Posted 25 July 2018 in Blog News

Lifeline or trip wire – are you hamstrung by your network cables?

Good network cabling is the bedrock of good IT for an organisation. Not everyone is aware of the impact of poor cabling, but if the cabling is inadequate, users will experience slowness when they open and update shared documents, browse the internet, use e-mail or save documents to shared folders. Unsatisfactory network cabling results in a frustrating working environment for IT users, damaging productivity and morale.

These are the network cabling problems that organisations frequently face:

Loose hanging cables.

The cables that connect your Local Area Network, (the network within your building), should be installed by a trained cabling technician, clipped to the walls and protected by trunking. When cables are pinched, twisted and crushed, the copper wire gets damaged and their ability to transmit data is impaired. In addition, if cables hang loosely they can get caught and tugged, which damages the connectors at the ends. This can lead to your network connection on your workstations dropping in and out.

Power Line Adaptors

In premises where there aren’t enough network points to easily connect all the workstations to the network, IT managers are sometimes tempted to use a Power Line Adapter rather than go to the expense of paying for extra network points to be installed. A Power Line Adapter can be plugged into the electrical plug points, using the copper electrical cables to transmit data instead of using network cables. However, electrical cables are poorly adapted for carrying network data, and the electrical activity can cause interference and degradation. This will cause the users to experience slowness and connection dropping.

Long cable runs

Ordinary copper network cables are quite sufficient for runs of several meters, (provided that the network cables are high grade, minimum Cat 5e). For runs extending past 100 meters, (in large office buildings and warehouses), you might want to invest in what is known as a ‘fibre backbone’: where a line of fibre cable is run from a switch adjoining the network router, through the length of the premises, to a second switch further down. This is because data travelling along long stretches of copper cabling is subject to degradation, but data travelling along fibre cabling is not. Replacing a long stretch of copper cable with a long stretch of fibre will improve the user experience.

 

If you are experiencing problems with your network and would like us to provide you with a free assessment, please get in touch.