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Using Ethernet cable instead of having to rely on Wi-Fi is a great way to get the best possible connection when gaming. They are better performing whilst also providing a more stable connection. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is more susceptible to high latency and congestion.
Combine these cables with a network switch with gamers in mind to really take your gaming experience to the next level. One of my favorites is the NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000.
In a hurry?
If you don’t have much time, use the links below to quickly find my favorite Ethernet cables for gaming on Amazon.
Best Cat5e Ethernet Cable: Cable Matters
Best Cat6 Ethernet Cable: AmazonBasics
Best Cat6a Ethernet Cable: Monoprice
Best Cat7 Ethernet Cable: Vandesail
Best Shielded Ethernet Cable: Cable Matters
Best Bulk Ethernet Cable: Fast Cat
The Comparison Table
|Category||Length||Pack Size||Maximum Speed||Bandwidth|
|Cable Matters||Cat5e||1 ft - 10 ft||8||1 Gbps||350 MHz|
|AmazonBasics||Cat6||3 ft - 50 ft||1 - 24||1 Gbps||250 MHz|
|Monoprice||Cat6a||0.5 ft - 50 ft||5 or 10||10 Gbps||550 MHz|
|Vandesail||Cat7||3 ft - 49 ft||1 - 10||10 Gbps||1,000 MHz|
|Cable Matters||Cat6a||1 ft - 200 ft||1 - 5||10 Gbps||550 MHz|
|Fast Cat||Cat5e||1000 ft||1||1 Gbps||350 MHz|
Best Ethernet Cable for Gaming
1. Best Cat5e Ethernet Cable – Cable Matters
Cable Matters are providing a very cost-effective solution to using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi with this pack of eight Cat5e cables with each being 10 ft in length.
The connectors use 50-micron gold-plated contacts and the snagless molds improve durability and ensure a secure connection. They are resistant to corrosion and the molded boots also help to relieve strain on the cable.
The cable is durable, yet remains flexible, so you shouldn’t have any issues if you need to run it around a corner or position it at an angle.
Despite being Cat5e cable, which is an older standard, this one still performs well, delivering speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Whereas other Cat5e cables only allow for a maximum bandwidth of 100 MHz, this one can support up to 350 MHz to provide high-speed data transfer to and from your gaming PC or games console.
One thing to keep in mind with these cables is that the longest you can buy is 10 ft. If you need longer cables, you will need to check out some of the other cables featured below.
2. Best Cat6 Ethernet Cable – AmazonBasics
AmazonBasics are known for producing some very good products at an affordable price; their Cat6 Ethernet cables are no exception.
These Cat6 cables feature a durable outer PVC jacket to protect the internal wires and the RJ45 connectors are gold-plated for better data transfer and corrosion-free connectivity.
They can transmit data at speeds up to 1 Gbps and provide 250 MHz bandwidth, so whether you are gaming, streaming video or using cloud-based applications, these cables will do the job perfectly.
In the box, you receive five 10 ft Cat6 cables, but AmazonBasics do provide other options in terms of both length of the cable and quantity. You can have as little as 3 ft of cable up to 50 ft, and you can buy just a single cable or a pack of 24.
AmazonBasics also provides a 1-year limited warranty with your purchase.
Some people have reported that the jacks are surrounded by thick rubber that sticks out a bit too much and prevents the clip from clicking into place in some circumstances. Although the cable can be inserted and provide a connection, it is much more susceptible to being removed when caught.
Thankfully, despite the rubber being thick, it’s not hard plastic, so a sharp knife is more than capable of removing some of the excess rubber.
Other than this minor design flaw, these AmazonBasics Cat6 Ethernet cables will be great for anyone looking to start using Ethernet for their gaming sessions.
3. Best Cat6a Ethernet Cable – Monoprice
These Cat6a cables from Monoprice are quite unique in that they are half the size of standard Cat6a cables but in thickness rather than length. They measure in at a very slim 0.149” by 0.29”.
With these cables, you can fit more cables in the same space, saving you both time and money when adding additional cables or replacing faulty ones.
The cable boot also features a narrow design whilst remaining flexible and resistant to snagging.
Monoprice offers great flexibility when it comes to the length of the cable; they can be as short as 0.5 ft but extend as long as 50 ft. You are a bit more limited in terms of quantity, though. You have a choice of a pack of five or a pack of ten cables.
These Ethernet cables come in a variety of colors too. I particularly liked how you can buy a multi-colored pack should you wish to color coordinate your cables based on the device you are connecting them to. This is an easy way of quickly being able to identify your devices especially if you have a large number connected.
Being Cat6a cable, these are capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 Gbps, but in reality, you won’t be able to make use of these speeds. They are therefore probably not worth upgrading to if you are already using Ethernet cable for gaming, but are worth considering if you are buying new given how affordable they are.
Something to note is that the price of these cables can vary quite a bit when comparing the different colors of the same length and five and ten packs. Pick the “wrong” color and you could find yourself spending almost the same amount for a five-pack of one color as you would for a ten pack of another, despite being the same length.
4. Best Cat7 Ethernet Cable – Vandesail
These high-performing Cat7 Ethernet cables from Vandesail can deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps whilst supporting bandwidth up to 1,000 MHz.
They feature a flatter design compared with other Ethernet cables alongside a full-cover gold plate connector with tri chip to ensure high-speed point to point data transmission.
The four twisted pair sets are made using oxygen-free copper cable core and are wrapped with aluminum foil to shield them from interference and maintain a stable connection in addition to providing better protection from crosstalk.
Various lengths of cable are available to choose from with a 3 ft cable being the shortest and 49 ft being the longest.
What I particularly like about these cables is that you have a choice of two different designs; flat and rounded. Being a fraction of the size compared with those that are rounded, the flat cables are great for space-saving, especially if you plan on attaching them to a wall.
Whereas the rounded cables measure in with a diameter of 0.27”, the flat cables are just 0.07”. These flat cables would be fantastic for running under the carpet should you need to.
My only minor complaint is not with the product itself, but the listing on Amazon. It would help if they separated the flat and rounded cables as these have been combined with both different colors and different pack sizes.
This results in seventeen different choices that you have to try and pair up with the length of cable you want. My advice is to check each carefully to make sure you choose the correct style, color, pack size, and length.
Regardless of this, these cables may cost slightly more than the others featured on this list, but I feel it is worth it for the flat, durable design. You are also future-proofing yourself for when Internet speeds reaching closer to 10 Gbps are more realistic.
5. Best Shielded Ethernet Cable – Cable Matters
For protection against crosstalk and other interference, you may want to consider these shielded Cat6a cables from Cable Matters.
Being Cat6a, they can deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps with a high bandwidth of up to 500 MHz for high-speed data transfer when you are gaming.
The SFTP (Screened Foiled Twisted Pair) shielding can prevent electromagnetic interference from other devices whilst also reducing crosstalk noise. The connectors used 50-micron gold-plated contacts and snagless molds to resist corrosion and provide a better connection.
Cable Matters provide the best choice of cable lengths; you can have a cable as short as 1 ft or go as long as 200 ft. You will have to pay for just the single cable at the longer lengths, but those that are shorter come in a pack of five.
In regards to color choice, you are limited to either blue or black, but for most people, this won’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Being shielded, you may expect that this cable can be used outdoors. Whilst it will resist interference, it is not outdoor rated and can’t be exposed to sunlight, rain or outdoor temperatures.
If you are looking for a cable to run outdoors, look one for one that is SSTP (Screened Shielded Twisted Pair) certified. They will be more expensive, but you won’t have to keep replacing them due to damage from the elements.
Although most people won’t get a great deal of benefit from using shielded cabling, it is reassuring to know the protection is there, and you can’t argue with the choice of cable length and its ability to deliver great performance.
6. Best Bulk Ethernet Cable – Fast Cat
If, like me, you would prefer to make your own Ethernet cable at exactly the right length you need, consider buying it in bulk.
This box from Fast Cat contains 1,000 ft (305m) of Cat5e cable that should cater for even the largest of home networks. The cable can deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps with bandwidth up to 350 MHz.
The box itself is definitely solid and well made; it is rigid and has a splash-proof coating. Rolling the cable out of the box is a smooth process that doesn’t result in the cable getting caught or snagged thanks to the large mouth design.
Even though the cable is not shielded, the four wristed pairs use multiple pitches for reduced noise and a clean, uninterrupted connection. The polyethylene insulation makes the cable more durable and provides resistance to bending or breaking.
Fast Cat also provides a choice of 9 different colors.
One feature I particularly liked about this cable is that there is no center divider which makes it slimmer than most other cables. Again, the slimmer the better in my opinion as it makes for a cleaner installation.
Purchasing a pre-made cable is certainly more convenient and some people will prefer to spend that bit extra for the convenience factor, but do consider buying cable in bulk. Not only will you potentially save a considerable amount of money, especially if you need several different lengths, but being able to terminate Ethernet cable is always a useful skill to have.
Ethernet Cable Buyer’s Guide
Ethernet Cable Category
Ethernet cables fall into different categories depending on the standard in which they meet.
The different types are rated as Category 5, Category 5e, Category 6 and so on, but these are usually shortened to be more commonly referred to as Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, etc.
Cat7 is the newest and fastest type of Ethernet cable, but Cat5e is still commonly used despite it being a much older standard. The performance Cat5e cable offers will be perfectly suitable for the majority of people.
All Ethernet cable is backward compatible; the newer standards simply support transferring data at faster speeds compared with the older standards.
Each new iteration of Ethernet cable also brings reduced crosstalk to improve the overall performance of the data traveling from one device to another.
Here is a handy table to summarize the different types of Ethernet cable you can expect to find in a home network and the different speeds they can offer.
|Length (Meters)||10 Mbps||100 Mbps||1 Gbps||10 Gbps||PoE?||MHz|
|Cat6||100 (55 for 10 Gbps)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||250|
Ethernet cables will differ in speed, noise resistance, maximum cable length and frequency depending on their category. My opinion is that Cat5e should be more than good enough for your home network as it does provide gigabit speeds.
You may also like: What Is the Difference Between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 Cable?
Length of the Cable
It is crucial to purchase an Ethernet cable that is long enough to connect your devices with one another. In this case, you will be connecting your PC or games console to your router or network switch that could well be in a different room of your home.
I would always recommend buying a cable that is longer than you need. You can always shorten a longer cable but you can’t lengthen a shorter cable.
The last thing you want to do is get all of your gear set up and buy the cable only to realize it is too short by just a few inches.
Measure twice, buy once, and remember to get more than you need.
One thing to bear in mind is that the maximum recommended limit for the length of an Ethernet cable is 100 meters. Lengths of cable longer than this may still only allow you to send and receive data, but you could still experience some problems.
100m of cable should be way more than enough for most people, so this shouldn’t be much of a concern.
Related article: How Far Can You Run an Ethernet Cable?
Shielded vs Unshielded
There is a noticeable difference in price when comparing shielded and unshielded Ethernet cable, with those that are shielded often costing considerably more.
In addition to this, shielded cable is much harder to work with if you are planning on making your own lengths of cable.
Shielded cable can be nice, but will provide next to no benefit for the majority of people.
It is more needed in areas where there is a lot of potential interference like radio stations, factories, and power plants. It can also be useful when being run outdoors and the cable is close to power lines.
If you want the very best, shielded cable is better than unshielded, but I really don’t think it is necessary.
Save yourself a good chunk of cash by purchasing unshielded cable.
These are the best Ethernet cables for gaming I have found that deliver great performance and come in a variety of different lengths.
When choosing an Ethernet cable, remember to check the category of the cable, the length of cable that you need, and whether you want it to be shielded to provide additional protection from crosstalk and other interference.
If I were to recommend one of the Ethernet cables on this list, it would have to be the Monoprice Cat6a cable.
Not only does Monoprice offer a fantastic choice of lengths and colors, but the slim design makes cable installation easier in addition to the end result having a cleaner look.
Being Cat6a cable, it is capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Although home networks aren’t anywhere close to receiving these sorts of speeds, you won’t have to worry about upgrading your cable when we can realistically afford these kinds of speeds on our home networks.
I would still also encourage you to consider the bulk cable by Fast Cat. Not only will this save you a considerable amount of money if you need several cables at differing lengths, but learning how to terminate Ethernet cable is worth doing in my opinion.