If you’re a streaming enthusiast just like me, you know the importance of having a reliable and fast internet connection. To avoid dealing with buffering and lag while watching your favorite TV shows on Netflix, playing online games with your friends, or hosting a live stream on Twitch or YouTube you must invest in the best Ethernet cable.
If I talk about myself, initially I was using Wifi for all my streaming needs and gaming but I was facing lags especially when I was playing outside my home.
So, I decided to switch to Ethernet cable due to its advantages over to Wifi such as Faster speeds, work with longer distances, reliability, etc.
Now, due to the availability of different types of Ethernet cables, it becomes more difficult to select the best Ethernet cable for streaming.
In this blog post, we will explore the world of Ethernet cables specifically designed for streaming purposes. Further, we will discuss the ethernet cable colors, factors to consider while choosing the best ethernet cable for streaming, and speed requirements for various streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Roku TV, etc.
So, let’s deep dive into the article and discuss various parameters about the best Ethernet cables for streaming so that you can finally conclude by choosing the best Ethernet cable for streaming videos, gaming, or watching your favorite TV shows.
Read Also: Best Laptop With Ethernet Port
What is an Ethernet Cable?
Ethernet cables connect devices to your router or modem. They allow you to connect to the internet using a physical connection rather than Wi-Fi.
Ethernet connections provide various advantages over Wi-Fi, which include quicker bandwidth, lower latency, and increased reliability. They also come in a variety of kinds and specifications, which might impact their performance and compatibility.
Major Types of Ethernet Cables
Ethernet cables are the cords that transmit data from your router or modem to your computer, TV, game console, or other devices.
The most common types of ethernet cables are Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a. Cat stands for the category, and the number indicates the performance and specifications of the cable So, let’s discuss each Ethernet cable in detail so that you can have a good idea of buying the best Ethernet cable for streaming.
Cat5e is the cheapest and most used type of ethernet cable. It supports speeds of up to 2.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) and distances of up to 100 meters.
Cat5e Ethernet cable is easy to work with and ideal for most home and business networks, as well as streaming Twitch and gaming. However, the cable is not future-proof according to one’s needs.
Cat6 is a newer and more sophisticated ethernet cable. It supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps and distances of up to 55 meters.
Cat6 provides superior shielding and insulation than Cat5e, reducing interference and crosstalk. Cat6 is best suited for high-performance networks and can be used outdoors. However, Cat6 is slightly more expensive and slightly difficult to work and is suited for the next 5 to 15 years.
Cat6 can be considered a future-proof cable as it can sustain for up to 10 years. This cable can be considered as best ethernet cable for streaming 4K videos if you are looking for a cheap and reliable ethernet cable.
Cat6a is the enhanced version of Cat6. It supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps and distances of up to 100 meters.
Cat6a has superior shielding and insulation than Cat6, thus it can tolerate higher frequencies and bandwidths.
Cat6a is the greatest solution for future-proofing your network because it supports new technologies such as 10G Ethernet (which is not even available at the time of writing this article) and Power over Ethernet Plus.
However, the cable is a bit expensive and substantially harder to terminate.
There are other types of ethernet cables, such as Cat7 and Cat8, but they are not widely used or compatible with most devices. They are mainly designed for professional and industrial applications that require extremely high speeds and frequencies.
Ethernet cables come in a variety of lengths, colors, and connections. The cable’s length is determined by the distance between your device and your router or modem.
The color of the cable is primarily a personal preference, but it may also help you manage your network. Connectors are metal tips that fit into the ports of your gadgets. They are generally RJ45 connections, which have eight pins and resemble phone jacks.
Advantages of Having an Ethernet Cable over Wifi
Now, after the types of ethernet cables, let us discuss some of the major advantages of an Ethernet cable over Wifi that will help you choose the best ethernet cable for streaming.
Here are some of the major advantages of ethernet cable over WiFi:
The first and foremost advantage of ethernet cable over wifi is internet speed. An ethernet cable can give you a faster and more stable internet connection as it connects your device directly to the router on the other hand Wifi can be affected by many factors such as walls, interference, distance, and other devices.
Security and Privacy
Wifi networks are more vulnerable to hacking and snooping, especially if they are not encrypted or password-protected. Anyone within range can potentially access your network and see what you are doing online.
On the other hand, an ethernet cable is much harder to hack or snoop on because it requires physical access to the cable or the router.
Ease of work
Wifi routers and adapters may be costly and difficult to install and maintain. You may need to purchase more equipment, update firmware, troubleshoot issues, or pay for a subscription service.
In contrast, an ethernet wire is inexpensive and straightforward to use. Simply plug it in and you’re set to go. You won’t have to worry about any additional charges or problems.
Colors in Ethernet Port
If you’re like me, you probably don’t pay much attention to the color of your ethernet cable. Just plug in the cable and you are ready to stream.
However, if you need more knowledge below are the main color coding in the ethernet port and their features according to their color, but to be very clear color coding doesn’t matter if you are a streamer like me.
Blue cables are typically Cat5e, which can support up to 1000 Mbps of data transfer.
Green cables are usually Cat6, which can handle up to 10 Gbps.
Yellow cables are often Cat6a, which can reach up to 40 Gbps.
Red cables are usually Cat7, which can go up to 100 Gbps.
Other colors of ethernet cables like white, black, gray, or purple are usually custom or specialty cables that have different purposes.
Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best Ethernet Cable for Streaming
Here are the important factors you must consider while choosing the best ethernet cable for streaming so that you will have a good knowledge of the factors that will help you make an informed decision while buying ethernet cable according to your needs like for streaming, for gaming or for watching TV.
Here are the important factors you must consider while choosing the best ethernet cable for streaming that will help you make an informed decision.
Speed and Bandwidth
The speed and bandwidth of an Ethernet cable determine how much data it can transmit per second. The higher the speed and bandwidth, the better the performance of your streaming.
For example, Cat5e cables can support up to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) and 100 MHz (megahertz) of bandwidth. Cat6 cables can support up to 10 Gbps and 250 MHz of bandwidth. Cat6a cables can support up to 10 Gbps and 500 MHz of bandwidth.
Signal loss and interference are more likely to occur as the cable length increases. This can result in decreased speed and bandwidth, as well as increased latency and jitter.
Latency is the time between transmitting and receiving data, while jitter is the fluctuation in latency. Both latency and jitter can lead to poor streaming quality and user experience.
As a result, you should select the shortest Ethernet cable feasible for your streaming configuration. Ideally, you should choose a wire that is less than 100 meters (328 feet). If you require a longer line, choose a higher-category(Cat 7 or 8) cable that can withstand greater signal loss and interference.
A high-quality cable will have superior insulation, shielding, and connections than a low-grade cable. These characteristics can decrease signal loss and interference while also protecting the cable from damage and wear.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned factors help you choose the best ethernet for streaming. Now, let’s proceed further to check the speed requirements for various streaming services.
Speed Requirements for Various Streaming Services
Streaming services have varying speed requirements based on the quality and resolution of the material. Here is a list of some of the most popular streaming services, along with the necessary internet speeds for each level of quality.
Speed requirements for streaming services depend on many factors, such as the quality level, the device, and the network conditions. To find out your current internet speed, you can use online tools like Speedtest or Fast.
Netflix has four quality levels for its content: low, medium, high, and extreme HD. Low quality requires 0.5 Mbps, medium quality 1.5 Mbps, high quality (HD and HDR) 5 Mbps, and super HD (Dolby Vision and 4K) 25 Mbps.
Hulu offers three quality levels for its content: standard definition (SD), high definition (HD), and 4K super HD. SD quality takes 1.5 Mbps, HD quality requires 3 Mbps, while 4K super HD quality demands 16 Mbps.
Disney+ delivers all of its material in high definition (HD) or 4K super HD, depending on the device and subscription level. HD quality requires 5 Mbps, while 4K super HD requires 25 Mbps.
YouTube offers a broad range of quality levels for its material, ranging from 144p to 8K. The speed requirements vary according to the resolution, frame rate, and device. For example, to stream a 1080p film at 60 frames per second on a TV, you need at least 15 Mbps, however, on a mobile device, you need at least 6 Mbps.
List of Best Ethernet Cable for Streaming
Depending on the availability here is the list of best ethernet cable for streaming 4K videos, or for live streaming.
Last update on 2024-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon
Summary: Best Ethernet Cable for Streaming
To sum up, investing in the best Ethernet cable for streaming is critical for achieving a smooth and uninterrupted streaming experience. While there are other varieties of Ethernet connections available, Cat 5e is frequently the best option for most home streaming installations owing to its low cost and compatibility otherwise, you can opt for Cat 6 ethernet cable for future-proofing.
When selecting an Ethernet cable, consider the connection’s length as well as the possibility of future upgrades. Look for established manufacturers that provide high-quality cables known for their performance and longevity.
If you are onto gaming, the quietest gaming laptop is one of the finest needs for gamers apart from the ethernet cable. So, take your decision wisely and choose the best ethernet cable for streaming.
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FAQ: Best Ethernet Cable For Streaming
Is Cat 5e ethernet good for gaming?
Cat 5e cable is cheap easy to work with and offers up to 2.5 Gb/s so for gaming I strongly recommend you to choose Cat 6 ethernet cable.
What are the benefits of using an ethernet cable over a Wifi?
Apart from a lag-free faster internet connection, there are other benefits of using an ethernet connection over a WiFi connection. You can have a better privacy. You can read the detailed guide here.
Does the length of the ethernet cable affect speed?
Signal loss and interference are more likely to occur as the cable length increases. This can result in decreased speed and bandwidth, as well as increased latency and jitter. Here are the more factors that effect the speed in an ethernet cable.
Does ethernet cable improve steaming quality?
An ethernet cable can give you a faster and more stable internet connection as it connects your device directly to the router without the interference of the walls, distance, or any other medium. The only thing you should consider is the length of the ethernet cable while selecting the best ethernet cable for streaming.