Comptia Network+ Tutorial: Module 04, Part 02: Network Productivity & Performance

Network productivity is a big issue affecting the overall performance of the network. Different hardware tools are available to troubleshoot network problems. In this section we are going to discuss different tools used to diagnose the network, Network Productivity & Performance.

  • Cable testers -They are used to verify connection find out that the cable is wired accurately. It may have a remote tester. They are useful in finding out and determine open circuit, short circuit, jumper and crossfire.
  • Toner probes – It is used to trace wire and cable. It has two parts, one is a tone generator which is connected to one end, a speaker is there on the other end which plays a tone on connecting to the correct cable.
  • Cable certifiers – It verifies bandwidth and frequency and tests many types of cables.
  • Butt sets – Butt sets are used when installing and Internet connection. They are the typical sets used by telephone technicians to test telephone lines.
  • Crimper – It is a multipurpose tool mainly used to attach a connector to a cable. It is used for cable termination, but it can also be used to cut and strip cables. Crimpers can be used on Ethernet, coaxial and fibre cables. Crimpers can also correct terminating ends and wire sequence. When setting up and crimping a cable, leave as little excess as possible outside the connector as that can cause interference.
  • Punch down tool – It can terminate connection into a block or patch panel or a keystone. When using this tool, be careful of the blade size and the cutting edge as different size tools are meant for different size cables.
  • Protocol Analyser – It is used to plug into the network and analyse the traffic. The protocol analyser is a hardware device and it can be installed on a laptop or it can be a stand-alone device. It is like being able to look inside a wire and see what’s going on.
  • Loop Back Plug – A loop back plug is a device that sends cables back and uses software to compare sent and received signals.
  • Time domain Reflectometer (TDR) – It is a device which sends signals and listens to reflections back. TDRs estimates cable length, find cable faults and splices.
  • Optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) – It is used to characterize an optical fiber.
  • Multimeter – It measures electricity for resistance, current, voltage and continuity.
  • Environmental monitor – It monitors the environment for humidity, temperature and air particles.

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