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Network Problems
Last updated: 2/8/04

Q. What is the cause of most network problems?

A.  Cables.  Sometime ago, I read that about 70% of network problems are caused by faulty cables.  This figure may have been a holdover from older coaxial thinwire Ethernet networks  (http://duxcw.com/faq/network/thinwire.htm), which were notorious, and one of the reasons twisted-pair networks were developed; however, my experience shows the problem has not been entirely solved, by any means, and that cabling still accounts for the bulk of network problems, and especially when installing new networks.  My experience also shows that that percentage is probably higher than 70% when crossover cables (http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/network/cable/cable6.htm) are involved because many of them are custom made by people who do not know how to make them, use the wrong kind of cable/connectors, do not have proper tools, and do not test them (http://duxcw.com/faq/network/catest.htm) at Ethernet frequencies. Understanding and following the instructions at http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/network/cable/cable1.htm and other guidance in these FAQs can help avoid most of these problems. Anyone who sells an untested custom cable grossly lacks professional acumen is not worthy of future business.  Larry

Test Those Patch Cords. 'Recent patch cord testing shows 70% of Category 5e cords and 83% of Category 6 cords fail to meet TIA requirements... Most patch cord assembly houses could not afford the equipment or personnel to test cords... cords are usually only tested for continuity and wire mapping.' Which does not support the TIA answer to this FAQ: Will contractors be able to make their own patch cords?

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