Cables for all your electronic devices can run up quite a large bill. Between USB cables for your iPhone and iPad, CAT5 and CAT6 Ethernet cables to wire your Internet connections, HDMI to DVI cables to connect your TV monitor to a DVD player or laptop for streaming, and plenty of others — the list seems endless.
However, there are few reasons to spend so much money on these items. Here are some things to think about:
- Top-quality CAT5 and CAT6 cables will last between five and 10 years, at least, if handled properly. If your Ethernet cable isn’t working properly, don’t be so quick to blame the wires. RJ45 plugs (the plastic connectors on either end of the cord) are more likely to be the suspects. RJ45 plugs can only be counted on for about 1,000 to 2,000 insertions before they need to retire. Luckily, you are able to replace these without purchasing a whole new cord.
- Most newer generation mobile Apple devices use the same lightning to USB charging cables, meaning that you don’t have to buy more cables is you already own one. One thing you may want to invest in is a 12 watt iPad charging block. When using the 12 watt block, you can cut your iPhone or iPod’s charging time significantly, compared to the standard 5 watt block that comes with your device.
- USB cords, especially those that are Apple-issued, can cost a lot just by themselves. If you find yourself needing a longer cord, consider purchasing a USB 3.0 extension cable before you drop more money on a new cord. Not only will this solve a cord-length problem, you can also improve the speed of your USB 2.0 devices by upgrading them with a USB 3.0 extension cable. These extension cables are backwards compatible.
- If you’ve only shopped for cords and cables in stores, you might not realize that the prices they ask for them are not necessarily standard. HDMI cables can cost $50 or more from brick and mortar stores, but online retailers are more willing to sell their products cheaply.
- When time comes to buy a new cord, look for products that offer a lifetime warranty. That way, you save yourself the trouble of buying a whole new product when it can be replaced for free!