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Can An Ethernet Cable Go Bad

Can An Ethernet Cable Go Bad? [How Long It Should Last]

Recently a weird thing happened to me. I purchased an ethernet cable from an online store, and after using it for only a few months, it was not working. I was having so many problems with that cable.

I’ve never experienced such a thing, so I decided to take a deep look at this matter and tell you guys how long can an ethernet cable last and what are some important things we need to care about.

So let’s start and find those other important readings that will help you figure out some essential facts.

So, Can An Ethernet Cable Go Bad?

Yes, an Ethernet Cable can go bad depending on various causes. It won’t last long if your Ethernet Cable is too old or has poor-quality cable. Also, it can quickly go bad if you don’t treat and care for it wisely. So always make sure to try every possible way to protect the cable.

If you bend it, mess with other cables, are exposed to bad weather, don’t keep it in a good environment, and often get pulled away. Then don’t hope it will last for long.

The external pressure on the junction where the connecting clip is attached to the cable or the connectors can damage, and you’ll have connection errors, so it is a problem with your cable’s connectors.

Often your cable will be okay, but the connectors can be damaged and cause issues.

The quality matters a lot; if you have just installed your Ethernet recently and didn’t treat it badly, but it goes bad, then maybe you’ve purchased a poor Copper Clad Ethernet Cable.

💡 Note
When you buy Ethernet cables, always check if there is any label of “CCA,” which stands for “Copper Clad Aluminium,” which is not good at all, never lasts long, and is a fire hazard. So always go with Pure or Solid Copper Ethernet cables.

How Long Does an Ethernet Cable Last? [Approx Lifespan]

So if you’re using your ethernet cable for a long time, you might wonder how long it can last. So here I’ve cleanly discussed everything; let’s check them.

An ethernet cable can last for an average period of 5 to 10 years or even more. It is an approximation as it can vary based on the usage pattern. It also depends on the ethernet cable’s quality and how you treat it. Here are a few points to look after:

  • If the cable faces rough usage, you can expect a lesser lifespan.
  • If the cable is not of good quality, it can also have a shorter lifespan.
  • The other thing you can take care of is avoiding getting into the trap of a cheap offer for a probable duplicate cable. In such cases, a cable may be of bad quality and become useless quickly.

Now let’s see how you can identify if your ethernet cable is bad.

How To Know If Your Ethernet Cable Is Bad?

In the case of an ethernet cable, some signs can depict that there is something wrong with the cable. To start with, you can divide the signals into the following points:

1. Unstable Internet Connection

Sometimes we can observe that our internet connection is behaving strangely. It can be due to some of the following given situations:

  • PC or the device is connecting and disconnecting from the internet frequently.
  • At times, the cable can behave inappropriately when touched or moved.

2. Internet Error

This error can only happen when you do not have an internet connection. But sometimes, it can also be due to a faulty ethernet cable. Now, you can look at the router and all the other cable connections. But everything seems fine. Now, you can realize that the cable is at fault.

3. Packet Loss

While we use the internet, the small data units called packets are sent and received. But, if some packets fail to complete the process, you’ll face problems.

So, if you’re using a damaged ethernet cable, you’ll have a packet loss issue. Hence, checking your ethernet cable is worth checking if you’re having packet loss issues.

I’ve written a guide, which you can check from here.

4. Try Using Another Cable

If you cannot check or understand the above points, the easiest way is to check your internet performance with another suitable ethernet cable; you can ask for help from your friends and relatives.

You have to compare the performance of your old and new ethernet cable; thus, you’ll get to know if your ethernet cable is bad or still usable.

We can also check the cable closely to see if there is any damage to your cable. If yes, then you can understand there are issues with your cable. But you can’t do this trick if a long cable is installed in your room.

5. Use an Ethernet Cable Tester [Best for Installed Connections]

If you’re about to check an ethernet cable that is long and installed in your home, business, or office, then it is pretty obvious you can not uninstall it and check the cable.

In that case, you can purchase an Ethernet Cable Tester and then check if there is any damage to your cable. The Tester can tell you which wire is damaged or what issues you have on your ethernet cable. This Tester will also help you in the future if you install any network connection.

How To Make Your Ethernet Cable Last Longer?

Suppose you spend a lot of time fixing and changing your ethernet cables, then when you’ll do your other work. So that’s why it is important to buy a better cable, take some small but great care, and forget about it.

You can take some measures to increase the life span of an ethernet cable. Those measures are as follows in some points:

  • Always Use Good Quality Ethernet Cable: Ensure you go with a well-known brand when purchasing ethernet cables. Because many brands don’t provide great quality, their wires are not properly made of copper; instead, they often use Copper Clad Aluminum, which is not good.
  • Proper Care: Whenever you unplug the ethernet cable from your device, try to be gentle with your cable. It will avoid any form of damage to your cable and will increase its lifespan.
  • Protect Your Ethernet from Outside Weather: If you’re using an indoor-rated ethernet cable that is exposed outside, then keep in mind it has to endure sun rays, heat, rain, and more. So it can get damaged pretty easily. Thus, if the cable is exposed to the outside, you may use a conduit to protect your cable. Or you can use an outdoor-rated ethernet cable for outside.
  • Don’t Coil the Excess Cable: If you coil your excess ethernet cable, it can cause connection issues. Often the wires inside of your ethernet cable get damaged if the cable reaches its bending radius. So don’t bend your ethernet cable too.
  • Don’t Put Heavy Objects on the Ethernet Cable: To increase the lifespan of an ethernet cable, you can take care of the cable by not putting heavy objects on it. It can save the cable from extensive damage.