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The Best Ethernet Cables

🕚 Updated January 2023

Ethernet cables are as invaluable to networks as veins are to the human body; they allow data to flow freely to its next destination. However, not all are made the same. Here are some top selections for you to consider.

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  Best Overall Most Length Options Best Extra-Long Best Set Best High Speed
  Amazon Basics
RJ45 Cat6 Ethernet Cable
Cat6 Outdoor Ethernet Cable
Cat6 Ethernet Cable
Ultra Clarity Cables
Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cables
Cat8 Ethernet Cable
Our SummaryThis affordable Ethernet cable stands out for its reliable design and solid data speeds.A 100-foot UV-resistant and waterproof Cat6 Ethernet cable for direct burial with no conduit needed.This highly rated Ethernet cable comes in extra-long sizes and includes cable clips.This five-pack of 6-foot multicolored cables makes for great color-coding organization.This weather-resistant Ethernet cable provides fast data speed for demanding applications.
Pros✓ Affordable price point
✓ Sturdy and reliable
✓ Up to 1Gbps speed
✓ Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA)
✓ 100-foot
✓ For direct burial
✓ UV-resistant and waterproof
✓ 550MHz, 10Gbps
✓ Long and flat
✓ Comes with cable clips
✓ Highly-rated
✓ Great bulk option
✓ Affordable price
✓ Good color variety
✓ Waterproof and anti-corrosion
✓ Fast Cat8 performance
✓ UV-resistant
Cons✗ Rubber cover not ideal for some applications
✗ Not the fastest
✗ Conduit recommended
✗ May pinch wire if bent at 90 degrees
✗ Durability and length concerns✗ Color variety in five-pack is unclear✗ Lacks flexibility
✗ Not ideal for running under carpets
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The Best Ethernet Cables

Close-up of hand holding ethernet cable.

Buying Guide for Ethernet Cables

Close-up of orange ethernet cable.
Sogodel Vlad/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for the Best Ethernet Cables

Why buy an Ethernet cable?

An Ethernet connection is almost always faster and more stable than Wi-Fi, making it a great option for home offices and video game consoles. Ethernet cables are also the most effective way to connect Ethernet devices, such as POE switches and wireless gateways. In short, if you want a robust home network or a reliable internet connection, you’ll likely need at least a few quality Ethernet cables to get the job done.

What should you look for in an Ethernet cable?

  • Speed: In terms of speed, not all Ethernet cables are created equally. For instance, antiquated Cat5 Ethernet cables only get to speeds of 10 to 100Mbps, so they’re slow for most people in the age of ultra-high-speed internet. On the other hand, modern Cat7A Ethernet cables can have much faster 10Gbps data transfer speeds and improved bandwidth. Be sure to choose an Ethernet cable that’s suitable for the application that you have in mind.
  • Length: Naturally, selecting an Ethernet cable that is too short will force you to either find a new product or reorganize your setup. For this reason, taking measurements ahead of time can be a wise idea, especially if you’re unsure what cable length you need. However, remember that longer cables will see diminishing returns regarding speed, especially for cables that are 30 meters or longer.
  • Reliability: Your new Ethernet cable should be durable enough for years of reliable service. It should also be flexible enough for the given application. Ethernet cables tend to vary wildly in terms of sturdiness and reliability, so research before deciding on a specific cable.

What other factors should you consider when shopping for an Ethernet cable?

While it might not seem important, you should at least consider an Ethernet cable’s color. Most people prefer a color that blends in well, especially if the cable is used in a living area. However, if you are using the cables for a POE switch with a whole mess of other Ethernet cables, color-coding your setup can be a way to simplify your cable management. Also, if you’ll be running the cable along walls or molding, you may consider a flat Ethernet cable since these are easy to manipulate and maneuver while remaining inconspicuous.

Our Picks for the Best Ethernet Cables

Best Overall

Amazon Basics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Cable

This affordable Ethernet cable stands out for its reliable design and solid data speeds.

Pros: For anyone using an old Ethernet cable for gaming or other data-intensive tasks, upgrading to this Cat6 cable from Amazon Basics should improve speed and performance. While low in price, this Ethernet cable delivers up to 1Gbps speeds and is sturdily constructed to last. It also scores points for its quality gold-plated connectors, which gives the impression that Amazon didn’t cut corners with this budget-friendly cable.

Cons: Some may find this cable’s boot is too chunky for some switches with minimal clearance between Ethernet ports. Also, as a Cat6 cable, this product will be a huge upgrade for many people. However, its transfer speeds of up to 1Gbps may not hold well with the data speed demands of the next decade.

Bottom Line: With its affordable price, respectable data speeds, and solid build quality, there’s not much else you can ask for from an Ethernet cable. This one also comes in many different sizes, so there’s likely a version suitable for your specific application.


Best for Outdoors

GearIT Cat6 Outdoor Ethernet Cable

A 100-foot weather-resistant Cat6 Ethernet cable for direct burial with no conduit needed.

Pros: This 100-foot Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) Ethernet cable makes a fantastic option for connecting to PoE switches, outdoor Wi-Fi access points, or networks between external buildings. An excellently designed direct burial outdoor cable, the GearIT features a thick UV-resistant and waterproof outer jacket. If you’re a gamer or remote worker who depends on fast internet speed and broader 550MHz bandwidth for moving from room to room and up to 10Gbps speed, this Cat6 Ethernet cable may be what you need to up your game.

Cons: Though this outdoor cable is built to make conduit unnecessary, it is recommended that you do so. Also, though it’s soft and flexible, the four twisted pairs of CCA inside may pinch if you try to bend it at a hard 90 degrees.

Bottom Line: Hook the GearIT Cat6 Ethernet cable to your router to avoid latency. This outdoor cable is suited for weather throughout the year and is a prime product for tapping into underground high-speed internet.


Best Extra-Long

Jadaol Cat 6 Ethernet Cable

This highly-rated Ethernet cable comes in extra-long sizes and includes cable clips.

Pros: Featuring size options up to 200 feet, the Jadaol Cat6 Ethernet Cable is a great Ethernet cable for those who put a premium on length and affordability. This cable also scores points for its convenience, with plenty of cable clips and black-and-white versions to suit your space.

Cons: Although this Ethernet cable is highly rated, it’s worth mentioning that some may find their cable failing prematurely, usually within a year or two. Also, the cable may be slightly shorter than what you expect.

Bottom Line: While this isn’t an Ethernet cable with top-notch data transfer speeds, it will likely meet the average consumer’s needs. Its slim design and exceptional flexibility also make it an extremely forgiving Ethernet cable to work with.


Best Set

Ultra Clarity Cables Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cables

This five-pack of 6-foot multicolored cables makes for great color-coding organization.

Pros: For those who want more than black-and-white options in Ethernet patch cables, this multicolored pack by Ultra Clarity Cables may be just the thing. They’re not just colorful but helpful if you’re trying to connect more than a couple of cables to patch panels; color coding can bring order to cable chaos. Each Cat 6 Ethernet cable features eight gold-plated copper conductors. Inside the PVC jacket of each cable is a PE cross insulation to isolate the four UTPs (unshielded twisted pairs) to prevent crosstalk.

Cons: It’s hard to say which colors you’ll receive in the five-pack based on the product image.

Bottom Line: Ultra Clarity Cables patch cables come in multiple quantities and many different lengths. All of them are compatible with Cat6 Ethernet cables for greater bandwidth and are backward compatible if you run a Cat5 network, though the latter connection will be slower. The bottom line is a set of quality-made, colorful Ethernet patch cables.


Best High Speed

DbillionDa Cat8 Ethernet Cable

This weather-resistant Ethernet cable provides fast data speed for demanding applications.

Pros: If you’re in the market for an Ethernet cable that can be used outdoors in a pinch, this DbillionDa cable’s waterproof and anti-corrosion PVC coating is durable enough for the job. To sweeten the value, we’re talking Cat8 speeds that are fast enough for any application you can throw at it. If your lifestyle requires lightning-fast data transfer for work or play, you can’t go wrong with this cable.

Cons: This Ethernet cable is far from flat, and it’s not the most flexible option on the market. While this is understandable, given its durability, it’s probably not the type of low-profile cable you would run under a carpet in your living room.

Bottom Line: Thanks to its durable, water-resistant design and impressive UV resistance, this is a suitable cable for demanding applications, including outdoor projects. That being said, its lack of flexibility can complicate some projects.

Final Thoughts

Ethernet cables vary in terms of technology, durability, and even design. As such, it’s essential to do your research when buying new Ethernet cables. If you take the time to select the perfect cable for your application, you’re unlikely to regret your purchase after all is said and done.

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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