Tame Your Computer Cables

Don't look now, but it's a jungle back there. We're talking about the back of your PC, where the cables that tie together the parts, pieces, and peripherals of your computer tend to end up in a messy jumble of interlacing wires. It's unsightly, inconvenient, and even dangerous. if you have small children or pets. And cable overload has another drawback, too. The more wires you add, the harder it is to trace connections when changing hardware or troubleshooting problems. Various products are designed to tame cable clutter, ranging in price from a few bucks to a hundred bucks. Pick and choose what's right for your installation, but any of these products can help make your PC setup a bit more convenient to work with and a lot more pleasant to look at. Here they Are:

 1. Peripherals (like printers, modems, and scanners) usually come
    with cables, but they're often much longer than they need to be.
    You can eliminate lots of clutter by purchasing correct-length
    cables instead of leaving long cables dangling or coiled on the
    floor. You'll find a wide range of cable lengths at most computer
    and office-supply dealers.

 2. Cable ties and cable clips are the cheapest way to bundle groups of
    cables. Ties are inexpensive, and come in many colors and lengths.

 3. Split tubing, as the name implies, is flexible tubing that's split
    along one side, so you can easily tuck cables inside.

 4. Sometimes called a "cable tunnel," this is a box or set of slotted
    guides that mounts on a wall or your desk and lets you wrap and
    tuck cables inside it.

 5. Having one place to plug in all your AC cables can eliminate lots
    of clutter. Some power centers sit on the floor or mount on a wall;
    some sit underneath a monitor. They also provide surge protection
    and let you switch peripherals on and off conveniently.

 6. USB keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, and other peripherals
    can plug into each other, eliminating long runs of multiple
    cables. Alternatively, you can use USB hubs to organize multiple
    connections. IEEE 1394 (FireWire) hubs offer the same advantages
    for high performance peripherals.

 7. The ultimate way to eliminate cables is to avoid using them.
    Though you can't get rid of cables altogether, wireless keyboards
    and mice are available, as are WiFi and WiFi5 wireless networks.
    And though Bluetooth wireless peripherals are still rare, that
    technology holds promise.