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Beware Of Counterfeit Cables

Earlier this week I had a customer asking me about an inexpensive cable for their Mac. Their current charging cable had finally stopped worked and they were looking for a replacement. I honestly can’t tell you how many times over the years I have had to answer the question about what other option besides the Apple branded charging cable for their Mac, iPhone or iPad. The short answer is there are very few. When it comes to your MagSafe charger the answer is pretty straight forward. You absolutely want to buy the Apple charger. If your shopping on the internet or walk into a store and find a killer deal on a charger it’s very likely it’s a knock off and there are legitimate dangers with these too-good-to-be-true chargers.

I’ve seen in our service department over the years a handful of Apple lookalike MagSafe chargers. It’s usually a minor detail in the manufacturing that tips us off it’s not authentic. The real problem with these chargers and iOS chargers is the risk of fire. Eventually many of us will end up with cables that need replacing. With both your computer’s MagSafe and your iOS charging cable a common failure is the wires becoming frayed and exposed. Once the wires become exposed you do want to replace them rather than trying to repair or just cover them with electrical tape. The electrical tape trick can work for a little bit, but you’re still at risk for a short and in extreme cases you can end up damaging your charging port or even worse cause the device to catch fire.

When you are looking to replace your cables, there are alternatives besides the Apple Lightning or 30pin charger, but you want to make sure you can identify a counterfeit or uncertified cable before making the purchase. Another tip for purchasing a non-Apple cable for your iOS device is to stick with a manufacturer you have heard of like Belkin or Griffin.

Lastly you can do a few things to try and extend the life of your cables as long as you can. Proper cable management is often not discussed. Some of us prefer to keep cables neat and tidy, others just throw them in a drawer and when we find a place to plug them in just make sure the device can reach the port. It’s very important to make sure that you don’t wrap your cables too tight and force tension right at the connector. I’m forever reminding my kids not to use their devices while charging in a manner that the wire right at the lighting cable is bent at a 90 degree angle. This will surely cause the cable to bend and fray in no time. It’s also important to disconnect the cable by grabbing it right at the plug verses just grabbing it from any old spot and tugging.

Follow these quick tips and steps and you’ll be sure to continue safely charging your devices. Our charging cables go through a lot in a lifetime and they are ultimately fragile accessories.

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