Stranded Ethernet cable

May 11, 2014
23AWG Solid/Stranded FTP CAT6

enter image description hereI ended up doing some tests myself, and the results were... frankly appalling.

TLDR: Throw out the cable.

Now on to some science.

To address some concerns that were stated in the comments - The initial testing was done on a undamaged cable - I only cut it open after the speed tests. I've repeated the tests with an identical cable from the same kit, and have found the same results. I've also repeated the tests with the 'proper' cat 5 cables with 4 other cables.

I tested this by connecting two systems to the same switch, and swapping out the cable on one of them. I also used the free version of lan speed test to do some 'quick' performance testing . I'm running the test from my laptop to to a share on a 3tb 7200 rpm drive on my desktop. I'm testing the cables at this point, not overall bandwidth, under conditions reasonably similar to realworld situations for me.

I was thinking of doing a direct system to system speed test as well, without the bridge, but looking at my results, that would be a clear waste of time.

Lets start off with the most obvious things.

The 4 stranded cable isn't capable of gigabit ethernet (no surprise there). In fact, It can't even do fast ethernet.

enter image description hereThe speed test took a while to complete... in fact, I had dinner in the time it was running and total time was about 2 hours to write and about as long to read.

Its pretty close to plain vanilla 10baseTX speeds by the looks of things.

Less obviously? No IPV6. I have no idea what's with that. I've had enough oddness with legacy gear that I'm not even going to touch on this.

I actually tested 2 random 'to spec' cat5 cables from my spares bin. Both have UL marks, and had similar enough performance that I'm only going to post one set of results. These detect as 'proper' gig-e cables. Both were freebies from routers, so its not like I'm comparing apples and oranges

Gigabit Ethernet Sweetness!

And have performance thats pretty reasonable - taking into account various overheads like the test writing to a file share

Yes, thats about 200 seconds total vs about 4 hours. And Ipv6 worKs perfectly

Even with the devices it came with - which could easily reach up to 80-100Mbps, the cable might have fallen short. Its clearly not cat 5 e as labelled, and in my specific use, its clearly unacceptably slow. If I wasn't planning on documenting this, I'd probably have stopped the test for the other cable sooner.

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