Written by: Jason Gazaway

Even in light of this seemingly wireless-everything world in which we live, network cables still have a place—and a rather important one at that. Whether you are the administrator of a large corporate network or simply in charge of your own home network cabling kingdom, you will be faced with the task of selecting cables. CK Ethernet

Because there are different types of cables with specific benefits tied to specific situations, it is important to get a good understanding of what’s available to help you make the right choice the first time.

Who let the CAT’s out?

If you’ve spent any time at all looking for Ethernet cables, whether in-store or online, you’ll no doubt have seen a lot of mention of cats. Choosing Cat 5, Cat 6 or versions thereof should be the first order of business when cable shopping.

  • Cat 5

You can consider this the slow cooker of cables not just because it is slow but because it’s so on its way out that you may only find it in your grandmother’s house and the old-fashioned corner barbershop owned and operated by Art (who has owned and operated it for the past 60 years).

Ok, well maybe it’s not that almost-obsolete but it’s getting there. What you need to know about Cat 5 cables is that they provided Ethernet and Fast Ethernet compatibility and, while once the golden standard for speed and reliability these are likely the cables you will now be replacing. Fortunately, newer versions are backward compatible with these.

  • Cat 5e

Cat 5e moved cable speed from the slow cooker to the stovetop and added compatibility for up to 1 Gigabit Ethernet transmissions over short distances. The advent of Cat 5e offers

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Upgrading your Wi-Fi hardware is critical to future-proofing your network. When the time for new components is at hand, it is important to select the products that fully support your communication and data transfer wireless_logoneeds. From fiber cabling to Wi-Fi routers, the choices abound and each one can have direct impact on your overall network performance.

Today, we are going to take a look at the foundational 802.11 technologies that can power your network. Despite very similar nomenclature, the varying forms of 802.11 are all quite different.

How to Make Your Choice

Being able to clearly articulate the differences between Wi-Fi options is a must in order to help your management and procurement teams approve the right products for your applications. Following are the factors you will want to educate teams about so that they can effectively evaluate any new wireless purchase:

  • Bandwidth

Bandwidth, measured in terms of Mbps or Gbps, determines the speed with which data can be transmitted across a network. As can be expected, a higher bandwidth rating delivers faster data transmission. Today’s 802.11 technologies offer bandwidths ranging from 11 Mbps to as high as 300 Mbps.

It can be easy to immediately believe you want the maximum bandwidth range but it is important to keep in mind your own use. The higher bandwidths are generally only needed by larger networks or those running intensive applications such as streaming video.

  • Frequency

The frequency, measured in Gigahertz, determines a network’s range. It also directly affects interference by other wireless elements such as cell phones or microwaves or by physical obstacles such as walls. Standard Wi-Fi networks run on either 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz (commonly referred to as only 5 GHz) frequencies.

Frequency is one of those features that definitely does not comply with the “bigger is better” concept. A shorter frequency actually has a longer range, although it is more susceptible to interference from other wireless devices. A longer frequency flip-flops those benefits to provide a shorter range but better protection against other wireless interference. However, 5.8 GHz networks are more likely to be impeded by solid interference.

  • Single or Dual Band

Most Wi-Fi technologies run on only one frequency but some tout the ability to run on both. Before you jump for joy and assume that is the best way to go, you better get the facts.

Technology that includes only one signal but says it is dual band does not actually give you both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz functionality at once—it simply gives you the ability to choose which one you want at any given time. Only 802.11n which leverages multiple antennas actually supports both frequencies simultaneously.

Knowing the different functionalities offered by the key Wi-Fi network features can

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Is it time to upgrade your network? Perhaps you are installing an all-new network. Either way, one of the primary decisions you must make is what type of cable you will use. Copper cables have led the way for traditional computer networks but in recent years, an increase in the use of fiber cabling has been seen.Fiber Cables

Should your business build its network based on fiber technology? We think the answer is a resounding “yes”. But, we don’t want you to just take our word for it and we’re pretty sure your CEO won’t either. Instead, we want you to understand what a Fiber To The Office (FTTO) network can do for your business.

The Wonders—or Not—of Copper Cabling

To truly understand the benefits of fiber cabling, it is important to understand copper cabling. Copper rose to the top as the choice for computer networking professionals in part due to its affordable price tag. Even as fiber optic cables entered the marketplace, copper continued to dominate largely for this reason. In recent years, however, the rising cost of copper cabling coupled with the decreased cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining fiber cabling has all but eliminated this benefit.

Without a clear-cut cost benefit, the limitations of structured copper cabling have become more apparent to CEOs concerned with both performance and price, furthering the search for alternatives.

Among the problems noted with copper are:

Space Requirements
Copper can only transmit data up to roughly 100 meters. This requires multiple nodes to be placed throughout a building, taking up valuable space—and money.

High Energy Consumption
The hardware demands of a structured copper cable network necessitate additional hardware and infrastructure for cooling due to the level of heat produced. The heating and cooling both contribute to high energy use and costs.

Poor Expansion Options
Upgrades of a copper-based network require all new-cabling, making this option anything but a way of future-proofing your network.

Unpredictable Performance
Copper’s conductibility makes it highly susceptible to electrical interference, resulting in a higher-than-satisfactory risk of network interruptions.

When no other options existed, copper filled the bill well. Perhaps for some smaller businesses that have

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

If you know anything about CablesAndKits or have been around us for any amount of time, you know that service is at the heart of who we are – whether that is serving our customers, our community, or each other. The concept of serving means so much to us that we stated it as one of our core values:

Serve Others
We act with an “I’m for you” mentality and perpetually seek ways to assist others. We collaborate with humility and appreciation to positively impact our team, our customers, our vendors, and others within our sphere of influence.

This past month, CablesAndKits hosted the 2nd Annual Family Fun Day supporting Rainbow Village, a transitional housing community for homeless families with children. This organization is doing an incredible job of serving families by providing long-term solutions and support, and we loved having the opportunity to serve them as well. Parents and kids of all ages came out to enjoy the fun as CablesAndKits employees and families hosted various activities, games and contests. The day was filled with finger painting, jewelry making, corn hole, ladder ball, and

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Why CablesAndKits?At CablesAndKits, our tagline “Experts in Awesome” might sound a little self-serving, but it really is meant to be the exact opposite.  While we definitely do believe we are the best at what we do (can you blame us?), we do it so that you, the customer, can have an “awesome” experience with us.  Whether you’re dealing with pricing, products, warranties or customer service, we want you to walk away feeling completely and utterly awesome about how things turned out.

We operate our business on some very concrete principles and core values. These values differentiate us from some of the other guys but, more importantly, they ensure that we give you what you need when you need it.  After all, becoming the world’s largest dealer of Cisco accessories did not happen overnight or for no good reason.

Principles in Action

When deciding how we wanted to operate our business, we started by thinking about the people we serve—you. We knew we wanted everything we did to actually help you.

Maybe we could help you get your network back up quickly. Maybe we could help prevent a network problem. Maybe we could save you money. Maybe all of the above. Maybe more.

When all is said and done, there are three key principles—quality, service and availability— that let us do just that.

Quality Quality

From Ethernet cables to server racks to switches, your network requires failproof performance. The disruption that a faulty power supply can cause to your business is simply not acceptable. The quality of your networking equipment and accessories, therefore, matters greatly.

At CablesAndKits, you can count on:

Industry Leading Technology
All products are not created equal. For this reason, we work to secure the highest quality cabling, accessories, and equipment to have available for our customers. And Cisco’s reputation for quality is unparalleled and that makes them one of the ideal manufacturers for us—and for you.

“Personal” Company Pride
Let’s just say our parents raised us right. We actually take pride in a job well done. Our company’s performance is a reflection of our

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Here at CablesAndKits, not only do we sell great products and offer the best customer service you might ever experience online (shameless plug), part of our business revolves around reconditioning used network equipment and giving it a new lease on life. Just because something might not be “new” to you anymore or maybe it doesn’t meet your needs any longer, there is still life and functionality in the equipment. It is our job to save and “revitalize” that equipment then to turn around and make it available to someone else that can use it or needs it.

An example of this is the process and care we take with our used Cisco VOIP phones. We put our phones through an extensive process to refurbish and breathe new life into them. Our phones go through a thorough 4 step process (there are many “to-do’s” in each step) to be rejuvenated:

Step 1: Rescue

  • Our phones come to us from many different walks of life – some have been abandoned and left for dead, while some have lived the lavish lifestyle in a corporate business. Either way, our goal is to rescue, receive and refurbish these phones for them to have a new life and a new home.

Cisco Phone Rescue

Step 2: Inspection

  • All phones are physically inspected – Our staff is very thorough and picky with their examination of the phones.
  • Any phones with scratches or wear outside of the normal use are rejected from our main product line – As stated before we are very picky and we only want the best for you! Those rejected still get the needed attention, but they are placed gently and quietly in our clearance section.
  • All handsets are disposed of appropriately – We wouldn’t want to use them, and
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Written by: Jason Gazaway

As you may have heard, there is a new widespread security vulnerability out on the interwebs called “Heartbleed”.

Let me start out by saying that cablesandkits.com was not / is not vulnerable. We were aware of the Heartbleed vulnerability and took steps to confirm our status within 24 hours of when the vulnerability was made known to the public.  Our on-going promise is to take every precaution possible to keep our site and your information safe not only from Heartbleed, but any other attack.

Now that we have that out of the way, you are probably wondering, “What in the world is Heartbleed?”


Well, we can help with that. Since this is an ever-evolving situation, we will stick to the facts and the best ways to protect yourself and your personal data.

First off, what exactly is Heartbleed? (Ok, this is going to get VERY technical, but only for a moment…)

From cnet.com:

Heartbleed is a security vulnerability in OpenSSL software that lets a hacker access the memory of data servers. That means a user’s sensitive personal data — including usernames, passwords, and credit card information — is potentially at risk of being intercepted. The vulnerability also means an attacker could steal a server’s digital keys that are used to encrypt communications and get access to a company’s secret internal documents.

Now, most importantly, what do you need to do about it?

  • If you think you might have visited a site that is infected or is vulnerable to Heartbleed, you need to change your password, please wait until you get confirmation from the specific website/online store that the vulnerability has been patched. You can check a site with a tool called LastPass. We would recommend even if you use the tool to check with the company itself to confirm that they are safe and not vulnerable to Heartbleed.
  • You should be cautious about visiting websites that you do not trust.  Generally the risk is
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Written by: Jason Gazaway

CK Q2 Meeting - Main

We had a “super” fun-filled Q2 staff meeting this week! As you can see the theme of the meeting revolved around super heroes. It was an awesome time recapping the Q1 results and initiatives, then diving deep into some of the awesome things we have planned for the business and our customers for Q2.

For an added bonus here are some more snapshots of what went on at the meeting…

CK Q2 Meeting - 2


And even more Q2 meeting activities…

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Have you ever wondered what the personality of your network is? If not, should you?  It is something to ponder. I mean think about it…

Is your network calm?

Is your network crazy?

Is your network energetic?

Is your network romantic?

Or maybe your network has a split personality…

Seriously, the personality traits of your network could go on and on. It would probably be in your best interest to nail down what its personality and mindset is so you can better support it, or change it!

Well, this is where we are here to help! We have broken down what all the colors mean as it pertains to your network. So let’s take a deep psychological look at what the color of your Ethernet cabling means for your network (or at least humor us in our feeble attempt at some lightheartedness). Don’t forget to let us know what personality your network has.

Ethernet Color Meaning

(click images below to enlarge)

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Written by: Jason Gazaway

Marketing Fish Friends

We have some awesome new little friends in the Marketing / Technology area here at the office. We have a fish tank now where we have 4 friends living. Their names are G-Bic, Router, Shin, and Redd. As you can see we took advantage of the area to continue showcasing our fascination of Legos – Aquaman and Merman are hanging with them in the shipwreck. Say hello to our little friends!


Q2 Planning Meeting

This week we had our Q2 planning session.  I must say, the view and environment at the place we had the meeting this time around were outstanding! We met in the boardroom at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. This was probably one of the most

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