Are you experiencing issues with your Ethernet cable? Keep reading to learn how to test Ethernet cable without tester.
If you don’t have a tester on hand, you can still test your Ethernet cable without one. In fact, it’s a reliable method that doesn’t require any technical skill, only a computer and basic tools.
Let’s show you how.
To test your Ethernet cable without using a tester, you can connect it to your router to see if it makes a connection.
You can also test the cable by plugging it into your computer to see if the connection icon changes on the status bar. If these don’t work, you’ll want to consider replacing your cable.
Here are a few more things you should know about testing without using specialized tools.
How To Test Ethernet Cable Without Tester
If you suspect connectivity issues with your Ethernet cable, you can test it to discover the problem.
Sometimes, it’s your ISP, and other times, a faulty cable. You’ll know for sure with a tester.
If you don’t have one, then you need to know how to test Ethernet cable without tester.
- Use your computers to test if your cable is in working condition
- Your router can quickly tell if your cable can connect
- Change up cables and see if the connections hold or not
- Testing without a dedicated cable tester can take more time
- A reliable method, but nothing beats the convenience of a tester
Now that you have a better idea about testing your cable let’s proceed to the actual steps so you can start.
Complete Guide on How to Test an Ethernet Cable Without Tester
Now that you know you can test your Ethernet cable without using a tester, there are a few methods you can use.
The upside is that these are all reliable tests, so you won’t need to get a dedicated network tester.
Let’s look at the methods you can use to save time and money to decide whether you’ll need to get a new cable.
Method #1: Perform Visual Inspection of the Length of the Cable
If you suspect something is wrong with your connection, one of the first things you need to do is check your Ethernet cable.
A visual inspection will usually do, as it’s one of the quickest methods to know if there’s an issue.
You want to look for signs of physical damage like cuts and tears.
The area near the cable’s connector is also sensitive, as damage here can cause a drop in performance or an outage altogether.
Here’s how to inspect your Ethernet cable visually:
- Unplug the cable from both ends.
- Lay it out on a flat surface like a table.
- Carefully inspect the entire length of the cable.
- Look for signs of damage like cuts, bends, tears, and kinks.
- Check the connectors and make sure they’re not loose or corroded.
Note: The cable can look fine outside, but it doesn't necessarily mean there is no internal cable issue.
Method #2: Check the Connection Using Your Computer
Since a visual inspection is only great for physical damage, it won’t be able to pick up any internal damage.
To detect that without using a cable tester, you will need to rely on your devices that are connected to the network.
In this case, you will need to check the connection using your computer. A laptop would be more handy here as you can move it around to the cable you’re testing.
Here’s how to check the status of your Ethernet cable with your computer or laptop:
- Plug one end of the cable you’re testing to your computer.
- Plug the other end into your router or network switch.
- Check the network icon on your computer’s status bar.
- It should change to the Ethernet icon.
Note: If you have an internet connection, you can open a web browser and visit a website to see if it connects.
Method #3: Test Your Ethernet Cable By Swapping Them Out
Another way to test out your Ethernet cable without using a tester is to swap them out. It’s a method that will tell you if the problem lies with your cable or if something is wrong with your device.
Swapping out the cables from two devices that connect can let you know if you need to replace them.
Replacing a cable that suddenly did not work with one that functions properly will help you isolate the problem and identify if it’s faulty or not.
Here are the steps to test out your cables by swapping them:
- Get a cable that you know is functioning properly.
- Disconnect the cable that you want to test.
- Swap it out with the cable that you know works.
- Wait and see if a connection is made or improves.
Tip: If the connection problem with the working cable disappears, you’re dealing with a faulty one that needs replacement.
Method #4: Check that Your Router’s LAN Port Lights Up Green
Your router can be a useful network troubleshooting tool if you know how to utilize it correctly. It will have several ports that you can connect your devices to.
Each of these ports has an indicator light that will tell you the status of the connection. This way, you’ll instantly know if there’s something wrong with the connection.
You want to see a blinking or solid green light. You’ll know the cable is faulty if it flashes orange or red.
Here’s how to use your router to test your Ethernet cable:
- Get the cable that you would like to test and plug one end into your router’s LAN port.
- Connect the other end to a device such as a computer or laptop.
- Look at the LAN port where you plugged the cable you are testing.
- Verify the connection via the green indicator light on the LAN port.
Note: If the router’s LAN port does not light up, there is no connection between the two devices, and you need to replace the cable.
Method #5: Test Your Connection Using Ping Commands
It’s not enough that you know if your Ethernet cable physically connects your devices or not. There are instances when you’re also going to need to know its performance.
It’s possible that your cable does not show any signs of physical damage or wiring errors. However, checking it for speed and reliability doesn’t offer you the best possible performance.
We will look into software for this one allowing you to check if your cable is working as intended.
To do this, we will need to use ping commands on your computer.
Here’s how to use ping commands to test your cable’s performance:
- Connect the cable you are testing to a computer in the network.
- Type “cmd” in the search box on your computer’s taskbar.
- Type ping 192.168.1.1, then press Enter.
- Read through the results and check for error notifications.
- The results you’re looking for are ping times in the 0 to 100 ms range.
Note: For a more reliable reading, you’ll need to ping a few other addresses like google.com, 220.127.116.11.
Method #6: Test Your Cable Using a Multimeter
If you don’t have a network cable tester but have electronics lying around in your home, you likely have a multimeter.
It’s a device that can measure electrical properties. In this case, we will look at continuity.
You want to know if there’s a complete path for the signal to go from one end of the cable to the other.
Here’s how to use your multimeter to test your Ethernet cable:
- Get your multimeter and set it to Continuity or Resistance.
- Disconnect the cable you want to test and lay it on a flat surface.
- Connect one end of the multimeter probe to a pin on the cable.
- Connect the other end to the opposite connector’s pin.
- Check if the multimeter shows continuity or not.
Note: An Ethernet cable has 8 wires inside, so you want to test all of them to determine if it’s working.
These are the things you need to do to test your cables and network. However, a network tester is always the best way to do this since it’s fast, efficient, and shows you the cable’s connection quality.
These methods are suitable for small home networks. For larger organizations, seeking assistance from a network professional is advisable.
Now that you know the different methods on how to test Ethernet cable without tester, you can look at the one you suspect to be malfunctioning. At least now, you’re going to know exactly if you need to replace it or not.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.