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Fluke Networks CableIQ vs T3 Net Chaser

There’s often no better way of understanding the true value of a network device than to compare it with others in its class. Such comparisons serve to highlight the additional functionality and quality of one or the other, and the baseline provided by the one device shows the superiority or inferiority of the other all that much better. Among handheld devices used for testing and speed-certification of Ethernet network cables, a useful comparison might feature two of the most well known handsets, the Net Chaser from T3 Innovation and the Cable IQ from Fluke Networks.

Net Chaser vs. Cable IQ

Net Chaser’s main function is as a speed certification device, and it accomplishes this by means of a variety of tests. It conducts a Bit Error Rate Test (BERT) up to 1Gbps, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), and delay SKEW. Cable IQ measures crosstalk and impedance and compares against limits based on the qualification test selected. Both the Net Chaser and Cable IQ perform a wiremap test, distance to fault, and split pair detection but the Net Chaser results are much easier to interpret because it has a color touch screen display.

In terms of detecting the presence of Power over Ethernet (PoE), Net Chaser has the advantage, because it can detect PoE, PoE+, and the specific mode of PoE, which is either Mode A or Mode B, both referring to the usage made of pins. The Net Chaser also does a load test to ensure that the PoE is sustainable when a device is connected.  

In terms of network discovery capability, Net Chaser comes out ahead because it is simply better equipped to identify and monitor network components. Cable IQ lacks the active network tests provided by Net Chaser for Ping, CDP/LLDP discovery, VLAN detection, traceroute, and more. While Net Chaser is capable of pinging specific IP addresses and URL’s, it can also ping devices without DHCP by entering a static IP and network information. While the Cable IQ can also identify port services, it cannot perform any of these networking tests to ensure that the network is performing the way it should.

While both devices can save and export test results for reporting, Net Chaser is equipped with an SD card that allows unlimited capacity for saving, while Cable IQ lacks an SD card, and is understandably more limited. The screen display is rendered in full color on Net Chaser, while its competitor displays in monochrome, and even if this isn’t a major point, the color display does effectively cause information to stand out better. Cable IQ’s display is only available in English, whereas Net Chaser also offers language selections in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Comparison Chart

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And the winner is…

It wasn’t really a fair fight – the Net Chaser handset from T3 Innovation is clearly the more capable device, with many more features built in than its rival. It is also a device which is closer to the leading edge of technology than Cable IQ, with multi-language support as well as support for the newest addressing scheme of the Internet, which is Version 6. Being made in the USA is a positive factor as well, assuring that domestic quality is manufactured into the product by skilled workers. When you need to know anything about the data-carrying capabilities of ethernet cables in your network, the Net Chaser from T3 is the superior product, and the one you should be using.