Sunday, August 12, 2007

Network Hacking Tool Of The Day

I just finished helping a friend get his home network setup. He's moving into a new place that's pre-wired with CAT5 almost everywhere (except the kitchen - kinda strange place to leave off). The cables all come into a box in the basement which has all sort of oddly labeled jacks. For example, what do you plug into the tap-A/modem slot?

Luckily, I had the right tool for this job. In this case it was a Ethernet cable tester which let us cut through the cable fog to reveal what really is connected to what.

Cable testers can be fairly expensive, though I managed to buy a cheap Chinese (or Japanese?) rip-off. I can't understand the manual, but the tester itself works like a champ. If you do get a tester make sure it splits into two pieces to test cables that have end points spread across a distance.

What a difference the right tool makes in getting the job done. Once we knew what connected to what, getting things plugged in was easy.

If you are handling Ethernet cable at all, this is a must have tool.


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