Are you shopping for CAT5e crossover cables, USB 3 cables, and the greatest surge protectors that modern technology has to offer? While 99% of the population doesn’t even know what CAT5e crossover cables are, let alone care to research and buy them, there are a variety of reasons CAT5e crossover cables are in your search history. Perhaps you’re setting up a home theater. Perhaps you own your own business and are a DIY network installer. Perhaps you’re an IT professional.
Whatever the reason, there is one thing that anyone purchasing CAT5e crossover cables (and any other network equipment) should be very cautious about: Not all cables are created equally. Connecting the expensive and essential equipment in your network with cheaply made and poor quality cables is a bad idea. Like, a really bad idea.
It’s not always easy to tell what makes one network cable provider better than another. If you base your purchasing decision solely on price, you could end up spending more than you should have on cables that really aren’t worth the money anyways. In order to help you out, stay tuned for our list of four qualities to look for in a network cable provider.
Four Characteristics in a Good Network Cable Provider
- A good network cable provider offers a lifetime warranty.
Installing your network with cables that have a lifetime warranty is more than just a good insurance policy in case one of them ever malfunctions (which is unavoidable from time to time, even with the best equipment). Using a company who offers a lifetime warranty on their cables means that they have confidence in the quality of their product. Let’s do the math: If a cable provider sell cheap quality cables that inevitably break and give you a headache, they’d go out of business if they offered a warranty on their poor quality product. When you use a cable supplier who stands behind their product, it’s a good sign that they sell good-quality products that you probably won’t have to replace anyways.
- A good network cable provider offers excellent tech support, before and after the sale.
If your cable purchase is significant, a cable provider may try to woo you with great technical support. But then once they have your money in their pocket, you can’t get any help when you need it. A good network cable provider is committed to providing a great experience throughout the life of their product, and will have a reputation that matches that. If you research customer reviews on cable providers, you want to see reviews of great technical support, even after the cables are purchased and installed.
- A good network cable provider has multiple distribution centers.
This is a factor that many people don’t think of. When a network cable provider has multiple distribution centers, it benefits their customers in a number of ways. First of all, you’ll be able to get your order and subsequent replacement parts quickly, since it can be shipped from the center closest to your physical location. Secondly, it’s a nice disaster recovery plan. If you a disaster struck your region, your cable provider would still be available to replace any damaged cables (see the warranty on the first point) because they’d have at least one or two distribution sites that weren’t impacted by the disaster.
- Look at the type of business you are purchasing from.
It’s something you have to consider if you work in government contracts, but it’s a good policy for any large purchase you make. Making a purchase from a huge corporation is fine, but making a purchase from a privately owned business might also offer socio-economic benefits, particularly if they are local. For example, if you care, purchasing your cables from a woman-owned or minority-owned (or both) cable business may offer greater goodwill.
Many businesses like this are manufactured overseas, which isn’t a bad thing; imported goods help our economy (by offering low-cost goods to people like you) as well as provide jobs in less privileged countries. Looking for fair labor practices might be a good idea.
Do you have any other suggestions for looking for a cable provider? Please share them in the comment section below.