Do you need an ethernet cable for a gaming PC? Ethernet cables are an essential component of any gaming hardware.
Wi-Fi is improving every time, and many people are opting for a wireless connection. Still, you may need an ethernet cable to connect a modem and a router.
Further, every gamer knows that physical connection to his console is simply unbeatable. Wired connections ensure uninterrupted connections whether you play games or download the latest update of your favorite game.
So, let’s learn if it is okay without an ethernet cable for your gaming PCs.
Table of Contents
- The importance of network connectivity for gaming
- Overview of Wireless and wired networks
- Is ethernet better than Wi-Fi for gaming?
- What type of cable do I need for gaming?
- Which is the best Wi-Fi for gaming?
The importance of network connectivity for gaming
There is no need for any network connectivity if you want to play computer games as a hobby. You can find plenty of options for playing games offline.
For example, download and play a game on your console or disc-based computer games installed through digital distribution platforms such as Epic Games Store or Steam.
Alternatively, the modern gaming experience needs consistent online connectivity. You need to be online on your Xbox Live,
Steam, or PlayStation network profiles to enjoy the streamlined modern gaming experience.
When you are online, you get access to all the downloadable games, any latest updates, and several game servers that include other players from around the globe. Further, you need an internet connection to stream games from a remote computer.
You need an ongoing internet connection with impressive speed for all these activities. An interrupting network can create issues in downloading a game or stopping streaming a game.
You may also lose access to online multiplayer games. Dropping off the internet connection in the middle of the game won’t affect most single-player games.
However, a few may require internet access to digital rights management or some unique features.
For gaming, you need a network connection; however, which is better-“gaming on ethernet or gaming on Wi-Fi”- is still a point of debate.
Overview of Wireless and wired networks
The network connection for online gaming is either wired or wireless.
Wired networks setup
You will need an ethernet cable for a wired connection which connects your gaming console, laptop, or PC to the router for an internet connection.
A wired connection requires an ethernet port in a gaming device, an ethernet cable, and a spare ethernet port in the router. As you connect two devices with the cable, you become online. Wired connections are mostly very convenient, but when you want to run the ethernet cable for long distances, hiding the cable may become tricky. Generally, people hide these cables around skirting boards or under carpets.
On the other hand, in a wireless setup, the gaming device connects to the router through any Wi-Fi band (2.4GHz, 5GHz, or 6 GHz) to allow wireless internet and local network access.
You will need a wireless adapter or a device supporting wireless for wireless networking.
These are USB drives or PCI add-in cards with external aerial for desktop PCs.
You will also need a router compatible with Wi-Fi. Ensure that both router and device meet the specific speeds for maximum performance.
Once you set these devices, you can connect to the wireless network through your system’s settings. You will require the password when you connect for the first time.
Is ethernet better than Wi-Fi for gaming?
The answer to this question is not simple, and it depends on what you are playing. You may only need superfast internet speed in some games, while some require more.
For example, low latency is essential if you are playing games like first-time shooters or MMOs, where every millisecond counts.
Latency refers to the time taken to make a move/action, or fire a shot, in the game that happens on the screen.
When latency is measured in milliseconds, it’s called ping, and a good ping means less than 50 milliseconds.
You need direct and wired connections to allow quick data transfer from the device to the server and vice-versa. Thus, ethernet is a better choice than Wi-Fi if you want low latency.
However, no option can be the best; both have pros and cons for different devices.
Choosing ethernet or Wi-Fi while using gaming consoles largely depends on the location.
If you play in a shared space where multiple members want to join the game, aesthetics become more important.
You do not need an ethernet cable that runs through the area. Wi-Fi works best for these spaces as no wires are involved.
Also, you must know that not all consoles have an ethernet port; a prime example is the Nintendo Switch.
However, you can always buy an adapter to plug a cable, but Wi-Fi is always better and simple.
If you are using a portable device (console or laptop), using an ethernet cable will restrict you to a particular area. Thus, it does not make any sense.
A portable device allows you to use it anywhere, and Wi-Fi gives you the flexibility to play anywhere in your house. You only need to ensure that the area receives a good Wi-Fi signal..
However, you may miss on latency and reliability without ethernet cables.
Unlike portable devices, gaming PCs are large and bulky and thus are often kept at a particular location, and it’s not easy to move them frequently.
For such devices, it’s always best to use an ethernet cable for network connection. You can enjoy low latency and high speeds for games like MMOs and first-person shooters with this.
However, you can avoid the clutter of ethernet cables if you are playing casual games. In such situations, Wi-Fi is more convenient.
Wired network setup
What type of cable do I need for gaming?
You can never pick out a single cable as the eBay cable for gaming, as it mainly depends on the player’s location.
However, you can pick the best category of ethernet cable from the market. Ethernet cables come in different category numbers or CAT.
The number mainly indicates the quality ideals and parameters of the cable set by the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers or IEEE.
A high CAT number cable indicates higher quality and better grade. A high CAT number cable can support high speeds while receiving from the router and feeding into the device.
The best CAT number ethernet cable available in the market is CAT-8, which gets the most out of your ISP.
Many high CAT-rated ethernet cables support speeds higher than that provided by the ISP.
CAT-8 can handle a speed of up to 40 GBPS even in traffic areas, which is impossible with most ISPs.
Similarly, CAT-6 ethernet cable is amongst the best regarding the current Internet Outputs, and it can handle a speed of 1 GBPS.
It is always better to know the speed your ISP provides before buying an ethernet cable and then buying one that cannot accommodate that speed.
Conclusively, if you want to enhance your internet capabilities in the future, go for one of the best options as the price of these cables varies only a bit and mainly varies according to the length.
Which is the best Wi-Fi for gaming?
Suppose you have a Wi-Fi connection that is strong but lags often. The solution to this issue is to have a broadband package suitable for gaming.
You may choose the 5GHz Wi-Fi band, which may compromise on network range but decrease latency more reasonably than the 2,4GHz Wi-Fi band.
If you opt for Wi-Fi 6 band, you will have two options; it supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz, but if you use Wi-Fi 6 E, you can select from multiple options as it also supports Wi-Fi 6 band along with all others. In this way, you can avoid congestion on more crowded networks.
Almost all ethernet cables meant for gaming can offer more bandwidth than your Internet Service provider provides.
Once you have decided what extra capacity you need, picking Ethernet cables depends on the individual needs.
If you want to avoid the clutter of ethernet cables, you can choose flat cables, as you can run them under carpets and through door frames easily.
When using ethernet cables outside, look for cables with extra weatherproofing, as they can also be used underground and outside your home in harsh environmental conditions.
Go for braided and colorful cables for a more aesthetic look.
Finally, your choice may come down to the cable length you need.
At Cloom, you can get all sorts of custom-designed ethernet cables that offer high performance and reliability.