The best Ethernet cables for 2020

Kevin Parrish

Want solid, reliable network connections at blistering speeds? Ethernet cables are the fast lanes you need. Unlike wireless, they don’t suffer bottlenecks due to range. However, there’s just one little catch: They’re ugly. Cables drape from devices, run along floorboards, and sometimes gather like coiling snakes. If that’s not an issue, we list the best Ethernet cables you can get right now.

When shopping for Ethernet cables, you’ll see the term “patch” used in descriptions. If you’re not familiar with wired connections to a network, the term simply refers to length. Patch cables connect devices at short distances, like a PC to a router sitting on the same desk. If you are physically connecting rooms using Ethernet cables, patch cables typically don’t have the necessary length.

You’ll also find cables in the traditional “round” and “flat” forms. Flat cables are ideal when running wired connections between multiple rooms, as you can hide them under the carpet and rugs, or mount them flat against floorboards. Moreover, wires within round cables can break if they’re forced to bend beyond their original design. Thankfully, there’s a great selection of flat Ethernet cables on the market that allow you to easily network wired devices throughout your home or office.

Our favorite cable for the job is the

Vandesail LAN Network Cable

. It’s a flat, shielded Cat 7 Ethernet cable operating at extremely high speeds. If you don’t need the Vandesail cable’s high specifications, however, we have recommendations for Cat 5e and Cat 6 versions too.

Read on to find the best Ethernet cables for your modem and wireless router.

Also to read: How to choose an Ethernet cable

The best Ethernet cables at a glance

Vandesail Ethernet Cable — Cat 7

  • Length: 16 feet
  • Max Bandwidth: 1,000MHz

Cat 7 cables are the latest to hit the networking market and enable speeds of up 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). Vandesail’s 16-foot cable adheres to this standard while supporting older Cat 6 and Cat 5-based devices. Complementing its high performance is a flat design allowing users to install cabling under carpets and rugs or mount flat against baseboards.

Vandesail’s cable is perfect for most applications. It consists of four twisted pair sets (oxygen-free copper) wrapped in aluminum foil and encased in PVC material. The two shielded copper-plated connectors include gold contacts and clip protectors to prevent unwanted disconnects.

Although we list the 16-foot version, sizes range from 3 feet up to 82 feet. You can buy Vandesail’s cable in a two-pack on Amazon at a reasonable price, so you get double the cable for your money.

Vandesail LAN Network Cable

Mediabridge Ethernet Cable — Cat 6a

  • Length: 50 feet
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty
  • Max Bandwidth: 550MHz

While Mediabridge advertises this cable as “Cat 6,” the 10Gbps speed and 550MHz bandwidth listed in the description indicate it’s a Cat 6a product instead. That means you’ll need an Ethernet port supporting either Cat 6a, Cat 6, or Cat 5e connectivity.

This cable consists of four twisted pairs separated by cross-linked polyethylene to reduce cross-talk. It also features gold-plated contacts, a free Velcro strap, and a CM-grade PVC jacket. It’s ideal for streaming high-definition video, cloud computing, video surveillance, and more high-traffic applications.

Our list highlights the company’s 50-foot product, but Mediabridge also offers additional lengths from 3 to 100 feet.

Vandesail LAN Network Cable

AmazonBasics Ethernet Cable — Cat 6

  • Length: 50 feet
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty
  • Max Bandwidth: 250MHz

Amazon’s Cat 6 cable doesn’t increase the maximum 1Gbps speed over Cat 5e and Cat 5 cables. Instead, it focuses on lowering crosstalk. That means signals from one wired pair won’t interfere with another wired pair, which typically creates a “traffic jam” that slows your data. Improved shielding also reduces crosstalk between neighboring Ethernet cables.

Amazon’s Cat 6 cable features a higher 250MHz bandwidth, which is the number of times signals change state each second. Bandwidth essentially affects the cable’s maximum data rate, thus the higher the bandwidth, the longer the cable can remain at its maximum speed. Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables have a lower 100MHz bandwidth.

Our list highlights the 50-foot version, but you can find additional lengths ranging from 3 feet to 50 feet.

Vandesail LAN Network Cable

CableGeeker Flat Black Cable with Sticky Clips — Cat 6

  • Length: 100 feet
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Max Bandwidth: 250MHz

CableGeeker’s flat Ethernet cable consists of unshielded twisted pairs made of 100% bare copper wire. The two connectors feature a “snagless” design preventing unwanted disconnects, molded strain-relief boots, and 50-micron gold-plated contacts.

Like Amazon’s model, this cable offers a maximum speed of 1Gbps but improves over Cat 5 and Cat 5e products with better crosstalk protection and a higher 250MHz bandwidth.

You can get this cable in a two-pack (10-foot each) or as a single cable ranging from 1.5 feet to 150 feet.

Vandesail LAN Network Cable

Cables Direct Online 30FT Cable — Cat 5e

  • Length: 30 feet
  • Max Bandwidth: 350Mhz

If you simply need wired connectivity without the massive speeds, Cables Direct Online offers a great Cat 5e product. Its biggest selling point is the 350MHz bandwidth providing a highly stable 1Gbps data rate. The typical Cat 5a cable only has a 100MHz bandwidth.

This Ethernet cable features four, stranded twisted pairs with PVC jackets, 50-micron gold-plated connectors, and copper-clad aluminum conductors. It’s not flat and is only available in gray.

You can get this snagless Ethernet cable in lengths ranging from 1.5 to 200 feet.

Vandesail LAN Network Cable