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Best Ethernet Cables For Gaming

An Ethernet cable is an important link in the whole chain of home networking. It can connect your PCs to your routers, network switches, or modems, to form a wired network connection.

From its looks, it's almost identical (same shape and plug) to the telephone wires, with some minor differences from the inside. These cables have eight internal wires (instead of four in the case of telephone cables) and a larger plug.

Using this plug, you can put the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port of your PC.

But why should I connect my devices through an Ethernet cable when already have WiFi in my home, you may ask.

Well, there are two reasons for this.

First, not all devices come with built-in WiFi capability. Second, WiFi connections aren't as reliable as wired connections, and Ethernet connections also provide lower ping (very critical in online gaming) as compared to WiFi connections.

Different Types Of Ethernet cable

Although all Ethernet cables look same, there are different types among them.

Cat 3 Ethernet Cables

These cables were good for wired networks in the past (were able to support 10 Mbps connection) but are now obsolete.

Cat 5 Ethernet Cables

Cat 5 cables use the 5th-Gen Twisted-pair technology and are currently the most popular Ethernet cables, in terms of worldwide usage. It's backward-compatible with Cat 3 applications and supports 10/100 Mbps internet connections. 

Some better-versioned Ethernet cables have been introduced in the market, but cat 5 Ethernet cables remain favorite among the masses due to their low-price and high-performance.

Cat 5 E Ethernet Cables

This is an enhanced version of the Cat 5 technology. Although the traditional Cat 5 have four pairs of copper wires, Fast Ethernet (up to 100 Mbps) only uses two of those pairs. 

Cat 5 E specification is designed to provide better speed by using all four pairs of copper wires. This results in internet speed up to 1000 Mbps (which is also called Gigabit Ethernet).

That being said, these cables are compatible with Fast Ethernet connection too.

Cat 6 Ethernet Cables

Although Cat 6 cables also provide Gigabit Ethernet, what makes them different from the Cat 5 E is that they're not just an enhanced version of Cat 5. Instead, Cat 6 is a whole new standard.

Cat 6 cables can support up to 10 Gigabit connections over a limited distance - which is 164 feet for a single cable (10 Gbps speed if your distance is less than 55 feet).

They're not also popular as Cat 5 E because Cat 5 E came before the Cat 6 standard, but this trend is slowly changing with Internet speed getting faster with every passing day.

These cables also come in an extra version called Cat 6A cables, which basically covers twice the distance and faster speed as compared to original Cat 6 cables. 

Cat 7 Ethernet Cables

This is the latest, and as you would expect, and the least popular standard of Ethernet cables. 

Although their speed is only as fast as Cat 6A cables (10 Gbps), these cables have a transmitting frequency of 600 MHz (as compared to 500 MHz frequency of Cat 6A cables).

Needless to say, these cables are only meant for big organizations, and not for any home user.

There's a Cat 7A version too, with 1000 MHz transmitting frequency.

As you guys can see, these are a lot of types and that can create confusion for a non-expert. That's why we'll mention our best pick from each of the Ethernet standards mentioned above, like best cat 5 cable, best cat 6 cable etc. 

That being said, Ethernet cables are backward-compatible, which means that a Cat 7 cable is compatible with Cat 6, and Cat 5 ports.

As far as you're concerned with which type of cable you should buy, here are my 2 cents about this:

If you're building you home network from scratch, then its better to buy Cat 6 cables for all the wired networking

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But if you're just looking to replace a single Ethernet cable of your whole existing home network, I think you should stick with Cat 5/Cat 5E cables.

The reason for it is that a single Cat 6/Cat 7 cable around a bunch of Cat 5 cables won't make any difference to your network performance.

Stranded vs Solid Ethernet Cables

These cables come in two different variations: solid and stranded.

Stranded cables, as their name implies, have several strands of copper wires wrapped around each other. On the other hand, solid Ethernet cables have a single piece of copper for the connection.

Both of these variations have their pros and cons.

Solid cat 5 cables support long distances and fixed wires. That's why they're useful when implemented in big organizations' offices.

Stranded cables, on the other hand, are made for short-distance connections. That's the reason why they're used as patch cables (the Ethernet cable that's used to connect two nearby devices).

Shielded (STP) vs. Unshielded (UTP) Ethernet Cables

Manufacturers shield the Ethernet cable to protect them from any damage, but there are some unshielded cables too. 

While an unshielded twisted cable can be used for closed connections in your home, long-distance Ethernet cables must be shielded.

A typical process of shielding an Ethernet wire is to put insulation sheet on each of the internal wire. This also prevents the twisted-pairs from cross-talking. 

Other Networking Equipment

A lot of you may know it already but I'm sharing it here again for the beginners. A computer network is a complex setup. So much complex that its performance that can't be boosted by replacing any single hardware equipment.

Here are a few things on which a network performance depends: Your internet connection speed, your modem, your router, your client devices, number of client devices in your house, and of course, your Ethernet cable

So basically you can think of your network as a team game, and to win, every player has to perform well. I read somewhere on the web that said: "A network speed depends on its lowest denominator".

It means that if you have modem/router capable of 100 Mbps speed but your internet connection is capped at 50 Mbps, you'll only get a maximum of 50 Mbps speed. 

I hope this has cleared your misconceptions about networking. Now let's start this review about these Ethernet cables.

Best Ethernet Cables 2019 Buying Guide

1. HUACAM HCM07 Cat5 Ethernet Cable

HUACAM-HCM07-Cat5-Patch-Cable-best-cat-5-Ethernet-cable-for-gaming
  • 50-micron gold plated connectors for clean and clear transmission.
  • Can be used with PC as well as with PlayStation and Xbox.
  • best cat 5 Ethernet cable for gaming.

2. Mediabridge Ethernet Cable

Mediabridge-Ethernet-Cable
  • Supports both Cat6 and Cat5e applications
  • High bandwidth up to 550 MHz.
  • 24 AWG Stranded conductors. Each of the 4 twisted pairs are separated by PE cross insulation to prevent cross-talk.
  • Includes adjustable & reusable Velcro cable strap for easy organization & storage.

3. Belkin Snagless Ethernet Patch Cable

Belkin-Snagless-Ethernet-Patch-Cable-best-cat-5e-cable
  • UTP stranded copper wires with durabke OVC jackets.
  • 3 ft length is perfect for patch cables.
  • Premium snagless-type moldings to protect the connection.
  • best cat 5e cable in the market right now.

4. AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat 6 Ethernet Patch Cable

AmazonBasics-RJ45-Cat-6-Ethernet-Patch-Cable
  • 250 MHz Bandwidth.
  • Cat-6 Ethernet patch cable.
  • Cheap as compared to other cables.
  • Amazon Basics' 1-Year Limited Warranty.

5. TBMax Cat 6 Ethernet Patch Cable

TBMax-Cat-6-Ethernet-Patch-Cable
  • Supports up to 1000 Mbps speed and 250 MHz Bandwidth.
  • Comes with cable management clips.
  • It's an unshielded ethernet cable with snagless connectors.

6. Tera Grand Ethernet Cable

Tera-Grand-Ethernet-Cable
  • Each Twisted Pair in this cable is shielded with Aluminum Mylar Foil.
  • Gold plated and Shielded RJ45 Connector
  • 50 Micron Gold plated Contact Pins in each Shielded RJ45 Connector

7. Vandesail Ethernet Cable

Vandesail-Ethernet-Cable
  • CAT7, Shielded, and  flat Ethernet cable.
  • Each of the four twisted pair sets are shielded by foil.
  • Light weight and easy to wrap.
  • Clip protector keeps the RJ45 connector from unwanted snags.

8. Matein Cat7 Ethernet Cable

Matein--Cat7-Ethernet-Cable---Best-Cat7-Ethernet-Cable
  • Bundled with 20 Cable Clips for holding the network cable.
  • Easy to run under the carpet or line up against the wall.
  • Compatible with Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6A appliances.
  • Up to 600 MHz Bandwidth.
  • It's a stranded Ethernet cable.
  • Best Cat 7 Ethernet cable.

Conclusion

So, these were the overviews about best gaming Ethernet cables.

Obviously, this post was different than most review guides here. It's because I couldn't write much about these cables. That's why this post isn't as long as the other guides.


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