Wireless connections are great for most purposes. However, wired connections (using ethernet cables) provide better performance, reliability and speed in most circumstances.
Ethernet cables are simply networking cables that help to establish wired connections/networks. Many devices including switches, routers, certain computers, and laptops support Ethernet cable connections to form a local area network for fast connections. Ethernet cables may look like phone cables but have vastly different functions and forms. For example, ethernet cables usually come with eight wires as opposed to the four present in phone cables.
Ethernet cables are most commonly required in offices where there are a lot of obstacles and walls surrounding machines. WiFI connections usually fail to deliver adequate performance in such environments. Ethernet cable connections are also almost a requirement for activities such as online multiplayer video gaming, HD video meetings, and the upload of large files.
The best ethernet cables support multiple industry standards, such as Category 6 and Category 5, among others. Other features include maximum length before there is signal loss and support for higher internet connection speeds.
The best ethernet cables in 2023 are given below:
- DbillionDa CAT 8 (Best Overall)
- DanYee CAT 7 (Best for Performance)
- Amazon Basics CAT 7 (Most Affordable)
- Amazon Basics Cat 6 Cable (Best For Durability)
- Ugreen Flat Ethernet Cable – Cat 7 (Best Compatibility)
- Dacrown Weatherproof Ethernet Cable – Cat 8 (Best For Outdoor Use)
1. DbillionDa CAT 8 (Best Overall)
DBillionDa Cat 8 is without a doubt the best ethernet cable for any type of task. The cable has a Cat 8 rating. That means DbillionDa CAT can support data transmission speeds close to 40 Gbps at 2000 Mhz. The DBillionDa Cat 8 offers great durability, quality, and protection against signal loss. Some versions of DbillionDa are waterproof and corrosion-resistant. The unique benefit of DbillionDa Cat 9 is a combination of lots of good features which make the cable almost unbreakable. DbillionDa Cat 8 cables also have the ability to withstand outdoor weather. Currently, DbillionDa Cat 8 cables are available anywhere from 3ft to 150ft. The price of DbilllionDa Cat 8 can range anywhere from $24 to $43 at standard length.
2. DanYee CAT 7 (Best for Performance)
Since DanYee Cat 7 supports Cat 7 standard, there are not a lot of ethernet cables that offer more performance. The unique feature of DanYee Cat 7 is the cable’s ability to provide seamless network communications. Most models of DanYee Cat 7 come covered with an exterior jack that allows the cable to bend at angles that other cables can’t. The outer layer offers more protection against signal loss and in terms of compatibility, the DanYee Cat 7 works for pretty much all devices, including desktops and laptops. The DanYee Cat 7 supports data transmission speeds of up to 10 Gbps with a 600 Mhz signal rate. And while the DanYee Cat 7 may not be the fastest ethernet cable out there, the nylon exterior and smooth signal transmission more than make up for that shortcoming. One disadvantage of the DanYee Cat 7 is that some models tend to disconnect from the port without any user interference.
The price of the DanYee Cat 7 is anywhere from $6.99 to $38.99, depending on the length of the cable and the model chosen.
3. Amazon Basics CAT 7 (Most Affordable)
The Amazon Basics Cat 7 is the best ethernet cable for those looking for high performance on a budget. The Amazon Basics Cat 7 offers reliable performance and fast speeds and is able to transfer data up to 10 Gbps and bandwidth up to 600 Mhz. The most unique feature of the Amazon Basics Cat 7 is the ability to withstand electromagnetic interference. That is enabled by better shielding than the rest of the competition. With widespread compatibility, the Amazon Basics Cat 7 is suitable for all types of uses, even in some of the older network systems. Currently, the Amazon Basics Cat 7 is available from anywhere between 3 ft to 30 ft. So even though the available length is not as long as some of the other cables on this list, the Amazon Basics Cat 7 is more than capable of connecting devices such as printers, servers, and computers to a fast local area network. The Amazon Basics Cat 7 supports 10GBASE-T, 1000BASE-T, and 100BASE-TX. The price of the Amazon Basics Cat 7 starts from $7.19 and goes up to $18.13, depending on the length of the cable.
4. Amazon Basics Cat 6 Cable (Best for Durability)
Even though the name mentions that the Amazon Basics Cat 6 is a Cat 6 cable, that in no way means this ethernet cable skimps on performance. In fact, in most categories, the Amazon Basics Cat 6 offers great results. The Amazon Basics Cat 6 is made for gamers on a tight budget. The Amazon Basics Cat 6 cable supports data transmission speeds up to 1 Gbps, which is ample for the vast majority of consumers with high-speed internet connections. The gold-plated RJ45 connectors make sure the connection is as stable as possible and that there is no risk of corrosion reducing connection quality. As a side benefit, the gold plated connectors increase the overall durability of the Amazon Basics Cat 6 cable as well. With a PVC jacket protecting the outer portion of the ethernet cable, users can rest assured that this cable will last a long time. The lengths available are anywhere between 3 ft to 50ft, which may not be long but at least ensures zero signal loss due to distance. If users can see past the Cat 6 rating and some missing advanced wiring features, the Amazon Basics Cat 6 cable is good value for money with fantastic connectors. The price of the Amazon Basics Cat 6 cable is between $6.84 to $14.04 depending on length.
5. Ugreen Flat Ethernet Cable – Cat 7 (Best Compatibility)
When it comes to universal compatibility, no other cable is as good as the Ugreen Flat Ethernet Cable. Because of the Ugreen ethernet cable’s shape, it is often recommended for under-the-carpet usage. With support for almost all electronic devices that have an ethernet port, the Ugreen works with everything including consoles, computers, smart devices, and laptops. Any external interference is drastically minimized via high-quality shielding. The Cat 7 cord ensures top performance in all sorts of environments. The shielded twisted pair in the interior further boost performance and reliability. With a flexible design and easy cable management, the Ugreen offers a very robust product. The Ugreen ethernet cable supports data transmission up to 10 Gbps and bandwidth up to 600 Mhz, which is essentially top of the line in the industry. The lengths come in ranges between 1 meter and 20 meters and the cost of the Ugreen flat Ethernet cable starts from $6.99.
6. Dacrown Weatherproof Ethernet Cable – Cat 8 (Best For Outdoor Use)
The Dacrown Weatherproof Ethernet cable is a Cat 8 rated ethernet cable that is perfect for use in outdoor environments. Ethernet cables that are designed for use outside need a tough exterior and high durability. Dacrown offers both in spades. With lengths reaching up to 150 feet and an aluminum foil shield, Dacrown keeps signal loss to a bare minimum even at longer lengths. A high-quality PVC outer layer, core made of pure copper and UV-resistant material make Dacrown the king of outdoor ethernet cables. Dacrown ethernet cables are also water resistant. The key unique feature of Dacrown is no doubt the cable’s ability to withstand outdoor environments, as well as its exceptionally long length.
Based on where the Dacrown is purchased from, prices start from either $25 or $34 and then increase with length.
Best Ethernet Cable Comparison
|1. DbillionDa CAT 8||40 Gbps||3 ft to 150 ft||2000 Mhz|
|2. DanYee CAT 7||10 Gbps||1.6 ft to 100 ft||600 Mhz|
|3. Amazon Basics CAT 7||10 Gbps||3 feet to 25 feet||600 Mhz|
|4. Amazon Basics Cat 6 Cable||1 Gbps||3 feet to 50 feet||250 Mhz|
|5. Ugreen Flat Ethernet Cable – Cat 7||10 Gbps||3 feet to 50 feet||600 MHz|
|6. Dacrown Weatherproof Ethernet Cable – Cat 8||40 Gbps||3 feet to 150 feet||2000 Mhz|
What are the Different Types Of Ethernet Cable?
There are three different types of ethernet cables. First is the fiber optic ethernet cable which is made of glass cores with PVC or Teflon materials providing protection. The sub types of fiber optic cables include SMF and MMF. The second type of ethernet cable is the Twisted pair cable. Twisted pair cable ethernet cables are mostly made of copper cores. Usually, two copper wires twist around each other. This results in less interference. Twisted pair cables have two types, namely the Unshielded Twisted Pair cable and Shielded Twisted Pair cable. The third type of ethernet cables are coaxial cables. Coaxial cables usually have a copper core in the middle part and material such as PVC or Teflon surrounding the middle part for insulation. The three sub-types of coaxial cables are the triaxial cable, RG-6 coaxial cables, and hardline coaxial cables.
How to Choose The Best Ethernet Cable?
The most straightforward way to pick the best Ethernet cable for any task is to look at the range offered and the required performance. Of course, with the best wireless routers, many users choose not to work with an ethernet cable at all. However, there are still many situations where a good ethernet cable can be very helpful. Users with high-speed internet connections such as 1Gbps and above should go with Cat 7 or Cat8 ethernet cables. Internet connection speeds around 50 Mbps and below are generally fine with a Cat 5 ethernet cable. A good way to know what internet connection speed the machine is getting is to run a speed test online.
For situations where big files will frequently be moving between different machines (including streamers uploading content to platforms such as YouTube and Twitch), an ethernet cable that can handle high-bandwidth tasks will make a big difference.
Even users who do not have to engage in bandwidth intensive tasks can go with some of the new ethernet cables just to future proof individual setups.
From a technical point of view, look at the cable speed and compatibility. Cable performance can change depending on whether the cable has shielding or not. Moving from Cat 5 to Cat 8 according to the speed of the current internet connection should be a good starting point.
Another factor to take into consideration is the building material. Cables with copper conductor cores can affect the final price the user has to pay for the cable and the performance observed when in use. The level of copper purity used in the cable will have a big effect on the final performance levels. For best performance though, go with an ethernet cable with 99.95 copper purity and oxygen-free copper wire. Budget users can go with an ethernet cable that uses copper-clad aluminum wires.
Note:An ethernet cable’s jacket is also of much consequence when choosing the best ethernet cable. If safety is a huge issue then go with a cable that uses a flame-retardant jacket. Look out for labels such as CMP, CM and LSZH.
What is the Difference Between Cats?
Generally, the main differences between different CAT ratings are speed, bandwidth, and supported standards. The higher the number in front of CAT, the better the signal-to-noise ratio, shielding from any interference, and performance levels. Higher CAT ethernet cables are also more expensive.
More specifically, CAT 3 cables are TYPE UTP with a max transmission rate of 10 Mbps and bandwidth of 16 Mhz. Next up is the CAT5 ethernet cable that is also of type UTP, and supports up to 1 Gbps speed and a max bandwidth of 100 Mhz. Then there is the CAT5a ethernet cable that is of type UTP, with max data transmission rate of 1Gbps and bandwidth of 100 Mhz. Moving to CAT6, users can access both cable types UTP/STP with max speed and bandwidth of 1 Gbps and 250 MHz respectively. The CAT6a ethernet cable type is STP with 10Gbps as the maximum transmission speed and 500 Mhz max bandwidth. Finally, there is the CAT7 ethernet cables that offer both S and FTP with max data transfer speed of 10 Gbps and bandwidth up to 600 Mhz. CAT8 offers pretty much everything that CAT6A does but over shorter distances. Transfer rates up to 40 Gbps maximum speed can continue to offer transfer rates as high as 10 Gbps when the length goes from 100 feet towards 330 feet.
What Length Is Needed?
Generally, the length of the ethernet cable required is that needed to connect the router and the primary device to be used. In the vast majority of cases, the length of the cable will not have much of an impact on throughput or bandwidth. Latency issues do, however, tend to arise as cables get longer.
What is the Best Type Of Ethernet Cable for Outdoor Use?
The best type of Ethernet cable for outdoor use is one with UV resistance. Depending on the outdoor environment, an Ethernet cable that allows easy burial is better than a regular ethernet cable with no accommodations for such a purpose. Ethernet cables that are fit for outdoor use usually have thick outer jackets and are waterproof either via a flooded gel or a special tape.
Some fire resistance can also come in handy if the length requirement is more than 50 feet. Again, if the environment has natural threats to ethernet cables, such as rodents, then ethernet cables that come with metal conduits are better than simple ethernet cables that only protect against sunlight and moisture. Generally, the CAT6 cable is considered to be a good fit for outdoor use but CAT5e is sufficient as well.