethernet cables work optimally at a specific length –typically 328 feet. You can expect a CAT 6 cable to attain a maximum speed of 1,000 Mbps and a CAT 6a to reach 10,000 Mbps as long as they are in the recommended range.

Nevertheless, high-performance cables with lightning speeds offer high outputs at shorter distances. For instance, a Cat 7 cable only supports 40 Gbps across 164ft. The speed increases to 100 Gbps when the cable is shorter than 49ft. Maintaining cables at a designated length for maximum speed is best practice. Anything above that leads to signal loss, and you get slower speeds.

Cable Connectors

While cable connectors are overlooked, they can affect your internet speed and cause poor or no connection. The cable connectors attach to the Ethernet port, ensuring a steady and fast internet. However, dirty, corroded, or damaged connectors can hurt your internet speeds, slowing your business or personal operations. When buying a new Ethernet cable, choose one with gold connectors because it is non-corrosive and longer lasting.

Similarly, an issue with the cable connector’s clip –used to hold the connector in place can result in a slow internet connection. For example, a broken clip fails to attach to the port, increasing the likelihood of a slow connection or disconnection if the connector does not adhere to the port.

A slow internet connection is a preventable nuisance, especially when emanating from an external cable. You can maintain the performance of your external cable and attain optimal internet speeds by investing in better hardware and cables. Depending on your needs, opt for the latest Ethernet cables –greater than CAT 6a and Gigabit Ethernet ports. Do not forget to keep cables in the specified range and repair or replace faulty wires and connectors.

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