What are Ferrite Beads? Do you need them?

A ferrite beads is a passive electric component that suppresses high frequency noise in electronic circuits.   In other words, they prevent electromagnetic interference.  Why is this important to you?  Electromagnetic interference can degrade the performance of the circuit or keep it from functioning at all.  If you are transmitting data across a circuit, it could mean an increased error rate or a loss of data.

Ferrite beads are most commonly seen on power cords.  Check out the power cord nearest you.  Does it have a cylinder shape on the cord?  That's the ferrite bead.

A good example of electromagnetic interference is from the "good old days".  If you were watching TV, and someone started the vacuum cleaner, your TV would show lines or static.  That is electromagnetic interference at work.  Most consumer products these days have the beads built into the cords or onto the circuitry so we don't see this often anymore. 

A ferrite bead itself is not an electronic component.  It is a ceramic material with large portions of iron oxide and small amounts of other metallic elements.  These components are electrically non conductive meaning that they are insulators.

If your cord or cable does not have a ferrite bead, you can add one.  Click here to view our listing: Ferrite Core 10300  

So the big question is do you need them.  In most cases, you will not need one.  If you are running an office or location with a lot of computers, phones, data lines, and other electronic devices, it might be a good idea to use them where you could experience interference or data loss.