You might think that wired internet connections are a thing of the past, but they still do have a place in society. Office spaces, gamers and people who live in houses incompatible to wireless signals still take heart in the reliability of the best Ethernet cables.
Ethernet cables connect electronic devices to an internet modem or router. Before WiFi, Ethernet cables were the standard way to connect to the internet in the post-dial-up world. And while most households enjoy a wireless signal for the internet now, WiFi still isn’t the most reliable way to surf the net.
Ethernet cables deliver stable and consistent connection speeds up to 100 meters in length. They also provide less lag in a connection. Of course, this is ideal for gamers who rely on a fast connection to win their contests. In addition, offices rely on Ethernet cables to keep their networks online, and some other consumers may need an Ethernet connection if their WiFi isn’t particularly strong.
If you need one of the best Ethernet cables, the one thing you need to know before choosing your cable is the various categories these cables can have. The lower the category number, the older that version of an Ethernet cable is, with Cat8 currently being the newest category. However, remember that the higher the category, the more expensive the cable will be.
- Cat5e – An unshielded cable that can handle a bandwidth of 110MHz and a data rate of 1000Mbps.
- Cat6 – An unshielded cable that can handle a bandwidth of 250MHz and a data rate of 1000Mbps.
- Cat6A – An unshielded cable that can handle a bandwidth of 500MHz and a data rate of 10Gbps.
- Cat7 – A shielded cable that can handle a bandwidth of 600MHz and a data rate of 10Gbps.
- Cat8 – A shielded cable that can handle a bandwidth of 2000MHz and a data rate of 40Gbps.
After looking into your data usage and connection speed, you should be able to determine which Ethernet category is the best for you. Once you have all the information you need, keep reading to learn more about the six best Ethernet cables to buy right now.
1. Dacrown Cat8 Ethernet Cable
For the latest and greatest Ethernet cable on the market, you need to be looking at a Cat8. In this Dacrown Cat8 Ethernet Cable, you’ll get a cable that can handle speeds up to 40Gbps, making it a great choice for everything from homes and server rooms to offices and advanced gaming setups. The SFTP cable is ideal for delivering a reliable connection while minimizing lag during gaming. It also includes a heavy-duty build quality yet is quite flexible, which makes running the cable (of up to 100 feet) simple. The cable also includes finger boots to prevent accidental disconnects and comes with 20 cable clips that let you mount your cable to a wall or a piece of furniture neatly.
PROS: Cat8 is the fastest cable currently on the market.
CONS: It’s only available in black.
2. Mediabridge Ethernet Cable
The Mediabridge Ethernet Cable is a tried, tested everyday Ethernet cable choice. Its versatility makes it ideal for everything from server applications to cloud computing, high-def video streaming and all your home networking needs. The design also includes finger boots that prevent accidental disconnects, while the CM-grade PVC jacket provides plenty of protection alongside an impressive flex rating. Additionally, the cable is supplied with a Velcro strap which makes keeping your cable neat and tidy especially easy.
PROS: The cable is supplied with a handy Velcro strap for organizing your setup.
CONS: Cat6 may be too limiting for some users.
3. Vandesail Cat7 Ethernet Cable
With lengths ranging from one to 100 feet, full-cover gold plugs and finger boots to prevent accidental disconnects, the Vandesail Cat7 Ethernet Cable is a solid choice for around-the-house and office networking needs. The cable includes in-wire foil protection which protects more effectively against crosstalk, plus the flat style allows you to run the cable under and around furniture without requiring as large a gap as round options. Furthermore, the construction features oxygen-free copper instead of regular copper which delivers faster speeds while encountering less resistance, too.
PROS: In-wire foil helps provide protection against crosstalk.
CONS: It’s not Cat8.
4. Cable Matters 5-Color Combo Ethernet Cable
If you’re going to be running multiple cables to different devices, it might be handy to color-coordinate your cable arrangement. In this Cable Matters 5-Color Combo Ethernet Cable pack, you’ll find five Cat6 cables in each one of five colors: red, blue, green, white and black. Cable length options range from one to 14 feet, and they are ideal for linking PCs, servers, printers, routers and other devices. The cables themselves feature gold-plated contacts, include finger boots and are surrounded by color-coded, flexible PVC jackets which make running cables between rooms and furniture more comfortable.
PROS: The differently colored cables make it easier to organize and arrange your connections.
CONS: The fact all the cables in the pack are the same length may be limiting for some.
5. Jadaol Cat7 Ethernet Cable
The Jadaol Cat7 Ethernet Cable sports a flat design which is ideal for users looking for a cable which fits in, under and around furniture without requiring a large gap. No matter whether you plan to run it behind a desk or under a door, this flat cable can fulfill your gaming, networking and other connectivity needs. It’s also available in either black or white and comes in lengths between 25 and 100 feet. Additionally, this SSTP shielded Ethernet cable comes with 25 cable clips, further neatening your installation.
PROS: The flat style lets you run your cable under doors or behind desks with a smaller gap.
CONS: Because it’s thinner, the wire is more susceptible to damage than thicker cables.
6. DanYee Cat7 Ethernet Cable
For a more durable Ethernet option, consider the DanYee Cat7 Ethernet Cable. It’s available in either black, blue, gold or white and in lengths ranging from three to 100 feet in length, meaning there’s an option for every Ethernet cable job whether that’s a short jump across your office desk or running from room to room in your home. Each end of this Cat7 cable sports reliable, gold-plated contacts, while the wire itself features a nylon-braided exterior to provide additional durability and strength against any rubbing or pressures the STP wires may have to endure.
PROS: The tough, nylon-braided exterior gives this cable extra durability and resistance against home and workplace pressures.
CONS: The thicker outer covering makes this cable less convenient to fit between furniture or to run under things.