Let’s talk network cable patch cords!  Patch cords or patch cables (also known as equipment cords) are often purchased in bulk over the internet by some companies who wish to avoid paying the higher prices of the name brand patch cords.  There is a simple explanation for this price disparity, though;  there is a definite difference in quality.

In December 2010 there was large scale testing of Cat6 patch cables performed by the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) to compare electrical properties between no-name patch cords and name brand patch cords. They tested 379 no-name, off-shore Cat6 patch cords, and of those they found that 78% failed by a margin of 3dB or more, and 45% of the off-shore cords tested failed by a margin of 6dB or more.  Always remember, a 3dB gain is double and a 6dB gain is quadruple, so those are significant amounts of noise they were finding when testing these no-name patch cords.  They tested 120 name brand Cat6 patch cords, and of those they did not find one that failed to meet the criteria of TIA 568-C.2

Purchase patch cords that are name brand and certified by an independent laboratory because your network is only as good as its weakest link.

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