Every IP camera install needs UTP cabling. But how much of a difference is there between dirt cheap generic cables found online and the bigger, better-known brands claiming increased performance and/or labor savings?
To find out, we bought 10 boxes of Cat 5e and 6 cabling from five manufacturers, pulling multiple runs with each and testing them to standards with Fluke's DSX-5000 cable certifier. Included in this test:
Inside, we answer these questions:
- Who ranked best, average, and worst?
- Did the cables pass certification tests?
- Where did they fail, if at all?
- Which offered the greatest headroom over minimum compliance?
- How does solid copper compare to copper clad aluminum?
- How easy was the cable to pull from the box?
- How flexible was the jacket?
- How easy to strip was the jacket?
- Did twisting/bending deform the cable?
- How did cable box features and usability vary?
- Are all of the cables UL/ETL or other test lab listed?
- Where is each cable made? (China vs Mexico vs USA)
- How does pricing compare?