How to Use a Network Cable Tester

Network cables against a white background.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25
What You'll Need
Network cable tester
What You'll Need
Network cable tester

A network cable tester calculates how well your high-speed network cables are performing. Poor performance can mean disruptions and poor Internet access. The network cable tester can be used to diagnose issues. Take these steps to use a network cable tester on your own.

Step 1 - Connect the Tester

While you can purchase network cable tester devices in a number of different forms and shapes, you will most certainly find that your machine has 2 different boxes. These boxes are the transmitter and receiver. In order to test the network, you will need to plug the network cable into both ends of the box, one into the transmitter, and one into the receiver. These boxes are a model of your computer network, so you should be able to easily locate which box is which. Make sure that your cables are fully plugged in before you proceed to the test.

Step 2 - Begin the Test

When you are ready, you can begin the test by turning on the network cable tester device. The tester will send a signal from one end of the box to the other. The message will then be relayed through the cable. Keep the network cable tester connected to the cable at all times during the test, otherwise, the test will not work.

Step 3 - Read the Report from the Tester

While the message is being passed from one end of the cable to the other, the network cable tester will be examining the message for faults, and checking that the message has been properly received at the other end. If the tester concludes that this is not the case and that something has gone wrong, you will find that the tester displays a number of red lights. The differences between the red lights and the green lights, which mean that all is working well, may not be the same from network cable tester to network cable tester, but you should be able to work out exactly what the problem is with your cable by reading the instructions.

Step 4 - Read the Problem

The different lights on your network cable tester are used to send a signal to the person operating the machine. Your manual will give you a complete run-down of what the different patterns of lighting means, and if there is any problem with your cable that should be addressed. Once you have found the problem, remove the network cable tester from the boxes, and return the network cable tester to a safe place.