I had a conversation with a podcast listener today about which tools to start with for testing cable. He wanted to be able to easily test and verify whether the cable was an issue when troubleshooting a connection. This was going to be his first purchase for this type of job. And he didn't want to spend a whole lot of money since he did do this very often.
First, I needed to understand what my friend was trying to accomplish. He stated two needs. First, he wanted to be able to double-check the work of a sub-contracted cable installer. Most of us in the MSP and networking world don't want to run cable. And in some places, you won't even be allowed to do cable work unless you are licensed. Second, there are times when he wanted to run a cable or two himself instead of calling the sub-contractor. At those times, he wanted to be sure that his work was solid. His budget... he wanted this to be under $500 if possible.
Klein Scout Pro 3 (Buy it here: Amazon)
There are many network testers in the field today. But they don't all hit the sweet spot for what my friend needed. I recommended the Klein Scout Pro 3. You read that correctly. If you've been a long time listener to my podcast, you would normally assume that my answer to be a Fluke or NetAlly handheld tester. Well, in this case, you would be wrong.
The Scout Pro 3 is able to test voice , data (including Poe), and video connections and cables. It's exactly what my friend needs. Cable testing and nothing more.
- Test RJ11/RJ12/RJ45 cables up to 2,000 feet
- Tests Power over Ethernet (PoE)
- Has a Wiremap Display
- Detects Open and Short Faults, Miswires and Split-Pairs
- Will Blink a Hub or Switch
- Tone Cables
- and much, much more!
There are loads of accessories for the Scout Pro 3. The starter kits will include either Cable Identification Remotes or Test+Map Remotes, but just a few. To load up your kit, you'll want to consider getting an upgrade or expansion kit, or ordering a full set of replacements to add more remotes.
Ready to make your first purchase of a cable tester? Click on the Amazon links below.