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Does Ethernet Cable Matter for Gaming?

Online gaming is more prominent now than it has ever been, and more people are joining every day. Playing games online can be tricky, at least getting set up for the best experience is. With so many gamers joining the online scene, we decided to answer the question, does your Ethernet cable matter for gaming? Let us answer that for you.

When compared to a wireless connection, an Ethernet cable makes a significant difference to your online gaming experience. You can expect a more stable connection with less packet loss. However, you will be most pleased to know that your ping should decrease, which gives you a better experience.

There is a lot more to it than what we can answer in one paragraph. So, in today’s article, we will go in-depth as to what you can expect from using an Ethernet cable. We will also advise you on the length and the type of cable you should be using. So, for everything you need to know about using an Ethernet cable for gaming, keep reading.

Why Does Ethernet Give You Better Ping?

In this section, I will not answer whether or not an Ethernet cable gives you better ping over or wireless because we have already established that it does. However, I do want to discuss why they give you better ping, and hopefully, I can provide the best explanation possible.

Wireless internet is an incredible concept but think about it for a second; you have your data traveling through the air via airwaves. The data meets a lot of resistance in its path. This resistance could be in the form of dust, molecules, and anything like that.

You also have significant barriers such as walls, windows, doors, and gates. Almost anything that the data needs to travel through is resistance. Even if you have a TV in the way of the wireless router and the data has to travel through that, it all increases the amount of time that the data takes to get to the router.

Having an Ethernet cable eliminates any of these resistance barriers. It must also be said that because there is still slight resistance in the line, the data doesn’t travel at the speed of light as it should. This resistance is insignificant.

What Type of Ethernet Cable is best?

The type of Ethernet cable you are using plays a significant role because of the quality and the bandwidth capabilities. Before we answer what type of Ethernet cable is best, I want to quickly highlight a stat that will better help anyone understand why the type of Ethernet cable you are using matters.

A low-end ethernet cable might have a cap of 100mbps. Now, if you are using a 200 Mb line, you have reached the bottleneck where the Ethernet cable cannot leverage the total capacity of your internet speeds, which plays a significant role in the speed of your network.

The most common cable to use is a cat6 or Cat5e. Both of these cables allow for 1 GB of bandwidth at any given time, and because not many people have internet over a GB, you are getting the full benefits of your internet speed using cat6.

If you want to get technical, the best cable is a cat8. However, this can be pricey for a home network, and it is overkill. See, a cat8 ethernet cable is usually used in data centers and large organizations that need the best. For your home internet or even small to medium businesses, a cat6 cable is the best cable in my experience for gaming, especially when you look at the value for money factor.

What Ethernet Cable Should you Buy?

Right, we have advised you what cable you should get. However, now we want to give you our top pick. We will consider value for money, quality, and performance. So, here is our favorite Ethernet cable that you should buy. Remember, quality will help with performance while minimizing maintenance.

Ultra Clarity Cables Cat6 Ethernet Cable: $8.50 (20 feet) to $22.00 (100 feet)

This cable has everything you need, including quality and performance. The positive reviews speak for themselves, and we trust that you cannot go wrong with this Ethernet cable.

What Length Should Your Ethernet Cable Be?

In this section, I want to discuss the best length for an ethernet cable but to be more specific; we want to talk about the maximum distance that a cable should be. After that, I want to mention my conversation with a friend regarding this very topic.

An Ethernet cable for your home or small to medium business should not go above 100m. This is especially important when it comes to gaming. Seem, an Ethernet cable is built to act as a patch between a router and a device, and once you go over 100m, it starts to lose performance.

Yes, you lose some performance for every meter of cable that data needs to travel through, but that is insignificant. Over 100m, the performance drops at a much higher rate. So, if the space between your console or PC and the router is 15 m, including all travel distance, such as going up the wall and back down, you want to try and get the cable no longer than 16m.

Remember, you still need to slack.  

While I was discussing this with my friend, they asked, “what difference does 100m cable in the house make when the data ends up traveling 100 miles via wires from the home to the server.” Well, the cables that take your data from your home to a data center or server are industrial, either copper or fiber.

Also, your data doesn’t go straight from your home to the server. It first stops off at an exchange that your ISP runs. From there, it is sent along a route to the server. The heavy-duty industrial cables will have boosters that allow the data to maintain that speed on this route.

Does an Ethernet Cable Affect Performance?

Whether you are using a wireless connection or an Ethernet cable, it will not affect the performance of your console or PC in terms of graphics or FPS. However, having a bad connection can significantly impact performance negatively when playing online games.

If you have ever felt what unstable frames per second feels like but not lag, think of unstable FPS x 10. A game can feel clunky and unresponsive if you are not correctly connected to the internet for an online game.

Why Console Wireless is so bad

So, it is no secret that the wireless connection on consoles is extremely unstable. Now, many people can point toward the console servers. However, not many people understand that the wireless adaptor in the console is a component, and that component can either perform well or poorly.

The performances you get out of a console are incredible value for money because consoles are relatively cheap. So, to maximize the performance of a console while keeping it low-cost, a lot of the components used are not premium, and that goes for the wireless adaptors. That is why you might feel that console wireless internet is a lot less stable than you would expect.

RECAP: The benefits of using an Ethernet Cable For Gaming

  • Ethernet is More Stable than Wireless
  • Your Ping Should Be Better
  • You will have less packet loss
  • It makes games feel smoother

That brings us to the end of this article. Hopefully, you can have the best online gaming experience. Who knows, maybe shaving some time off your ping gives you the edge you need to outplay your next opponent. Feel free to read through a few of our other articles. Maybe we can answer more of your questions.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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