Many businesses use network cables to connect and quickly transfer data between their computers and other devices. This means that network cabling (i.e., the infrastructure of network cables) is crucial to ensuring that employees can easily access the IT resources they need to perform their tasks.
Related reading: The importance of your company’s structured cabling systems
Unfortunately, many businesses make network cabling mistakes that negatively impact network connections, which lead to inefficiencies in their operations. Here are some of the most common mistakes:
1. Using inferior cable types
The quality of the cable used plays an important role in the speed and efficiency of a network. Low-grade cables are often less reliable, may not be able to handle certain types of data transmission, or have a much shorter life span than higher-quality cable types.
2. Using the wrong cables for the job
Some types of cable work better for certain applications than others. For instance, twisted pair cables are used for telephone lines, while fiber optic cables are used for high-speed, long-distance connections. Moreover, Ethernet cables differ in terms of speed and performance, so you need to know which one best fits your network's requirements. Otherwise, using the incorrect Ethernet cable type can cause connection problems and hinder network performance.
3. Poor cable installation
Network cabling should be installed according to industry standard practices, such as EIA/TIA 568, which are designed to ensure the cabling meets certain performance requirements. Failing to adhere to these standards can result in weak signals, interference, and crosstalk between cables that can cause problems with the network.
4. Incorrect cable termination
Cable termination is the process of connecting cables to a network. If it's done incorrectly, it can cause connection failure and other issues that lead to slower data transfer speeds and poor performance.
To properly terminate cables, you must use the correct connectors and tools for the type of cable you're using. It's also important to follow the specific instructions for terminating different types of cables.
Don’t forget to test newly terminated cables to see if they are working properly. This involves running diagnostics on each cable and testing the entire network. By doing so, you can catch any errors quickly and avoid costly downtime.
5. Poor cable management
If you don't manage your cables, you can easily wind up with a tangled, disorganized mess of cables that hinders network performance. This is especially true in large offices with hundreds of cables running through the space.
To properly manage your cables, you should:
- Avoid excessive cable lengths, which are the top cause of messy cabling.
- Organize cables into neat bundles. This will ensure the cables have proper air circulation, which is important to avoid excessive heat.
- Secure cables with fasteners and ties so you can easily view cable bundles.
- Label each cable so you can easily trace connections and know exactly where each cable belongs. It's best to use a color coding system to help you quickly identify cables.
- Place cables in cable trays, baskets, and ladders.
- Maintain up-to-date documentation on all cables and cable runs in the network.
With proper cable management, it'll be easier and quicker to make cabling changes and conduct maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades. Not only that, but it will also protect your cables from damage and prevent workplace accidents. against accidents and damage to cables.
6. Neglecting regular maintenance
Having an experienced network technician inspect your cables regularly is the best way to ensure that they are in good condition and performing optimally. A technician will be able to identify any issues and suggest solutions for any problems that may arise.
7. Failing to plan for future expansion
When it comes to designing a cabling infrastructure, some businesses forget to plan for future growth. They often opt for cables that are too short or don't have enough ports, which can cause major issues if their network needs to expand in the future.
To avoid these cabling mistakes, it's best to hire a professional cabling installer and IT company like Fidelis . By working with us, you can be sure that your network cabling is performing at its best, helping you to realize the full potential of your IT resources. Get in touch with us today.