Zeriva is committed to providing you with authentic Cisco network equipment, which is why Zeriva technicians, receiving clerks and warehouse personnel are all trained on Anti-Counterfeit procedures using the following guidelines.
Interface cards and Gbics are some of the most common counterfeit products in the secondary market. While we go over this topic in multiple sections of our website, below are some of the key points that help us identify this type of hardware.
To start our inspection process, we first look at the front face of the card, checking for indicators on the metal faceplate. The lettering on the front of the card should not be thin or easily scratched off. If the metal is overly shiny with thin lettering on the card, this is a dead giveaway that the card is possibly counterfeit.
The RJ45 jack also has multiple indicators that will help in identifying counterfeit Cisco network equipment. The original connector will come with an upper left fastener and a lower right fastener. On the counterfeit card, both RJ45’s fasteners are on the left hand side. They also have an exposed frame in the middle where the cable plugs into the device.
When we examine the circuitry of the equipment, we also check all the points on the device. Cisco uses only silver points on the card. If you look closely at the pictures, you will be able to tell the difference. Notice that the fake equipment has multiple copper points on the card.
Barcodes, serial number font, and embedded numbers will also be examined for authenticity. The card will have an embedded number in the metal at the top left hand side looking at the front face. This embedded number comes from Cisco manufacturing and shows through the top as an imprint. See picture below.
Note in this picture that the serial number is missing from the counterfeit equipment.
When looking at the barcode and serial numbers, we first check the font of the serial number.
The genuine Cisco font is more of a bold black with a somewhat raised lettering element to it. The barcode will extend to the edge of the sticker. If there is a gap between the barcode and the sticker, the equipment is likely counterfeit.
Holograms can also help in the process. While it doesn’t guarantee that the equipment is genuine, if the equipment doesn’t have a hologram, then it is likely a fake.
However, care must be taken as we cannot rely on just the hologram to determine the status of Cisco network equipment. Some clever sellers “dress up” equipment with holograms from defective or dead recycled equipment.
One of the final clues is within the RJ45 jack itself. At the back base inside the jack there should be the word STEWART engraved. This is only conclusive in that if the card does not have this mark – then it is likely counterfeit. We do not rely on this as the sole test as some counterfeit cards are now coming with STEWART printed on them.
The Zeriva Anti-Counterfeit process uses of all these steps to insure you receive only genuine Cisco hardware for your network.
Note 1: Anti-Counterfeit pictures are from Andover Consulting Group, Inc. and are used with permission.