When setting up an at-home workspace, it isn’t always easy to know which cables you need. Do you need a 100-ft HDMI cable or a USB 3 cable? Will you require cable or internet in your workspace? Can cable network companies help with this process? It is overwhelming due to all the technology available to us today. First, you must understand what the use is for each of the different cables.

Cat cables are used for networks and multi-line telephone systems. If you require high-speed results, consider purchasing Cat6 Ethernet cables or Cat6a, both of which can reach a speed up to 500 MHz. This choice is perfect for people who enjoy streaming, downloading, and who regularly use the internet. If setting up cable for one room, choose cables longer than you need to allow for the flexibility to organize the room according to your needs.

Which one will work for your application depends on what you are building. Do you want to create an entertainment system or polish up your office? What type of cable and bulkhead connector will you require? Determining what your needs are initially will ensure you spend your money wisely.

Having a hard time figuring out whether you need a USB 3 cable or a 100 ft HDMI cable? You’re not alone. The downside to readily available technology is the sheer volume of what’s available to you — it’s easy to spend too much or too little in an attempt to set up the entertainment center or work space you’ve always wanted. Thankfully, learning the ins and outs of Cat5 cables and bulk USB cables is pretty simple when you narrow down exactly what you need to use them for. Below is a simple look at the most common cables you can expect to find, their functions and easy tips that will save you time and money.

What Tips Should I Know?

We’re all busy people, so let’s start off with simple tips to save you as much money as possible. While smartphones have a lifespan of around two years, they can take an absurdly long time to charge. The iPhone 6, for example, takes nearly two hours to fully charge if you use the 5-watt charger the device ships with by default. Use instead a 12-watt iPad charger to juice up your phone in a mere hour, saving you both time and money in the long run. Secondly, don’t worry overmuch about the length of the cables you buy — it’s a common misconception that length correlates with quality, as it’s mainly just to give you flexibility depending on how large your working environment. While it can be tempting to keep that USB 3 cable as long as possible, it may not be a good idea…

What Are Good Safety Habits?

Technology is good, but old-fashioned safety habits are even better! Damaged or frayed charger cables pose a significant fire hazard and should be tossed at the slightest sign of age. Sound dramatic? Well, the year 2008 saw over 50,000 electrical fires caused by electrical failures and malfunctions alike, totaling 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. These accidents can be easily prevented with a little foresight on our part and one major way of doing that is tossing any devices that look like they can pose a risk. Remember to use some antiseptic alcohol wipes on your phone and keyboard, as well, since regular use can see them dirtier than even your toilet seat if not maintained! A USB 3 cable or Cat cable is only as good as its upkeep.

What Are Cat Cables?

Now for the nitty gritty! Cat cables are used for networks and multi-line phone systems, with Cat5e having maximum frequencies of 250 MHz and transmitting up to 1000 Mbps. If you’re looking for more high-speed results, consider investing in Cat6 Ethernet cables or Cat6a — they can reach up to 500 MHz, perfect for people who like to stream, download and regularly use the internet. It helps to choose a USB 3 cable or crossover cable that are a little longer than what you need, to make sure you have the flexibility necessary to adjust your space to your liking.

What are HDMI Cables?

There are three kinds of HDMI cables — you have the plain HDMI Standard, the HDMI Standard with Ethernet and the HDMI Standard Automotive. There’s also HDMI High Speed and High Speed with Ethernet. Which one will work right for you depends on what you’re building. Are you trying to create a multipurpose entertainment system or are you more interested in a beefed up work space for your photography business? Figuring this out now will make sure you spend your money wisely. While many places sell HDMI cables for $50 or more, cheaper ones work just as fine and don’t affect audio or visual quality. So, when are you getting started on your dream project?