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Important Gadgets Required When Installing Leased Lines

Leased lines are dedicated, private telecommunications lines that provide businesses with consistent, high-speed internet connectivity. 

Unlike traditional broadband connections, leased lines offer a symmetric connection, ensuring equal upload and download speeds, and are not shared with other users, guaranteeing high reliability and performance. 

Installing leased lines involves various stages, from planning and physical installation to testing and ongoing management. For a smooth installation process, having the right gadgets and tools is crucial. 

This blog will explore the essential gadgets required when installing leased lines, helping you ensure a seamless setup, and optimal network performance.

1. Testers and Analyzers

A. Network Cable Testers

Network cable testers are vital for verifying the integrity of the cables used in your leased line installation. These devices help identify issues such as open circuits, short circuits, miswiring, and cable continuity problems. 

Investing in a reliable network cable tester ensures that all cables are correctly connected and functioning before the network goes live.

Features to look for:

  • Ability to test various types of cables (Cat5, Cat6, etc.).
  • LED indicators or LCD screen for clear results.
  • Portability and ease of use.

Recommended models:

  • Fluke Networks MS2-100 MicroScanner2.
  • Klein Tools VDV501-851 Cable Tester.

B. Signal Strength Meters

Signal strength meters are essential for ensuring optimal signal strength throughout the installation process. These devices measure the strength of the signal received and help you identify weak points in the network. 

Using a signal strength meter allows you to adjust and optimize the placement of cables and equipment.

How to use effectively:

  • Measure signal strength at various points along the cable route.
  • Identify and troubleshoot areas with weak signals.
  • Adjust equipment placement based on measurements.

Recommended models:

  • Extech Instruments RF20.
  • SureCall CM-METER-01.

C. Protocol Analyzers

Protocol analyzers are indispensable for diagnosing and troubleshooting network issues. These devices capture and analyze network traffic, helping you identify problems related to data transmission and network protocols. 

A good protocol analyzer provides detailed insights into network performance and potential issues.

Key features and benefits:

  • Ability to capture and decode network packets.
  • Real-time monitoring and analysis.
  • User-friendly interface for easy troubleshooting.

Top protocol analyzers:

  • Wireshark (software-based).
  • Omnipeek from Savvius.

2. Tools for Physical Installation

A. Cable Crimping Tools

Cable crimping tools are crucial for creating secure cable connections. These tools allow you to attach connectors to the ends of cables, ensuring a reliable and stable connection. 

A high-quality crimping tool ensures that connectors are attached properly, reducing the risk of connection failures.

Tips for choosing the right crimping tool:

  • Ensure compatibility with the connectors you are using.
  • Look for ergonomic designs for ease of use.
  • Check for durability and build quality.

Popular brands and models:

  • TRENDnet TC-CT68.
  • Klein Tools VDV226-011-SEN.

B. Punch Down Tools

Punch down tools are used for terminating wires to a patch panel, keystone module, or surface mount box. These tools help secure the wire connections and ensure a reliable connection.

Choosing a high-quality punch down tool is essential for maintaining the integrity of your network.

Key features to look for:

  • Compatibility with different types of connectors.
  • Comfort and ease of use.
  • Durability and precision.

Recommended punch down tools:

  • TRENDnet TC-PDT.
  • Fluke Networks D914S.

C. Fiber Optic Tools

If your leased line involves fiber optic cables, having the right fiber optic tools is essential. These tools include fiber optic cleavers, splicers, and testers. 

Proper handling and installation of fiber optic cables are crucial for maintaining high-speed data transmission and minimizing signal loss.

Types of fiber optic tools:

  • Cleavers: Ensure clean and precise cuts on fiber optic cables.
  • Splicers: Used to join two fiber optic cables together.
  • Testers: Measure the performance and integrity of fiber optic connections.

Top-rated fiber optic tool kits:

  • Jonard Tools TK-183.
  • AFL Cletop (S) Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit.

3. Monitoring and Management Tools

A. Network Monitoring Software

Real-time network monitoring is essential for maintaining optimal network performance and quickly identifying issues. Network monitoring software provides insights into network traffic, performance, and potential problems. 

These tools help you proactively manage your network and ensure lower leased line maintenance costs.

Features to consider:

  • Real-time monitoring and alerts.
  • Detailed reports and analytics.
  • Scalability and ease of integration.

Leading network monitoring solutions:

  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor.
  • PRTG Network Monitor.

B. Bandwidth Management Tools

Efficient bandwidth management is crucial for ensuring fair distribution of network resources and preventing congestion. 

Bandwidth management tools help you allocate bandwidth effectively, prioritize critical applications, and monitor usage patterns.

Key functionalities:

  • Bandwidth allocation and throttling.
  • Traffic prioritization.
  • Usage monitoring and reporting.

Best bandwidth management software:

  • NetBalancer.
  • ManageEngine Bandwidth Monitoring.

4. Safety and Maintenance Equipment

A. Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are essential for protecting your equipment from power surges and spikes. These devices safeguard your network hardware from damage caused by electrical fluctuations, ensuring longevity and reliability.

Key features of effective surge protectors:

  • High surge protection rating.
  • Multiple outlets.
  • Durability and build quality.

Top surge protector models:

  • APC SurgeArrest Performance.
  • Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector.

B. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies)

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) provide backup power during outages, ensuring that your network remains operational. A UPS is crucial for preventing data loss and maintaining connectivity during power interruptions.

Factors to consider:

  • Power capacity and runtime.
  • Number of outlets.
  • Features such as automatic voltage regulation (AVR).

Recommended UPS brands and models:

  • APC Smart-UPS.
  • CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD.

5. Miscellaneous Gadgets

A. Labeling Machines

Proper cable labeling is essential for easy identification and troubleshooting. Labeling machines help you create clear, durable labels for your network cables, reducing the time spent identifying connections and managing the network.

Features to look for:

  • Ease of use and portability.
  • Compatibility with different label types.
  • Durability of the labels.

Popular labeling machines:

  • DYMO Rhino 5200.
  • Brother P-touch PT-D210.

B. Cable Management Solutions

Keeping cables organized and accessible is crucial for maintaining a tidy and efficient network setup. Cable management solutions, such as cable ties, trays, and organizers, help prevent cable clutter and make maintenance easier.

Types of cable management tools:

  • Cable ties: Secure and organize cables.
  • Cable trays: Provide structured pathways for cables.
  • Cable organizers: Keep cables neatly arranged and accessible.

Best cable management products:

  • JOTO Cable Management Sleeve.
  • Cable Matters J Channel Cable Raceway.

C. Tool Kits

Comprehensive tool kits designed for network installation include all the essential tools needed for the job. These kits save time and ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips.

Essential tools included:

  • Screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers.
  • Cable testers, crimping tools.
  • Punch down tools, fiber optic tools.

Top tool kits available:

  • Klein Tools VDV026-211.
  • Fluke Networks Pro3000 Tone and Probe Kit.

Conclusion

Installing leased lines involves various stages, from physical installation to testing and ongoing management. Having the right gadgets and tools is essential for ensuring a successful setup and optimal network performance. 

By investing in high-quality testers, crimping tools, fiber optic tools, monitoring software, and safety equipment, you can streamline the installation process and maintain a reliable network.

Call to Action

Have you installed a leased line recently? Share your experiences and the gadgets you found most useful in the comments below!