How to tell if my Ethernet cable is bad or malfunctioning

How to tell if my Ethernet cable is bad

When we try to connect to the Internet, some problems may appear that imply that we have total or random access to the network of networks. We usually connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet network cable, and normally we will not have problems. In this case, our protagonist today is the Ethernet cable which, without a doubt, is usually the best option to take advantage of all the bandwidth offered by our connection. However, that cable for various reasons can be damaged or not offer everything we expect from it. In this article we will learn how to tell if my Ethernet cable is malfunctioning and offer some practical solutions.

Once we have configured and installed our network cable for the first time, it is necessary to check that everything is in order. We could find three very different situations:

  1. That everything works fine.
  2. Let’s not get the speed that corresponds to us.
  3. That we can’t connect and have random outages.

In those moments when the Ethernet cable malfunctions, we are going to have to do a series of checks and apply a series of solutions so that everything returns to normal.

Check the network cable with a tester

Checking a network cable after installation should be mandatory. In this regard, it is a good way to evaluate the true performance of the network cable. On the other hand, it should be taken into account that if we have made the network cable, it is also necessary to check it since there are more possibilities that that cable has a problem. In that aspect, as we will see next, even before installing it, we have tools that we can use to check it.

The easiest method to test a network cable would be with a LAN cable tester or Tester.

For about € 10 we could get one. The one above would help us to check whether an Ethernet cable malfunctions (RJ45 connector) or a telephone cable (RJ11 connector). Simply what we have to do is insert the ends of the network cable in the corresponding place, and see that all the LEDs from 1 to 8 light up. If not, that cable that we have bought or crimped is damaged.

Other aspects to review

Normally at home, although they are not expensive, we will not have a LAN cable tester or tester. However, it is quite likely that we have another Ethernet cable that we have left over from another router on occasion, or that we are using in another equipment and it works well. For example, if an Ethernet cable is malfunctioning and we have another available on a well-functioning computer, we can consider swapping them. If you have a new one, or another in good condition in which you do not have to change anything, the better. Before doing anything, it would be advisable to remove both ends, check if the RJ45 connectors of the network cable are correct and reinsert them.

Sometimes an Ethernet cable malfunctions because there is some kind of software problem with our network card. In this case to solve it we should go to:

  1. Start Menu.
  2. Type Device Manager and hit enter.
  3. Once there we must look for our network card in Network adapters .
  4. Then with the right button click on Update driver .

This would be an example:

Actualizar el controlador de la tarjeta de red

We could also try going to the website of the manufacturer of the motherboard of the computer or laptop, and check if they have a more recent version of the driver. On the other hand, although it is not usual, it may be that all or some of the Ethernet ports are faulty. In that aspect, it could be tested in different ports.

Finally, everything may work fine but we may not reach the desired speed. That may be because we are using a cable of a category lower than the one that corresponds to us. Currently the most used are Gigabit Ethernet networks for which a category 6 cable or more is needed.