If you are looking for an Ethernet cable that can stand up to your heavy gaming needs, you will want to consider a Cat 5e or a Cat 6 cable. Both can be interchanged and work the same way, but Cat 6 are the newest technology that perform better than Cat 5e.
Cat 5e are rated at 350MHz and Cat 6 cables are rated at 550MHz. For heavy gamers who download large files, stream a lot of media, or play online games, a Cat 6 would be the best option.
Should you upgrade to Cat 6 Ethernet Cable?
Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to upgrade to Cat 6, all of your cables need to be Cat 6 within your network; if you do not, your Cat 5e cables will slow down your Cat 6 performance and that is just counterproductive. We are reviewing the highest rated cables for both kinds so you can decide what your preference is.
If you have an older DSL modem, you will want to check your manual because sometimes they require that a device connect to it via an Ethernet crossover cable. All crossover cables and Ethernet patch cables come with RJ45 gold plated male jacks so they are ready to be attached to any Ethernet socket. Different colors are offered so you can differentiate between patch and crossover cables.
Businesses that have security sensitivities will use different colors to be able to identify what type of information will be on the network. For example, green for confidential data, red for top secret, etc.
Mediabridge RJ45 Cat 5e Cable
The Mediabridge RJ45 Cat 5e cable comes with gold-plated connectors for that extra touch of style and more accurate data transfer reliability. It will transmit up to 1000Mbps and has very heavy duty snag less molding connectors. I found the connectors very solid and they were very easy to insert and remove.
A drawback that I noticed was that the cable was kind of stiff; I had to manipulate it to go just the way I wanted it to. The price is very nice for this cable as well. I have noticed that cables similar to this can be very expensive in the stores locally.
In regards to using this cable with a gaming system - it works great! I was impressed that I didn't experience any network errors. I also tested it against my Bluray player and had no issues with it whatsoever. Streaming content never poses a problem either. The manufacturer states that it exceeds all the requirements for data transfer and after such a great performance, I believe them.
Belkin 3ft Cat 5e Cable
This Belkin Cat-5e Snagless Patch Cable is also a very inexpensive and sturdy cable. It is so sturdy that my children tripping over it has never caused it to break or malfunction. It is pretty short at only 3 feet so make sure you know how much length you need before purchasing.
The company makes different sizes, so if you need a longer one, don't fret. Something that I noticed since using this cable is that I have a full WiFi signal on my phone now when I would only ever have a couple of bars and it was always dropping.
It seems the signal from my router is actually better as well. A short cable makes a nice traveling companion since it doesn't take up a lot of room in my laptop bag and is just the perfect size for hooking up in hotel/motel rooms. I actually like using this in my entertainment system in my living room; the small size doesn't clutter up the space.
Belkin Micra Digital 15ft Cable
This is another great product that gives you speeds of up to 1000 Mbps with universal RJ45 connectors so it can be hooked up to any device.
I was very impressed with how flexible the PVC cable jacket was; I had to twist and bend it to get it to run along the wall. I've had a lot of issues with cables slipping out when moving my laptop around, but this sturdy little thing stays put for sure.
Buyers should be aware that it has a rubber cap on the end which can be a little hard to push, so people with limited hand use might find it a challenge, but otherwise, I like how it protects the end. This is a sturdy piece of equipment that should last a long time and be well worth your money.
50ft Cat 6 Ethernet Cable
This can be used to replace any 5e cables you might have. This cable has male to male connectors with a snagless molded strain relief. I did notice that the snag guards were a little flimsy. It has an Unshielded Twisted Pair - this means that the jacket is standard PVC. For as much length as you get, the price is quite right.
This cable was also quite stiff and took a while to straighten out; again, not a deal breaker, but just a little frustrating. If you decide to cut the end to run it anywhere, you might be disappointed that the wires are not very sturdy. They don’t seem to be made of copper, but some other kind of metal that is not as strong. But overall, the performance was actually pretty good.
RiteAV Cat6 50ft Cable
This cable gives you 50 micron gold plated connectors for even better, and clearer, transmission. I ran so many diagnostic tests on this cable and it rated perfectly every single time. Download speeds were so fast, I couldn’t believe it. For instance, something that usually takes me 30 minutes to download, only took me about 7 minutes.
This was my first Cat 6 cable after using 5e for so long and I was truly impressed. Not to mention the price! Getting such a better cable for so cheap was definitely a plus for me. When the cable is straightened out, it supports up to 1gbs.
For gamers that find WiFi is too slow and inconsistent for their gaming systems, this is a great choice. It seems to work very well no matter what type of gaming system you own.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Brandon Hart
Ethernet Cable Discussion Area
Jon on July 12, 2018:
Thanks Brandon. This was very helpful.
Louis on August 07, 2017:
Hello, the IEEE 802.3 standard specifies the physical implementation of Ethernet. This standard specifies that unshielded twisted-pair cables of category 5 or better is required for 1000BASE-T. Cat5 UTP cable supports the required bandwidth for 1000BASE-T. Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a... cables support a wider bandwidth but 1000BASE-T will use the bandwidth whatever the type of cable used. So the cheapest option is to keep your cat5 cable if you still have it (it is no more available) or to buy Cat5e cable.
Anonymous on January 13, 2017:
It depends on how much you consider "Tremendous." Cat 6 can usually hold its own at 1 gb/s, and I highly doubt you'd need that much. that kind of speed is usually used for small businesses and the like. Better does exist, but again, its overkill at this point. Cat 7 is usually around 10 gb/s, but I highly doubt you'd need anywere near that.
josh-geary-921 on February 01, 2013:
Hello, I was wondering if there were any trustworthy great quality Cat 6 ethernet cables that were 3 ft to 6ft but mainly looking for 3 ft if possible. Also I like to game and use tremendous amounts of internet. Would the Cat 6 be enough or is there better? Thanks.