Monday, April 5, 2021

Is it time to update/upgrade some of your hardware?


With all the new technology and internet providers, providing a much better online experience, how is your hardware holding up?

What do I mean by that? Well, how long have you had your router?

Why do I ask? Well, If you have an older router (usually 5+ years old or more) it would be a great time to upgrade. Most newer routers coming out now have much better security built in with WPA3 being released, as well as WiFi6.  Both of these can help improve your network quite a bit over the clunkers you might have still running. 

WPA3?  Well, this is the new replacement for WPA2. WPA3 adds four features not offered in WPA2, better privacy on public WiFi networks, Protection against Brute-force attacks, an easier connection process for devices without displays, and Higher security for government, defence and industrial applications.  What does all this mean? Well here is a link to an article explaining these categories. ( What is WPA3?)

WiFi6? This one is the next generation of WiFi, which introduces a speed boost! Much of which you will probably not notice, as its in the connection end of things and the new technologies introduced which help WiFi6 make these connections faster and more efficiently. (Here is the article which spells out jargon in a little more detail than I do. WiFi6, is it much faster?

For some more on WPA3 and WiFi6 check out these Wikipedia articles on them.

WPA3   &   WiFi6

 Those Wiki articles have some juicy geek terminology in there, that even gave me a headache. Overall These are new technologies that are a new standard, implemented into all new hardware that is being released now. You don't need to run out and get a new router because of these, but if your router is a little too old, and the lights don't work, or you're using it to hold up your monitor, it might be time to look at purchasing a new one. 


What do your Ethernet cables look like? That is, if you still use a hardwired connection.  You see a rats nest there? or is the color of the cable faded so bad, it blends in with the cobwebs? Well, believe it or not, some of those "older" Cat 5 cables are also limited to the speeds they deliver.

If you have cables that are a few years old as well, have a look, and see what they are stamped.

Cat 5 - The Cat 5 speed is capable of 10/100 Mbps and frequencies up to 100MHz all at a length up to 100m (328 Feet).

Cat 5e -  Cat5e cable according to ANSI/TIA 568.2-D has a maximum speed capability of 100MHz and 1Gb (Gigabit) up to 100 meters (328 Feet). 

Cat 6 -  Cat6 cable according to TIA 568.2-D has a maximum speed requirement of 1Gb and 250Mhz up to 328 feet (100 meters).


As technology has advanced so has the need to push more speed out of category cables. With the introduction of 10GBase-T this gave the ability to use Cat6 cables for it up to 180 feet. With this feature of Cat6 cables this technically gives you a max speed of 10Gb. However this should be noted that thought it can achieve up to 10Gb it's not guaranteed and requires everything to be ideal and correct in setup. If you are planning your network for 10Gb then it's best to use a cable specified for that which is Cat6A.

 What does all this mean? Well, if you are getting or have Fibre to your home and have the latest routers, etc, if you are using old Ethernet cabling for some hardwired systems it will greatly affect your speeds. 

For all those Gamers & Streamers out there, this means a lot. If you fall in this category you will want at least Cat 5e and if not Cat 6 cabling! A lot of new residential wiring has Cat 6 now as the new standard.  (I myself have my entire house wired with Cat 6 to every room) It also adds, albeit small value to your house. 

All these new technologies also help to improve any IoT devices you have, which include lights, thermostats, cameras, etc.  Camera systems can take up a LOT of upload bandwidth! Of course the more you put on your network, the more everything else is affected. 

Hopefully this helps a few people out. Don't forget, any questions, please feel free to email me! or simply leave a comment on the article you need a hand with.

Stay safe.


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Is it time to update/upgrade some of your hardware?

  With all the new technology and internet providers, providing a much better online experience, how is your hardware holding up? What do I ...