Question Ethernet cable stops working properly

christofferskr

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I've gon through 4-5 ethernet cables the last 2 years. I use 30-40 meter long UV-protected outdoor ethernet cable and every single one I've had stops working properly after a few months. The one I use now and the last I used both have the same problem. After a month of use, I start getting limited speeds (I still have low ping when testing). In my ethernet cards properties it says the speed is limited to 100mbps even though its a gigabit cable. There is no visible damage on the cable. I didnt terminate the ends myself, it came ready to use.

Would it help to terminate both ends over again?
 
So are you running these outdoors? Lots of stuff can damage cables you run outside. Tends to be soil that can eat away the plastic and let water in. You want what is called direct bury cable for those cases.

If you are running them indoors you pretty much just spent money for feature that provide you with no benefit.

Almost all the problems with ethernet are the end and not the wires. You can damage the wires themselves but it tend to be very obvious when you look at them.

You can't really fix the ends on cables other than to blindly cut one end off and replace it and if that doesn't work do the other end. For long cables especially ones that are more or less permanently placed is to use keystone jacks on the ends. Those tend to be easier for a beginner to get right since you do 1 wire at a time and there is a nice color chart on most. You can also remove the wire cut off a bit and redo it if it has issues. In your case it might be cheaper to try this than buy new long cables.

Another major concern is make sure you have actual ethernet cables. There are massive amounts of fake cable being sold. It does not really matter if they call it say cat5e or cat6 or whatever. Those names mean nothing the actual ethernet standards are things like EIA/TIA.
What is important is the wire must be pure copper (no CCA) and must have wire size 22-24 (no flat or thin cables). As well as many other issues these fake cables tend to have more issues with the ends becoming bad. The small wires break more easily and the CCA wires because of the aluminum metal expand and contract at different rates and work loose from the copper pins inside the plug.
 

christofferskr

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Dec 19, 2019
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I am running it on my outside wall. Its not touching soil at all.

I bought the cable at a trusted store, but I guess it could still be possible that the cable is not pure copper.

I have the tools needed to change the ends and I have done it many times on other cables, so I guess I'll give it a go.
 
Most times the wire has markings on the outside. They pay to be EIA/TIA certified and you generally see that marked on official cable but some does not have the marking.

What you will also generally see is something like AWG 23 which is your wire guage. Other marking like CU mean it is copper. The one you don't want to see is CCA.

When it not on the soil generally it is only the sun that can kill it and UV cable is good. Just water will not hurt even indoor cable but it is not the best idea. Outdoor cable is designed to get wet so it is even better. A relative of mine had a outdoor camera he hooked up with normal indoor cable stapled to the fence. It lasted for many years until a storm took out the fence.

This is very hard for us normal users. There are meters that will actually test wire and tell you if there is a problem and how far down the wire the problem is. Unfortunately these cost so much only companies that do lan cable installs as a business can justify the expense.

A cheap cable tester might show you which pin has a issue but you never know if it is the end or something like a nail through the cable 10ft away.
 
My guess would be that cable is good. It has the correct size wires and because all those numbers and letters mean it meets the standards it also should mean it is copper wire. The standard says only copper wire is allowed very clearly in the standards.
You can generally see CCA cable by looking very carefully at the cut ends under a bright light. You can tell it is copper metal around a more white/grey looking core.

It likely is just trying to guess which end needs replacing and the hoping you do not make it worse. Make sure all the wires go all the way to the end of the plugs even a very tiny difference can make it so it does not contact well.
 

christofferskr

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Dec 19, 2019
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My guess would be that cable is good. It has the correct size wires and because all those numbers and letters mean it meets the standards it also should mean it is copper wire. The standard says only copper wire is allowed very clearly in the standards.
You can generally see CCA cable by looking very carefully at the cut ends under a bright light. You can tell it is copper metal around a more white/grey looking core.

It likely is just trying to guess which end needs replacing and the hoping you do not make it worse. Make sure all the wires go all the way to the end of the plugs even a very tiny difference can make it so it does not contact well.

I looked over my cable again and saw that something had cut into it and cut multiple wires. This has happend recently cause I have started noticing even more problems. I took the old cable I used before this one that I was currently using for a camera and put new ends on it and now it works fine. I cut of the damaged part of the newer cable and used it for the camera cause it was too short after cutting for me.

I guess it was the ends that was the problem for both cables even though I have terminated the old cable I had over and over without it ever working properly. Just glad everything works as it should now.
 

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