New In Box, New Open Box…..What Does That Really Mean?

When it comes to buying new or used network hardware equipment what do sellers really mean? NEW, USED, REFURBISHED, NEW-OPEN-BOX, NEW-IN-BOX are all terms that people use to describe their equipment, but such terms can be used loosely. Here, I will list these terms and explain exactly what they mean so we can cut down on confusion and people can get back to not working while watching the Masters.

NEW: New – Indicates that the item is unopened and direct from Cisco or the manufacturer.

NIB: New In Box – Condition is the same as if it had come direct from manufacturer.

NOB: New Open Box – Box has been opened. Basically the same as NIB, but the seller should state if the inner static bag has been opened for product testing purposes. All of the accessories and packaging should be there as if it had been purchased new.

REF: Refurbished – Equipment has been restored to good cosmetic and working condition. Items have undergone a series of inspections and tests to make sure they are in good working condition.

planIT HARDWARE sells new, refurbished, and NOB IT hardware with a 90-day(vendors)/1-year(end-users) warranty and any refurbished equipment has been put through rigorous testing to ensure that all items are in excellent working condition. We pride ourselves on saving our clients 60-90% in discounts. Please visit planithw.com

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How Can 3750X Switches Support Demanding Applications?

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X marks the spot in terms of industry-leading security when it comes to Cisco Catalyst 3750X Series switches.These stackable enterprise-class switches have proven to be tougher to break through than King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.

Everyone remembers the left and right jabs King Hippo would throw before he opened his massive mouth.  His hand would raise and Little Mac would defeat the King with a malicious assault to the head.

With Flexible NetFlow to protect against malicious behavior, the 3750X also uses MACsec layer-2 encryption to protect confidentiality and TrustSec to provide identity-based access control.

Little Mac had the support of Doc Louis, the “heavy-puncher.”  With a 3750X, you will have the support of non-stop communications with redundant hot swappable power supplies, cooling fans, and network modules.

So, let’s take a look at the stats:

Name Age Rank
3750x New or Refurbished #1 in (QoS)

  •   Prioritizes business-critical traffic, such as   video, with Strict Priority Queuing
  •   Validates network readiness and simplifies   troubleshooting with Mediatrace and Traffic Simulator
From Weight Record
Cisco 18 lbs Lower Cost of Operation

  •   Reduces operating expense and increases   corporate sustainability with Cisco EnergyWise power management
  •   Simplifies deployment, configuration and control   with Cisco Catalyst Smart Operations
Leadership
Power over Ethernet (PoE) Leadership

  •   Supports up to 48 PoE+ ports, each delivering   up to 30 Watts

Visit planIT Hardware for more information on the 3750X, or visit the links above.

Rest Assured: Product Testing for Refurbished Network Equipment

The thrift shop has always been a treasure trove for the frugal and pragmatic shopper– Macklemore will tell you himself. But when you purchase that denim vest or Russian fur hat, can you rest assured that it’s been checked for fleas, disinfected and cleansed from the smell of cat? Are you sure those seams won’t burst apart the next time you put on your crushed velvet blazer that you got for $5.99? That wallet says “Coach” but who’s to say the previous owner didn’t pick it up on Canal St in New York from a guy named Don wearing the same denim vest that you just purchased ? Now, I’m not knocking purchasing secondhand at all–in fact, I love it. But I’m careful; integrity is a virtue.

Here at planIT Hardware, we test each product that we receive to ensure it is of the utmost quality. When a supply of new or new-in-box items arrives, we’ll open a box to test a sample for quality assurance purposes. Allow me to further extol the virtues of buying used/refurbished/end-of-life by setting your mind at ease with this explanation of our testing process here at the warehouse.

When an item first arrives at our warehouse, it often comes with a test sheet or sticker, certifying it has been tested and evaluated. Nevertheless, we will test regardless. The first thing we look for are physical defects/damages. We will place a circuit board, for example, under a microscope, ensuring that things such as capacitors and resistors are intact. Once it passes visual inspection, we will insert it into one of several chassis in our lab to make sure it functions properly. If it’s damaged and we cannot repair it, we will send it to a specialist who can.

Our process is fairly extensive from here. Let’s say a switch passes visual inspection. We will then connect it to a console and see if it is pre-configured. If it is, then we will set it back to factory defaults and wipe out any data that’s on it. This is a big part of our service, as setting an item back to factory defaults is a big convenience for end-users.

After this, we’ll run diagnostics on it and continue cleaning it up. Part of the process from here includes firing up ports and passing data across them to make sure they function. We will do whatever we can to test an item; if we don’t have the proper chassis to test an item on we will borrow a chassis, outsource testing to specialists, or purchase the proper chassis to add to our lab.

Once an item’s been tested. We will print out test sheets, attach them to the piece of the equipment and set them out to be stored. If the item is bad, we’ll repair it. If there are exterior cosmetic defects, we’ll repaint or refinish items to restore them. We’ll even clean out dust from the inside of a piece of equipment to ensure it’s in better condition than when we received it.

And you can be assured that our items are original and from the manufacturer. This is probably the biggest concern in the used market. If research is necessary on our end, we will make sure we know every last detail about how an item does and should function. If we find out an item that we’ve received is a counterfeit, we don’t mess around: we will destroy it no matter what. We will never send a counterfeit item back into the market, not even to the person or people who passed it to us–we’ll destroy it and send evidence back to the supplier that it was a fake.

So, unlike that Russian fur hat that’s suddenly making you itchy, you don’t have to wonder if our items are clean and authentic. When it comes to product testing, planIT Hardware has integrity.

Gameplan: Buying Network Hardware on eBay

eBay: the once-final frontier for drinking ostriches and Coca-Cola playing cards. In the eighteen years since the company began, the online auction giant has had quite the fall from digi-grace. With competitors like Amazon and Google cropping up left and right to take the wind out of its innovative sails, it would seem online consumers haven’t found much of a need for a dedicated auction-style marketplace when shopping for their various wares. Even after implementing a marketplace for fixed-price retailers to sell from, the company struggled to retain its integrity. Then, in 2008, something unexpected occurred: eBay’s CEO since 1998 stepped down to make way for John Donahoe, a man with little to no tech industry experience. It is this man who led the much-needed turnaround that has brought about the rejuvenation of eBay over the last 4 years or so.

After announcing a revamped fee structure which lowered prices for sellers to list but charged them more if their items actually sold, Donahoe shifted the focus away from auctions to hone-in on the Marketplace aspect of the website, effectively making eBay a full-service e-commerce merchant. eBay doesn’t compete with its retail partners directly, but offers them prime real estate to reach out to their consumers and implement special eBay tools, such as the ever-prominent PayPal payment service.

So, can eBay be considered a trusted source for purchasing network equipment? Now that the company has regained its integrity and won back a massive audience of well over 100 million active users, eBay is once again a safe place to go looking for what you need, at the price you need it.

Gameplan Technology, the digital marketplace pseudonym of planIT Hardware, offers plenty of used and refurbished network equipment on eBay to run your business at top speeds. Some companies you’ll find on eBay don’t carry these items in stock—instead, they’ll list them, find them, buy them from a reseller (perhaps even us!), drive the price up and sell it back to you. Gameplan Technology has the means to directly offer this equipment at a lower price; we broker decommissioned IT equipment and sell it to you, heavily discounted.  We’ll even buy back any equipment that you’re looking to sell.

So, eBay took a big, long bath and has come out looking fresher than that guy from Bel-Air. Stop by Gameplan Technology’s shop and check out all the fine wares, stranger!

GreenIT: Technology Recycling and Responsible IT Disposal

Everything’s gone green.

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technology recycling!

Even though the lyrics have nothing to do with being eco-conscious, that New Order song was the first thing I thought of before writing this post. And then I realized that, despite all the trends and fashions that have come along with going green, the self-righteousness and ignorance alike from both sides of the debate, there is still such a thing as responsibility. More on that later.

There’s an age-old saying that it’s easier to destroy than it is to create. An object’s disposability often belies the efforts and resources that were spent in making it; the same is true for IT disposal. When we’re on to the next flashy piece of technology, we will ditch the old model with little understanding of the consequences. The very same technology that surrounds us may be churned out and updated at an excessively rapid pace, but there is quite a bit that goes into the production of that dusty old computer. A UN study found that 48lbs of chemicals, 530lbs of fossil fuels and 1.5 tons of water are used to produce one desktop computer tower and CRT monitor. For real.

So, what can you do? Better yet–what can planIT Hardware do? Remember trust falls? Don’t worry…I’ve got ya.

planIT Hardware has started what we like to call The Green Initiative. We want to produce environmentally responsible network solutions, and we think you can help. According to a 2009 report by the US Environmental Protection Agency, of the 3 million tons of e-waste disposed of in the US, only 17% was recycled. Just the act alone of buying from us is a big step in the right direction toward technology recycling. When you purchase used network equipment, you’re helping to stymie the production of new products (and, of course, you will save money). On top of this, we have our Asset Recovery Program.

Our Asset Recovery Program pays you to be responsible by extending the lifecycle of network hardware. Before you go taking your IT hardware out with the trash, you may want to think twice. Contact us about our buyback program and let us give you a quote. If a business deal can’t be made, we’ve got environmentally conscious IT disposal alternatives we can provide you with.

Either way, it’s a win.

Beefing-Up Your Home Network

The home network. It used to just be a simple luxury. Beeps and tones and hisses would communicate our home’s personal computer to the good ol’ folks over at AOL or Prodigy and we would wait for 5 minutes to hear that creepy “You’ve Got Mail” guy’s voice or watch a gif of a dancing baby. Now, we work from home, challenge every claim by “giving it a Google,” and stream the latest episode of Gossip Girl  The Walking Dead. It’s extremely important to have a beefed-up homenetwork these days, and network hardware manufacturers like Cisco offer up a bevvy of options for both corporate Goliaths and the Davids sitting on the toilet with their iPad. “So what are some ways to get my wifi network as fit and swol’ as Dwayne ‘The Rock Johnson?” you might ask. Read on, you bandwidth junkie!

No one ever seems satisfied with their ISP (internet service provider), and I’m not here to discuss the merits and downsides to each one, but even the most inept of internet services will benefit from a grade-A router. Your router is like a really good wingman–they’ve got your back and will help you look really ridiculously good, even in spite of an inadequate ISP.

A good router (with a wireless access point) will unlock the potential of your ISP. Let’s say your particular plan offers speeds of up to 30mbps. Any connection over 20mbps is going to benefit from a router with wireless-n capabilities. Wireless-n offers more speed, more security, more range and more overall reliability to your internet connection. It has the ability to reach speeds of up to 150mbps, rivaling the tried-n-true wired ethernet connection. planIT Hardware has a boatload of different models and styles of routers and AP’s ([wireless] access points) on offer.

Let’s say you’re happy with the speeds your router is producing, but your house is awkwardly designed. You walk into the kitchen, and suddenly, your connection cuts out. You’ve just hit what is affectionately known as a dead zone, friend, and it can be combated with what is known as a wireless repeater (or range extender). These handy helpers can be small and stylish, depending on which models you go with. Cisco offers some pretty sleek ones that planIT Hardware can offer at 60-90% off list price. The wireless repeater will grab the signal that your router is producing on the other side of the house, throw it out and spread it like lawn seed, creating a second network out of it in the process. Remember Play-Doh? It’s like taking a ball of that and ripping another piece out to make a second ball. More fun for everyone!

One other item you could include in your internet arsenal is a high-gain antenna for your wireless AP or router (if it has a built-in access point). The standard antenna that comes with your router/AP is likely going to be omnidirectional, meaning it shoots the signal out in all directions in equal proportions, all around the router in an “expanding circle,” so to speak. I personally have been very frustrated when I could receive a better signal at the bottom of my driveway than in my own living room. With a high-gain antenna, you can focus the bulk of the signal in a particular direction you’d like it to go in (in my case, getting it away from the outside and in to the other side of the house). Replacing the standard antenna on your access point with a high-gain one can make all the difference.

All of these items can easily be found at incredibly low prices from planIT Hardware. Get a quote today!

The Myth of Brand New: Why Used and End of Life IT Hardware is the Way to Go

Everyone wants that shiny new toy. When we’re kids, it’s the latest action figure or doll. When we grow up, not much changes; we want the latest offering from Apple or the flashiest Jeep on the lot. There is a prevailing myth that when we buy something brand-new, we are making the best bet and casting our lot with the soundest investment. And when it comes to IT hardware, this myth still clouds the judgement of even the savviest of businesswomen and men. Why should I settle for a toy another kid has played with? Why wouldn’t I want a car with no miles on it? These are the first thoughts that get in the way of a consumer making the wisest purchase.

We live in an interwebs-dominated culture. Whether we’re sharing the best cat memes (but seriously, have you seen the one where two of them play patty-cake??) or placing an order from the comfort of our desk, it’s important to have reliable network hardware that will fuel the very IT network our hobbies and livelihoods course through.The copious benefits of buying refurbished vs. new should become abundantly clear after reading this ever-so-handy highlight that, like a white knight, will vanquish the horrendous dragon that is The Myth of Brand-New from the kingdom of your mind (see what I did there?).

 Purchasing used network equipment will save your wallet from undue distress.

Who doesn’t like to save money? It’s like getting free money just for being super clever about how you purchase (aka frugality). Refurbished & used IT hardware resellers, planIT Hardware in particular, will offer you the same powerful equipment at 60-90% the cost of buying at list value, so you can beef up that IT network of yours.

 You don’t have to compromise on warranties and protection

This isn’t the back alley. Any reputable Cisco reseller, for example, will provide some sort of warranty with purchase. planIT Hardware offers a 90-day warranty to retailers and a 1-year warranty to end users (rest easy, friend).

 Experience appreciation instead of depreciation!

You know that guy that’s always selling last year’s iPhone to help pay for this year’s? Don’t be that guy! The majority of new technology depreciates in value (by 50%!) in about 18-24 months, just like a new car would. And then there’s you, sitting pretty with your used Cisco router. A wise investment, indeed.

 Who said anything about “used”?

Sure, some refurbished items may be lightly used, but most these items are restored to like-new condition by professionals–and then there’s the fact that some items were never even used, but simply returned. The only difference? The price tag.

“Says who?”

IT hardware items are tested for integrity by folks who know, so you can have confidence in the quality of what you’re purchasing.


These are just a few of the many reasons to buy refurbished. Older IT hardware will often use up less electricity than the newest models, helping you save on energy costs. It’s the “green” thing to do, if you’re eco-trendy. The list goes on…

Bottom line: buying used is just plain smart and buying from PlanIT is just plain…smarter.