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7 Best Ethernet Cable of 2021 | For Surfing, Gaming & Streaming

7 Top Picks

4 Reviewers

70+ Hours of Research

31 Options Considered

If you are working with computers and the internet then you are almost certainly familiar with ethernet cables also known as networking cables. In fact, there is a good chance you already have one - maybe an out dated CAT-5 that was considered the top option a few years ago, but now you need a more modern option.

Buying an ethernet cable isn't as easy as it used to be, with more brands competing and with them getting more advanced. Rather than CAT-5e being top of the line you now have other options such as Cat-5, Cat-6A,  CAT-7 and now even CAT-8. In addition, there are ethernet cable accessories you can use such as getting the best ethernet splitter and connect several devices at the same time to make the most of the top internet provider service you are paying for. 

Whatever your purpose, perhaps some at home networking or possibly work-related computer setup, if you are working with physical machines then you probably want to know what the best ethernet cable for your particular situation is. If that is the case, then relax, I’ve got you covered. Even for console gaming or top laptops under 2000 bucks, these cables will be perfect as long as you also pick the best ethernet adapter for Switch or other consoles.

3 Top Ethernet Cables

1. [Best And Fastest Ethernet Cable] DBillionDa Direct CAT8 Gaming Ethernet Cable 

4.9/5

These cables from DBillionDa Direct use the new Cat 8 standard which is extremely high speed. They come in a large variety of lengths from 6 feet to 100 feet and are even weatherproofed for use outdoors.

  • Highest speed - Up to 40 Gbps lightning-fast data speed
  • It's made of 4 shielded twisted pairs which boosts the speed of data transmission
  • It's EMI Resistant which means that the cable provides highest fidelity for long distance data transmission 

4.8/5

This Cat 6 ethernet cable from Jadaol is a cheaper alternative to the previous entry. It should perform equally as well with the added benefit of having a very unique design. 

  • High speed - 10Gbps super-fast data flow
  • The unique flat cable shape allows for a cleaner and safer installation
  • It's triple shielded which makes the cable durable

The AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat6 Ethernet Patch Internet cable is a Cat 6 type which means that it supports up to 1 Gigabit per second and high-bandwidth broadband communications which will be very noticeable when comparing cat5 vs cat6 cable types.

  • High speed - Up to 1000Mbps for fast data flow
  • The Flexible Ethernet Cable Features a Durable Outer PVC Jacket for Protection 
  • 1 year warranty for your peace of mind

What to Look for When Buying an Ethernet Cable (AKA Internet Cord AKA Networking Cable)

To know what the best ethernet cable for you is you will have to know the specifics of what the cable is intended for. The type of network cable you will need is mostly determined by the speed of the internet you are using. 

There isn't much point in paying for high-speed internet if all you have to work with are Cat 3 cables. On the other hand, it would most likely be a waste to purchase a high-speed ethernet cord if you aren't going to use a higher speed of internet to match it and take advantage of its full potential.

Category and Compatibility

The more common kind of ethernet cable is Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cables because they are less expensive and easier to work with than their shielded counterparts. UTP cables come in a variety of types but the ones you will most likely be seeing are Cat 5 through 8. 

One of the more important things to remember is that a UTP cable can be substituted for a category below it but a lower one cannot be substituted for a higher one. For instance, you could use a Cat 6 in place of a Cat 5 but you could not use a Cat 5 or 6 in place of a Cat 8.

Best Ethernet Cable Reviews

[Best Ethernet Cable Overall - Must Have for Gaming] 

1. DBillionDa Direct CAT8 Gaming Ethernet Cable 

4.9/5

These gigabit ethernet cables from DBillionDa Direct use the new Cat 8 standard which is extremely high fast. They come in a large variety of lengths from 6 feet to 100 feet and are even weatherproofed for use outdoors. Cat 8 type cables are very powerful with a bandwidth of 2,000 MHz and the ability to transmit data up to 40 Gigabits per second, letting you take full advantage of the max bandwidth given to you by your internet provider with this  high speed ethernet cable.

It uses RJ45 connectors like the ones that have come before it. The connectors are plated in gold which, while not affecting performance in any way, is very stylish and will help differentiate it from other cables you may have. 

The entire cable is very resistant to EMI and, because it is Cat 8, the cable is very versatile, being capable of replacing any of the other Ethernet cables for whatever purpose you see fit which means you will no longer have to worry about things like cat6 vs cat7 or any other cable comparisons.

Overall, these cables are extremely versatile and perform at the highest of quality so they should suit any needs that you could have for an ethernet cable.

The only downside to these cables is their price, which is higher than the others on this list, but it is too be expected when looking at such a large jump in quality and is well worth the price if you can afford it. It's the top one for gaming, and also the #1 option for PS4.

DBillionDa Direct CAT8 Gaming Ethernet Cable Pros

  • Fastest, high speed ethernet cable - Up to 40Gbps
  • It's made of 4 shielded twisted pairs which boosts the speed of data transmission
  • It's EMI Resistant which means that the cable provides highest fidelity for long distance data transmission 

DBillionDa Direct CAT8 Gaming Ethernet Cable Cons

  • The price might be higher than the others on this list 

[Best for the Money] 

2. Jadaol Cat 7 Flat Ethernet Cable

4.8/5

This Cat 7 Ethernet Cable from Jadaol is a cheaper alternative to the previous choice and is a great, more stable alternative to wi-fi. It should perform equally as well with the added benefit of having a very unique design. This cable is flat, which means that it can be made flush with a wall or even be hidden under a carpet, this design is very convenient and should make your ethernet cable wiring much easier.

Jadaol has clearly thought of user convenience with this cable as they also provide 15 cable clips to go with each cable.

The clips are provided to help you with cable management and are excellent to use when running this cable along a wall or around corners like doorways, which some ethernet cables have issues with.

This networking cable from Jadaol is durable despite being extremely thin and has no performance issues.

It comes at 50 ft with no variability so it may be too much for your purpose but it is well within the 100-meter limit so there should not be much if any delay and it uses RJ45 connectors with the usual 250 MHz bandwidth.

The only problem I’ve ever had with these is that they come in a roll which causes the center to be stuck in that shape. Fortunately, it is possible to straighten it out with minimal stress on the cable and after that, there should be no further problems.

Jadaol Cat 7 Flat Ethernet Cable Pros

  • High speed - 10 GBps
  • It is made of 4 twisted pairs of conductors which reduce inductive interference 
  • It's triple shielded which makes the ethernet cable durable

Jadaol Cat 7 Flat Ethernet Cable Cons

  • Minor packaging flaw

[Best for Max Bandwidth]

3. AmazonBasics Ethernet Patch Cable

4.7/5

The AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat6 Ethernet Patch Internet cable is easily one of the best ethernet cables. It is a Cat 6 type which means that it supports up to 1 Gigabit per second and high-bandwidth broadband communications which will be very noticeable when comparing cat 5 vs cat 6 cable types. It also uses RJ45 connectors which support a 250 MHz bandwidth and are the most common ethernet cable connectors which means that it shouldn’t have any compatibility issues. For faster options go with CAT 6A, CAT 6E, CAT 7, or CAT 8.

Most Cat 6 ethernet cables come with a plastic core to keep them from bending too tightly which increases durability and extends the life of your cable. It also comes in a variety of lengths ranging from 3 to 50 feet which are all well within the 100-meter limit so you should be able to get the length best suited for your purpose and eliminate as much chance for delay as possible.

This ethernet cable should support most in-home uses with high speed without needing to be replaced for a long time. In the unlikely scenario that it is damaged and does need to be replaced within the first year of you owning it there is a one-year warranty that comes with the cable. It even comes at a low price despite being a high-quality cable that provides a solid internet connection, capable of letting you take advantage of max bandwidth.

The only problem you should face with this cable is due to the plastic covering on the connectors. They occasionally interfere with the clips that lock the cable into place when interfacing with a machine. Thankfully, there is a very quick and simple solution to this which is to carefully, manually remove a bit of the excess plastic. Not a very difficult task and one that is well worth it to avoid having to pay double the price for the same cable from another vendor.

AmazonBasics Ethernet Patch Cable Pros

  • High speed - Up to 1000Mbps
  • 1 year warranty
  • The Flexible Ethernet Cable Features a Durable Outer PVC Jacket for Protection 

AmazonBasics Ethernet Patch Cable Cons

  • Minor design flaw

These Cat 6 cables from Mediabridge meet the standard for Cat 6 cables, which means they should be fully capable of up to 1 gigabit per second speed and can exceed it up to 10 gigabits per second in the right circumstances. They should serve as a cheap alternative if you would prefer a traditional cable over the flat design of the previous Cat 6 entry.

This cable appears to come in only a 15-foot variety though I know that Mediabridge does sell Cat 6 ethernet cables of different lengths.

For this particular one 15 foot might not be enough for your purposes, but if it is then this should perform as well as any other Cat 6 type cable for you. 

There have been cases of Mediabridge delivering counterfeit cables when ordering from them, though they are usually quick to respond and replace these cables when they are brought up.

I have never had this problem happen to me but it is something to consider and one of the prices you pay when getting equipment for as low a cost as you do these.

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable (15 Feet) Pros

  • High speed - Up to 10Gbps
  • Affordable
  • The Cable includes a Free Velcro Strap

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable (15 Feet) Cons

  •  It might be unreliable

Tera Grand Ultra Flat Ethernet Cable is another reliable product for a fast and steady internet connection.

You won't have the same problem of the middle being bent into a circular shape, but if you do, this sturdy networking cable can be straightened out easily.

This particular cable is rated for much higher bandwidth and speed as it is a Cat 7 instead of the previous generation of  Cat 6 so if your old cable wasn't fast enough for your purposes, then this is a cheap upgrade that should serve you well.

Because it is a Cat 7 cable it is compatible with almost every situation you would need an ethernet cable for and the only comparison you will have to make is cat7 vs cat8 which shouldn’t come up very often.

Tera Grand Ultra Flat Ethernet Cable Pros

  • High speed - Up to 10Gbps
  • It's high quality shielded so it makes the cable durable
  • The flexibility makes the design convenient

Tera Grand Ultra Flat Ethernet Cable Cons

  • Minor packaging flaw

This Cat 6  Cable Matters is an excellent cable. It comes in a variety of lengths from 1 foot to 150 feet and is both flexible and durable. 

At shorter lengths, this cable is everything you could need in a Cat 6 Ethernet cable, but the longer you get the less reliable it is.

Cable Matters Cat6 Ethernet Cable Pros

  • High speed - Up to 10Gbps
  • It has molded strain relief which make the cable durable 
  • Its flexibility guarantees high-speed data transfer

Cable Matters Cat6 Ethernet Cable Cons

  • Unreliable at length

This is the same Mediabridge Ethernet Cable Cat 6 rated as the previous Mediabridge ethernet solution but this one comes in variable lengths from 10 feet to 100 feet.

It has the same problems originally mentioned in the other Mediabridge entry but it is certified for use at 100 feet while maintaining its 10 gigabits per second speed which is not always guaranteed with network cables this inexpensive.

These cables come with a Velcro strap attached to help with cable management and the packaging is extremely convenient. It keeps the cables rolled and snuggly secured while also providing a transparent window on the outside so that you can see your cable.

This makes the packaging from Mediabridge an excellent storage solution for cables that are not in use.

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable (100 Feet) Pros

  • High speed - Up to 10 Gbps
  • Affordable
  • It is compatible with any Ethernet Device

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable (100 Feet) Cons

  • Not the most reliable

Cable Lengths

The length of each category of cable is variable though for the categories we will be looking at you won’t find a cable length exceeding 100 meters. The length of the cable you are using shouldn’t have any sort of appreciable effect on the speed of the cable as long as you stay within that 100-meter limit. 

It should be mentioned that the longer the cable is there is a small delay but even at the max of 100 meters the delay is about 0.00035 milliseconds. If you start to extend past this limit you could experience greater delays and worse problems such as data loss so don't go too long on your data lengths.

Durability and Style

While looking for an ethernet cable you may notice a letter next to the category of the cable, such as Cat 5e or Cat 6a. These are technically their own cable categories separate from Cat 5 and Cat 6 specifically. 

In the case of Cat 5e, it operates at the same speeds but with better Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) protection. Cat 6a also provides better EMI protection and it provides better performance than Cat 6 which is more noticeable at higher speeds. 

These types of cables will be especially important if you are working in an area with a lot of EMI, but if not then they can simply be considered for their speed.

FAQs

1. What is the best ethernet cables?

The Top 3 Ethernet Cables that we recommend.

1. DBillionDa Direct CAT8 Gaming Ethernet Cable -
These cables from DBillionDa Direct use the new Cat 8 standard which is extremely high speed. They come in a large variety of lengths from 6 feet to 100 feet and are even weatherproofed for use outdoors.
2. Jadaol Best Cat 7 Flat Ethernet Cable -
This Cat 6 ethernet cable from Jadaol is a cheaper alternative to the previous entry. It should perform equally as well with the added benefit of having a very unique design.
3. AmazonBasics Ethernet Patch Cable - Best Cat 6 - 
The AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat6 Ethernet Patch Internet cable is a Cat 6 type which means that it supports up to 1 Gigabit per second and high-bandwidth broadband communications which will be very noticeable when comparing cat5 vs cat6 cable types.

2. What is CAT 7 cable used for?

A Category 7 cable, more commonly referred to as a CAT 7 or Cat-7 cable, is used to construct the Gigabit Ethernet cabling infrastructure. A CAT 7 cable is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 600MHz.

3. Does it matter what Ethernet cable I use?

Yes, it is important. While some Cat5 cables are theoretically capable of gigabit speeds, the small cost of upgrading to the more reliable Cat5e or Cat6 is likely justified. In reality, your Ethernet speed is determined by a variety of factors, and it is possible that you will never experience gigabit speeds regardless of the hardware and cables you use.

4. Does a good Ethernet cable make a difference?

The faster speeds of more modern, higher-quality Ethernet cables can make a significant difference. Frequently, problems arise when older network cables are used. The majority of us will have amassed an assortment of Ethernet cables over the years. These could be from previous standards and could affect performance.

5. What is the fastest Ethernet cable?

While Cat 8, the next generation of Ethernet cables, is on the horizon, Cat 7a (Cat 7 "augmented") is the highest-performing Ethernet cable available for the time being. As with Cat 6a and Cat 7, the Cat 7a cable supports data transfer rates of up to 10,000 Mbps, but the maximum bandwidth is significantly higher at 1,000 MHz.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.