Determining the True Performance of an Installed Cabling System

17/08/2017

Determining the True Performance of an Installed Cabling System

Beyond finding faults in components or installation workmanship, the other important element is to determine the true performance of an installed data cabling system. Because performance of LAN cabling is not a function of safety, most governmental jurisdictions do not require 3rd party testing to ensure that products provide the level of performance shown on the packaging or marketing literature.

You cannot assume that connectors and cable marked as category 5e, 6, or 6A with the familiar icon guarantees the performance of the components on which they appear. There are products on the market that are falsely labelled with a rating that they do not meet and an installer would never know the performance is subpar without field certification testing. The vast majority of installed cabling is not certified and manufacturers who intentionally mislabel their products use that knowledge to take advantage of customers who cannot afford to purchase a certifier to test 100% of their installations. To ensure the components purchased provide the required performance, choose reputable brands or test the installation with a certifier to prove they meet the performance standard.

 

    

These standardised icons are defined in the ISO 11801 and TIA 568 series of standards to indicate connector performance, however use of these symbols does not guarantee performance.

Note about Class and Category. ISO/IEC uses the word “Class” and ANSI/TIA uses the word “Category” to define the performance of installed links. Both organisations use the word “Category” to define the performance of components. Therefore, an ISO/IEC Class EA channel is constructed of ISO/IEC Category 6A components.

Choosing premium brand components does not completely eliminate risk because those brands are often targeted by makers of counterfeit products hoping to profit off the reputation of well-known brands. There are many cases of installers testing premium brand products with certifiers to find that 100% of the installed links fail and discover that when those components are returned to the manufacturer for evaluation that they were counterfeit. Had those installations not been tested with a certifier the customers would likely never know that counterfeit products had been installed. 

To find out more about the cable testing and certification tools available from IDEAL Networks, visit our website.

Recent articles

  • Need Help Testing Modular Plug Terminated Links? 18/09/2018

    IDEAL Networks explains answers common questions about the challenges of the testing and certification of Modular Plug Terminated Links.

    Read more
  • Why certify LAN cabling installation? 04/09/2018

    LAN cable certifiers are the go-to method of testing twisted pair cabling. But why do installers need to certify cabling? And what is the difference between a certifier and other types of LAN testers? Dan Barrera, Global Product Manager from IDEAL Networks explains.

    Read more
  • New Online Shop for IDEAL Networks UK Customers 28/08/2018

    IDEAL Networks customers in the UK can now experience a new way to purchase a wide range of data cable, network and CCTV testers with the launch of its online shop.

    Read more
  • Free September Webinar: Troubleshooting Inactive Networks and Data Cabling 23/08/2018

    A free webinar from IDEAL Networks in September will help data cable installers and network technicians learn top troubleshooting tips for networks and data cabling.

    Read more
  • New software update for testing MPTL with the LanTEK III Cable Certifier 09/08/2018

    IDEAL Networks is helping installers certify Modular Plug Terminated Links (MPTL) thanks to a new software update for its LanTEK III cable certifier.

    Read more