These days, modern gaming is about being able to log onto your computer and play against friends, opponents, or even complete strangers online. This can add a new challenge to your gaming instead of playing against the computer itself and it can bring out the competitive edge you need to perform better than you ever have before.
Multiplayer online gaming is only possible, however, with a fast, reliable network connection – if you want to avoid lags and buffering during your game, that is. Rather than relying on wireless WiFi, you can connect your PC to a wired network source using an ethernet cable.
While the exact internet speed and quality can vary depending on the size of the ethernet cable, this is usually a more reliable way of connecting to your local area network. The type of ethernet cable you end up using will also determine how fast the internet is, but with so many options to choose from, how do you find the best option for your gaming needs?
This article is here to help you answer that question by first pointing out how we chose, which types of cables are best for what games, and some of the most important features you should consider before making your final decision.
Our Top Picks
Best Ethernet Cable for Gaming: First look
We couldn’t not choose the Jadaol Cat8 ethernet cable as our top choice due to its impressive bandwidth and data transfer speeds. It’s an excellent option for anyone looking to future-proof their gaming set-up or upgrade their existing ethernet cable.
Our second recommendation is this offering from DbillionDa which is another Cat8 cable, although shorter in length which makes it less suitable for larger spaces. Use it indoors or outdoors thanks to the extra durable PVC casing and weatherproof capabilities.
Perfect for those with fast internet speeds, the Dacrown Cat8 is a great albeit slightly more expensive option. It’s super long so it’s great if you have a large space, and it’s another cable that can be used both inside and outside.
Another great ethernet cable for gamers that’s also affordable is the MediaBridge Cat6 ethernet cable which perfectly hits the sweet spot of being long enough to reach where it needs in larger spaces without causing latency or lags in your game.
The best option for gamers on a budget is the Vandesail Cat7 network cable as it features faster transmission and data transfer speeds yet it retains an impressively low (and affordable) price. Now you can see why it was so hard for us to pick just five choices!
How We Choose
When it comes to gaming, an ethernet cable is an important component of your PC rig and it’s therefore important to get one that’s of a high enough quality that it can keep up with the demands of modern game titles. This will drastically reduce game lag and can result in a more fully immersive experience.
To help you find the best cable for your needs, we spent hours and hours conducting extensive research and exploring what options are available to gamers. We always want to make sure that the products we recommend are of the highest quality, which is why we also perform our own in-house testing on every product you’ll see on our site.
In order to narrow down the decision to just five choices, we screened each product according to a few key features that we believe you should consider when deciding which ethernet cable to buy, which we discuss in more detail below.
Things to Consider
We’ve come a long way since the world wide web became a part of modern life, with new advances in computer technology happening practically every day. To keep up with the improvements in the internet, ethernet cables have also seen multiple updates since then.
In the beginning, there was Cat3, shortly followed by Cat5 and Cat5e, then joined by Cat6 and Cat6a, and more recently we’ve seen the likes of Cat7 and Cat8 which are. The earlier categories are still available today but they deliver a slower and less reliable transmission performance compared to Cat7 or Cat8 which are designed for high-speed connections.
You should try to think about what you’re hoping to get out of your ethernet cable’s performance before purchasing one because then you can compare your needs to the limitations of each category to see which is the best option for you. As is often the case, the bigger the better, and the higher the category, the better the cable can handle the interface.
The information regarding the category of the ethernet cable will always be located somewhere on the packaging which makes it easier to find the one you need when you’re shopping, and it should also be written somewhere on the cable’s insulation.
Another highly important feature to think about if you’re replacing your ethernet cable is how well the copper wires will be protected by the shielding.
With good shielding, there’s no interference from the electrical conduit when you plug in your ethernet cable which will result in more consistent and reliable transmission speeds. There are few different types of shielding, and here’s what each option entails.
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
Ideal for home use, UTP cables can connect to numerous devices, but you’ll need to use a shorter cable and they’re not the best option for installations within the walls.
Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP)
Similarly, FTP cables have no shielding and in its place, you’ll find a global screen which helps to provide more protection and subsequently a more stable internet connection.
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)
Slightly different are the STP cables which feature a conductive mesh that covers each pair and creates a barrier to block out the electrical white noise. There are more suited to wall installation compared to the previous two options due to this added protection.
Shield Foiled Twisted Pair (SFTP)
Lastly, there are the SFTP cables which are a unique combination of both types of protection. In addition to the mesh covering, each pair is coated in a special formula to eliminate electrical interference. They’re the best choice for anyone who anticipates long run times, but they are also on the slightly more expensive side.
Bigger is better when it comes to the category, but when you’re thinking about how long your ethernet cable should be it’s important to keep in mind that with a greater length there’s a higher chance of latency and loss of data.
Avoid getting an ethernet cable that exceeds your actual needs. You can easily check by measuring the distance from where your computer sits to the modem it must connect to. This way you can clearly see what type of length you should be looking for.
Don’t worry about trying to work out what color ethernet cable you need, as the color doesn’t indicate much beyond differentiation. It can be useful if you’re using multiple connections in one router or server, but aside from this, there’s no deeper meaning to the cable’s color.
Frequency and Connection Speeds
The final feature you can’t make your decision without thinking about is the frequency of the ethernet cable, which is different for every model despite the fact that they can achieve the same connection speeds.
Most of the time, higher frequencies will reduce the level of interference which leaves the internet speed free from such disruptions when it comes to gaming so you can make the most of its full capabilities.
Best Ethernet Cable for Gaming
Cat8 ensures fast data transmission and bandwidth
Backward compatible with previous categories
Minimal to no interference thanks to the dual-shielding
Durable PVC casing protects the wire cables
Safe and easy to install
Home-use won’t make full use of the Cat8 capabilities
For problem-free gaming, the Jadaol Cat8 50 ft. ethernet cable is one of the best options available. It’s available in a range of lengths from 1.5 ft. to 150 ft. so it can suit any space, and the cable’s flat shape makes it much easier and safer to install than some other options.
This Cat8 cable can deliver 40 Gbps data transmission speeds along with 2,000 Mhz bandwidth, making it a faster and superior alternative to previous categories of cable. It’s also backward compatible with the previous Cat7, Cat6a, Cat6, and Cat5e, etc.
You can connect to numerous devices with the 50-micron gold-plated RJ45 connectors which are corrosion resistant and offer accurate data transferring.
There are 4 pairs of 26 AWG twisted conductors, and these boost the signal and therefore improve the overall speed and performance. The bare copper conductors are encased by aluminum shielding which is protected by an outer PVC jacket.
Dual-shielding eliminates electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI) as well as practically all alien crosstalk (AXT). When it comes to gaming, it’s hard to find an ethernet cable that could perform any better!
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Can be used with AI smart products such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Home
18-month warranty and lifetime customer service support
Waterproof and anti-corrosive shielding protection
Next, we have the DbillionDa ethernet cable which is another Cat8 option that provides extremely high speeds and super efficiency. Despite this, it’s a relatively affordable option with a reasonable price tag that’s almost at odds with its high-quality performance.
This Cat8 cable’s quadruple shielding consists of 4 foiled twisted pairs (S/FTP) and single-strand OFC wires (16 AWG) improves the overall quality so you can stream videos in high definition, listen to music, and game at Hyper Speed.
The weatherproof and anti-corrosive PVC has been upgraded so that it’s even more flexible and can withstand heavy-duty applications, including being buried directly. Use it indoors or outdoors depending on your needs as this impressive ethernet cable can handle either environment and will last you a long time with an 18-month warranty to back it up.
It’s widely compatible with things like Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, X-box, laptops, smart TVs, and numerous other devices using the RJ45 connectors. It’s also backward compatible with the preceding Cat7, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat5e, and Cat5.
High-speed data transmission and transfers
Ideal for use in homes with a fast internet connection
Can be used indoors or outdoors
Completely weatherproof and tensile-resistant
Longer cable lengths can sometimes affect performance speeds
Slightly more expensive option
For those with an already-fast internet connection, the Dacrown Cat8 ethernet cable can deliver a bandwidth of up to 2,000 MHz and a data transmission rate of 40 Gbps. It’s one of the best options for high-speed internet due to the advanced category, so you’ll have no problems playing your favorite games without lag or interruptions.
It’s slightly more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but the 26 AWG double-shielded core offers high performance to match the higher price. The aluminum foil shield and the durable PVC jacket casing enhance the cable’s lifespan for longer-lasting use.
You can use this ethernet cable indoors or outdoors as it’s weatherproof, waterproof, and freezeproof as well as tensile resistant. Wherever you need to install it, this 50 ft. cable can go, although what you gain in length you may lose in terms of stability.
If you’re thinking about future-proofing then the Cat8 Dacrown ethernet cable is a great choice for gamers, especially compared to previous versions of this product which are slower and less reliable.
PE cross insulation prevents crosstalk
The perfect length for larger spaces
Backward compatible with existing fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet
Velcro strap included for easy storage
Best budget option
Not as advanced as the previous cables we’ve looked at
Next up, we have the MediaBridge ethernet cable which is a Cat6/Cat5e supportive cable that’s 25 ft. in length. It’s a happy middle ground between some of the other options we’ve looked at so it’s perfect for slightly larger spaces where the distance between the install and the modem isn’t too great.
The speed this cable has to offer is different from what we’ve already seen, with 10 Gbps and 550 MHz, which is less advanced than the more recent Cat7 and Cat8 cables, yet more in line with the demands of modern-day gaming.
It’s protected by a certified CM grade PVC exterior which is 5.8mm in thickness and it shields the 24 AWG stranded conductors. PE cross insulation is used to separate the 4 twisted pairs and this helps to eliminate crosstalk.
There’s also a free Velcro strap included with the purchase which means you can easily loop the cable and put it away when it’s not in use for neater and more organized storage.
Oxygen-free copper cables at its core
High transmission speeds and data transfer
Snag-free clips design
Durable PVC exterior and effective aluminum shielding
Can be used for a range of applications
Great affordable option
Not suitable for larger spaces due to the 6.5 ft. length
Last on our list is the Cat7 network cable which is another affordable option that’s great for those who want to upgrade their Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cable without forking out for an advanced yet slightly unnecessary Cat8 cable.
It delivers high-speed transmission rates with a 1,000 Mhz bandwidth that’s more than capable of keeping up with your favorite games and 10 Gbps of transmitting data speed. This is up to 10 faster than your average Cat6 cable, so it’s worth the upgrade.
The premium cable core uses oxygen-free copper and the 4 twisted pair conductors are protected by aluminum shielding and a durable PVC jacket exterior. The snagless design ensures a longer lifespan as it prevents breakages on the clips and there’s also a cable strain relief boot.
You’ll be protected against EMI or RFI interference and you can enjoy accurate data transfer with high levels of reliability with the standard RJ45 Lan cable, and it’s perfect for a number of applications including network adaptors, cable modems, PS3, PS4, X-box, and many others.
So, there you have it. Now you’ve seen five of the very best of what’s on offer in ethernet cables, and after reading our ‘features to look out for’ section you should have a good idea of how to determine which ethernet cable you need.
While it can be useful to try and work out the exact speeds that the different categories can deliver, it’s worth remembering that the results can also be influenced by multiple other factors. For example, your modem and network provider can both affect the overall speed.
Ultimately, any one of the above cables would do a brilliant job of keeping you connected to the internet, online games, and competition with your friends. If you’re looking for high-quality performance then we can’t recommend the Jadaol Cat9 50 ft. ethernet cable enough, or alternatively, the Vandesail Cat7 6.5 ft. network cable would be a great choice for the gamer who doesn’t want to spend quite as much on their ethernet connection.