It is not uncommon for questions on NE to focus on (or boil down to) the pure physics of how things work and just what they are. Examples:

Note that such questions are abstracted from the enterprise vs consumer-grade context (the things in question are used in both contexts, and everywhere). The person asking the question could have reasons for asking it coming from either context, or a totally different context e.g. engineering studies.

In such scenarios, does the actual context being home/consumer-grade disqualifies the question from being on-topic?

1 Answer 1


If you check the help center,

  • physical infrastructure (e.g. standard color coding of cables, types of fiber, etc.)

is explicitly on-topic here. That is, as long as it's in an environment identical to or very close to

  • operating, maintaining, purchasing or managing an enterprise / service provider network

If the question is about using damaged, out-of-spec or otherwise unsuited cabling, or off-topic equipment, then the question itself quickly becomes off-topic. The physics is the same of course, but there's only so much of that we can cover here.

  • 1
    "as long as it's in an environment" — so the environment matters, does it? If say I ask about "standard color coding of" some cables that people use in both enterprise and home environments, but incidentally I use them in my home environment only, does that render the question off-topic?
    – Greendrake
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 13:39
  • 2
    @Greendrake, if you do not mention that it is a home network, then it may be an OK question. Consumer-grade equipment is off-topic, so if we need to know the equipment model and configuration, you have a problem. Also, the help center does mention other sites where a question may be on-topic, including, "Electrical Engineering for electronics and electrical engineering questions" The questions you mention probably should have been asked there because it may be good background, but it really has nothing to do with what a network engineer does on the job; better questions about cable categories.
    – Ron Maupin Mod
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 15:07

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