Does Ethernet Cable Quality Matter?


About Does Ethernet Cable Quality Matter? , The quality of an ethernet cable has a lot of impacts on the life and reliability of our network. 

While all the lines transfer the data, some of them have different capabilities as well.

The most common ethernet cables are Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a, with each being better than the other in bandwidth and performance, speed transfers, and resistance to interference. 

Moreover, the higher categories are more suitable for more demanding applications such as gaming, video streaming, or even transferring larger files.

In this article, we will look into different quality criteria for the ethernet cable and what suits you best. 

Table of Contents

Not All Ethernet Cables are Equal

Usually, we use wired networks, which are pretty easy to use; you just plug in the wire to the adapter and are good to go.

On the other hand, ethernet cables are a little complicated to understand with different speeds and specifications. 

Manufacturers divide them into categories and types, with the standard starting from Cat5.

Like all other Wi-Fi standards, they have different speeds and types for different usage. Some of the different categories are described below: 

  • Cat5: It is unshielded with a maximum speed of 100Mbps.
  • Cat5e: Available in shielded and unshielded form with a maximum speed of 1Gbps.
  • Cat6: Also available in both unshielded and shielded with a maximum speed of 10Gbps for runs around 180ft.
  • Cat6a: It is shielded with a maximum speed of 10Gbps.
  • Cat7 is shielded and uses a proprietary CG45 connector instead of the standard RJ-45.
  • Cat8: It is also shielded with a maximum speed of 25Gbps or 40Gbps at a distance of around 100ft.

Each new generation of ethernet cable has a better speed and specification according to the need.

ethernet cables network

Caption: ethernet cables network

What are good ethernet cables supposed to be?

Here is the breakdown of good ethernet criteria.

  • Performance: Good ethernet cables are helpful for faster internet data rates, speed, and bandwidth as they are from high-category ethernet cables.
  • Quality: A good ethernet cable possesses the quality of reliability and high-performance data transmission in any network area. So search for reputable ethernet cables so that one may find quality testing assurance and certified products.
  • Compliance: A good ethernet cable should meet all the company’s standards set by the organization of TIA(Telecommunication Industry Association).
ethernet connection connected to the computer

Caption: ethernet connection connected to the computer

How to choose a good ethernet cable?

So, starting with the question, does ethernet cable quality matter? The answer is yes because it does determine the cable’s longevity and plays an important role in your cable’s performance.

There are some crucial aspects of ethernet cables to consider when choosing a cable for yourself. 

Ethernet Speed and Compatible Matters

  • Speed refers to the data transfer rate, usually measured in Gbps or Mbps. So, choosing the perfect speed and category can influence your work and network with optimal performance.
  • Compatibility: The ethernet cable needs to be compatible with the network you are using to achieve the desired performance. 

Thus, by considering both speed and compatibility, you can easily select the preferred ethernet cable of your choice to enhance your network and performance. 

Ethernet Cable Craftsmanship Matters

Choosing the proper craftsmanship and build quality can highly impact the performance, reliability, and durability of your ethernet cable. Here are a few points to keep in mind before purchasing your specific ethernet cable:

Copper Conductor

Using a copper conductor not only makes the ethernet cable more pricey but also affects the performance of your cable. Additionally, you can find them in the market by the name of copper aluminum wire or just copper wires, respectively. 

The quality here relies on the purity of the copper, so the purer the copper, the higher the performance and less signal loss. Thus, a preference for an oxygen-free copper with 99.9% purity cable is given to prevent signal loss and better connection. 

exposed cables copper conductor

Caption: exposed cables copper conductor

Cable Jacket Rate

You can get the cables with two kinds of jacketing; flame-retardant jackets and non-flame retardants. It’s clear by its name that the flame retardant resists the spread of fire in any area. Hence, this is the reason why usually flame retardants are a better safety option for ethernet cables. 

Cable Connectors

The material on the ethernet cable is vital for signal maintenance. Thus, the conductivity criteria lie on silver > gold/copper > aluminum> nickel/iron.

Aluminum and silver are highly oxidizable. However, gold is not oxidizable; thus, it is the ideal material for a strong, long-lasting, and reliable internet connection.

Fewer chances of losing signals and no extra charges for changing the cables over and over again would be needed in gold conductors. 


Shield Twisted Pair(STP) influences the crosstalk a lot. The more shield an ethernet cable has, the more crosstalk it suffers.

It has two further types: FTP cable (Foil Twisted Pair cable) and SFTP(Shielded and Foiled Twisted Pair cable).

Unshielded Twisted Pair cables(UTP) specifically limit electromagnetic interference. Here the tighter the twisted pair is, the lesser the crosstalk.

Ethernet Cable Design Matters

A good ethernet cable design is vital in its performance, usage, and flexibility. Listed below are some pointers to keep in mind that how cable design matter:

  • Slim and Ultra-slim: These cables have a very fit and compact design with a slimmer profile. Thus, it is beneficial for rooms with limited space and improves ventilation and cooling across the cables.
  • Flat: These cables are easier to run under doorways or even carpets. Moreover, they are less hazardous and pretty easy to hide.
  • Solid core: These indicate solid copper wires as opposed to copper-wrapped aluminum. For larger spaces and longer distances, solid core copper wires are beneficial. 
  • Armored: These cables are environmentally friendly and corrosion free due to their thick layer to protect against any factors without damaging the ethernet cables by any means. 
  • Braided: They have a nylon cable on the outside for protection against flexing or other reasons.
ethernet cables

Caption: ethernet cables

Ethernet Cable Colour Matters

With respect to technical properties, the cable color does not matter at all. However, the cable vendors do assign a specific cable color to a particular connection or to distinguish it from the other vendors. Hence, to keep the setup more organized and differentiated, these ethernet cables with colors come in handy.

ethernet cables in different colors connected to the router

Caption: ethernet cables in different colors connected to the router

Ethernet Cable Length Matters

Each ethernet cable has a limited distance capacity, meaning every cable has an upper limit on how long it can be before having a signal issue or resistance. This can have a crucial impact on the performance of the ethernet cables.

Here in longer lengths, both ends of the cable should be close enough to receive signals quickly but far away to reduce EMI. 

For example, the maximum length of Cat5 cable before any disruption occurs is 328 ft which is 700 ft for Cat6. Ethernet cables can be long but suffer signal loss, especially if they cross over larger electrical appliances. 

 storage room ethernet cables

Caption: storage room ethernet cables


After knowing all the above information regarding the best ethernet cable of your choice and preferences, the only thing you will have in mind’s where to find the perfect vendor.

Without any doubt, click here, and choose CloomTech for the best cables out there.