Uninterrupted, failure-free operation of the network is a prerequisite for its comfortable use, and also prevents downtime. Certification helps you verify that your network is functioning in the best possible way. It consists of a series of complicated tests, the passing of which proves correct operation.

What is network certification?

Network certification can be described as a kind of audit. Its purpose is to verify the correctness of the connections made, the correlations between them and the technical condition of individual elements. It is recommended that the first certification of the network takes place as soon as the system is received. Subsequent audits should be carried out regularly, in order to detect deviations from the norm at the right moment. It must be remembered that over time, problems with operation may arise in any, even the most professional, network.

What does certification consist of?

The process involves checking many different parameters. Certification primarily examines the following elements:

  • line length,
  • signal attenuation,
  • connection map,
  • resistance,
  • delay time of signal propagation in the path,
  • propagation scatter,
  • any kind of crosstalk,
  • ACR cable.

Network certification is therefore the most complete way to determine the true state of your connections.

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Why is it worth subjecting the network to a certification test?

The main advantage of an audit is gaining confidence in the proper functioning of the system used. This significantly avoids the risk of breakdowns or minor errors that may cause a break in work. In addition, the certification gives a long-term warranty for the cabling made. The obtained statement of the state of the network can be used as evidence for other external inspections or as an attachment to the formal application (e.g. for a grant). Network certification is also useful for rebuilding or expanding your system.

Where to order professional certification?

Our specialists use modern equipment for cabling certification. The result of their work is the receipt of a certificate confirming the compliance of the cabling with the applicable standards. Please contact us to find out more about the services we offer.

LAN network certification - the most common failures in LAN connections

The operation of the LAN network is not without the risk of failures that may occur in many places. The most common are short circuits between individual conductors, as well as their breakage. Separated or inverted cable pairs are also becoming a common problem. All of the above failures are detected by LAN certification. The correct operation of the plant components can be maintained by means of specialized measuring devices. The need for quick and precise identification of problems makes the certification of the network particularly important for the entire system.

In the case of LAN, the vast majority of problems are physical and not software related. It is easy to make a mistake at the assembly stage, which is why LAN certification receives an important task of checking the technical parameters of the cabling, checking connections, and verifying connectivity with the Wi-Fi network.

Network certification uses copper cable testers with diagnostic and problem localization functions.

Let us discuss one of the most common failures, pair split errors, where you can see the distinct advantage of a specialist mapping tester over other solutions. The reasons can be found in the technical specifications of the device. The mapping tester should enable analysis not only on pairs of cables, but also check each connection separately. Pair division errors occur when the connection termination assembly is not performed in accordance with the recommendations. If the wires are reversed, an ordinary mapping tester will consider it a completely correct situation, because the connection has not broken. However, from the point of view of Ethernet applications, which entails the need to transmit positive and negative signals, its normal operation will not be possible on twisted pairs, which will generate a very high level of crosstalk. Even if the transmission is not completely broken, the bandwidth of the link will be drastically limited.

LAN certification using a dedicated LAN meter is much more effective than simple home use methods.

One of the most problematic issues is also the detection of hidden damage, invisible in the first test layer. They include, among others cabling faults appearing at high data transmission levels. Any punctures or disturbances in a pair of cabling systems have the potential to generate significant problems when you least expect it. Incorrect installation of plugs or other interconnecting network components creates an obstacle to data transmission, leading to more serious damage over time. LANs are a system of connected vessels, so a failure in one place causes interference to the entire transmission. Thus, network certification is designed to identify the problem with sniper precision, guaranteeing the ability to react quickly to ensure the correct specification for the system.

LAN Certification - What is Crosstalk Control?

Crosstalk is a phenomenon that cannot be completely eliminated. It involves the transmission of part of the signal from one copper pair to the next. The crosstalk phenomenon is amplified with changes in the transmission frequency, therefore transmission disturbances cause an avalanche of additional problems. Although crosstalk occurs along the entire length of the cabling, it shows the greatest intensity at the connectors due to their non-standard construction - twisting the cable system. Crosstalk creates bandwidth disturbances, so keeping it to a minimum becomes a primary task when installing a LAN. The purpose of LAN certification is to show the places where the greatest loss of transmission speed due to crosstalk can occur. The crosstalk check finds the cause at the root of the problem. Excessive crosstalk occurs most often at low quality connectors or in products not adapted to the frequency of the intended use. If the end of the copper pairs on the connector shows too much unscrewing, crosstalk is guaranteed. Thus, network certification allows not only finding the location of the problem, but also drawing conclusions as to the cause.

An issue not related to crosstalk but generating similar problems is any return loss along the entire length of the installation. The signal reflected by the cabling or connectors and returning to the original transmission device is a pure loss, reducing the full transmission capacity. The causes of this phenomenon are incorrect cable terminations, too many connectors or incompatible plugs. LAN certification also detects this type of problem, becoming a comprehensive diagnostic tool to guarantee optimal performance of the entire system.

Can network certification test real cabling performance?

LAN certification is not limited to detecting assembly or design errors in the cabling. From the end-user point of view, it becomes crucial to determine the actual performance of the system in relation to the promised manufacturer's specification. This helps to eliminate any misuse of labeling that does not match actual performance. Network certification is often the basis for complaints about installed components that do not meet the technical requirements.

Specification inconsistency does not depend on the installation company, which is usually unable to verify the internal parameters of the installed installation. The assemblers rely on the manufacturer's markings. Network certification makes it possible to verify the compliance of the marking of cables and connectors with their actual capacity. The performance of the connectors is standardized in accordance with ISO 11801 and TIA 568. Industry markings (5e, 6, 6a) have been established to assist in selecting the correct components. However, the mere use of international symbols does not mean that the product meets all the parameters as declared. In Polish conditions, testing the LAN by independent entities is not required by law. Unfortunately, this reality offers a lot of room for abuse in terms of real performance. Until the LAN is certified for the selected cabling system, the data transfer performance remains solely the manufacturer's declaration.

Network certification is therefore of critical importance during the installation of any system where data transfer will play a key role in the functioning of an enterprise or other institution. Identification and elimination of problems already at the assembly stage is associated with much lower losses than performing these activities after the completion of the implementation of the entire system. Certification of the LAN network ensures transmission security and knowledge about the functioning of every millimeter of cabling.

Network certification - components of effective measurement

Successful LAN certification must measure all pin-to-pin cabling while assessing the insulation condition of the transmission wires. Improper impedance matching generates reflection loss, another parameter measured in the certification process.

The attenuation of a signal is the loss of its strength in the pair between the different ends of the wires. The greater the frequency and the greater the length of the cable, the stronger the consequences of the attenuation phenomenon. Network certification verifies the attenuation parameter against the crosstalk index, known as ACR. The higher the ACR value, the better the connection quality.

The propagation delay time along the path determines the length of time that the pulse is transmitted through each pair of cables. The difference in delay propagation between test pulses on all cabling pairs is also important in the test process. The delay spread should be as low as possible, because its too high value causes transmission blockages. The grid certification also measures the DC resistance to ensure that the sum of the resistance of each wire in the pair meets the manufacturer's declared limits. Regular data transmission also largely depends on the impedance of the cable itself, understood as electrical resistance in AC circuits. Network certification is designed to detect any impedance changes along the entire length of the link that generate reflections and weakening at the receiver terminals.

Network certification is an extremely effective and comprehensive tool for detecting errors and confronting actual cabling parameters with manufacturer's declarations. While there is no legal obligation to certify the network, certification of the network guarantees the effective operation of the entire system for many years.


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