Here is the question: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/21273/network-cable-tester

Question was closed as off-topic.

1 Answer 1


The Stack Exchange sites forbid shopping Questions. So Question #1 is OT anywhere.

Question #2 is argumentative at best. Cables are rated for a particular speed and competitors would love to find a manufacture making faulty cables. Basically it never happens.

What does happen (a lot) is poor installation. I'd dare say the vast majority of installers do not know the tolerances of Ethernet cable, nor are they particularly careful while installing it. But this usually results in cables that "work" so nobody cares.

To answer your real question, yes there are cable testers which can rate the quality of a run. They are very expensive and you'll almost certainly choke on the price. Fluke (whom I personally recommend, probably the world leader in prosumer and mid-business grade test equipment) makes a Copper Cable Certifier, the DTX-1200 that will rate/certify cables. It costs about $8000 as of writing this.

Otherwise simply plugging two Gigabit capable NICs into each end and seeing what speed they auto-negotiate should give you a good idea of the cable's quality (though this is far from foolproof).

To answer the Question here; Server Fault would have been the most appropriate for your Questions, though it probably would have still been closed as OT or NC because of how they're worded. The SE sites are not a forum, you really can't treat them like one or your Questions will be close every time.

  • I don't know if it's still available but I've previously used the Fluke Cable Qualifier, which "only" cost about $900 AUD. Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 22:42
  • Somewhere between the two extremes (connecting NICs vs. dB loss characteristics) there are also pinout testers, costing about $200 AUD. But the OP's request is still a shopping question.
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 3:37
  • @Andrew, is that a typo? My pinout tester only cost about $20 (about 5 years ago). Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 6:59
  • 5
    @Chirs you just reaffirmed my faith in meta. Answering the question while also calling it OT. Well done. Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 16:21
  • @JohnGardeniers I checked the quote, $177 ex. GST so either the quote was wrong (possibly also included a Fluke tone tester?) or we got ripped off rather badly (though I'm not the one responsible for purchasing/invoices). The same unit seems to be available for ~$60 now.
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 16:48
  • @Andrew, that sounds about right if it included the tone tester. Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 20:50
  • There are some companies that will rent testing equipment. It still isn't cheap, but it will be less expensive then buying a new device if you only need it to verify things in your building.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 22:59

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