Network cables, son. Nothing else in the world smells like them. I love the smell of CAT6 cables in the morning. You know, one time we had a 10Gbps connection stuck for 12 hours. When the Amazon delivery arrived, it was all over. We didn’t have a problem anymore. Not one stinkin’ network issue. The smell, you know that new cable smell? The whole network. Smelled like… victory. Someday, it’ll be worldwide.
Fun, right? Look, Ethernet isn’t the most thrilling topic in the world, but we sometimes need to find the best CAT6 cables. While CAT5e is more than enough for most homes in 2021, CAT6 and its higher capacity version, CAT6A, can provide faster or more consistent connections across a longer distance.
What’s the difference?
Both CAT6 and CAT6A can transmit a 10-gig signal, however, the way they’re made on the inside means that CAT6 is limited to 55m for a steady connection between end to end. This is why this recommendation will include both, as some homes or offices just don’t need CAT6A and can make do with regular 6.
Best CAT6 and CAT6A Ethernet Cables in 2021
Massive amount of cable
Able to be modified
Run it everywhere
Perfect for 1Gbps
It's literally going to come like that
Who really needs 300ft of cable?
It’s ugly, it’s a literal bundle of cable and it’s here to do a job. While there’s nothing to particularly write home about this cable, in particular, having 300ft of cable (91 meters) is absolutely more than enough for any full home connection.
You could theoretically thread this through the house via carefully placed holes or by running it along the skirting boards, pinning the cable against it with clips. This is pretty much the ideal length for major networking for a 1Gbps connection, as it’s far too much cable for a stable 10-gig.
Flat, perfect for hiding
Comes with clips to pin anywhere
Perfect for everyday use
Only in 25 or 50ft
Probably cheaper to skimp on the thinness
This cable comes in 25 or 50ft, which equates to a maximum of 15.24 meters. While not the longest in the world, it’s ideal for placing around the house where you might want to hide it away, flush against a media center, or under a desk. Buying multiples of this and connecting them via Power Line adapters or switches can give you a lot more distance than originally intended, but you’ll still need to factor in the placement of these around the home.
This is also just regular CAT6 cable but is relatively cheap to buy in multiples and probably fits together with a really neat-looking network. It also comes with cable clips for you to hold the cable up with, as well as giving you either 1Gbps or 10Gbps.
Ideal for starting or finishing a network
Great for all homes
High-quality cables exist aplenty if you look hard enough, but to get an Amazon listing with detail like InstallerParts’ cable is far and few between.
This is as basic as you can get for CAT6A and perfect for bringing your connection out of the modem or router into a switch or wider network you have planned. The 50ft length isn’t long enough for anything too extensive, but the 15m length is great for an endpoint or starting point, as the short length and 6A classification mean you’ll get a solid 10Gbps connection if it’s available.
Perfect for outdoors
No point if it isn't going outdoors
Wild animals are a thing and like to nibble
Once again, this is a bundle. It’s just cable. The difference between this and the other bulk amount of cable is that this is designed to be used outdoors. Not everyone has an outdoor office or repurposed shed, so this is for specialized reasons.
The plastic on the outside is waterproof, allowing it to be placed through the soil to bury it out of the way, without worry about it either suddenly breaking or frying. Primarily used for security cameras, it’s pretty much the ideal cable for running in outdoor conditions.
However, if you do have a garden office of some description, you might find that your Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi extenders don’t reach or provide a decent enough connection, limiting what you can do outside. This is where this cable comes in. As the office might be on a separate circuit, some Power Link connections won’t work properly, unable to detect each other, so running a decent length cable through the garden can wind up being the better option.
My recommendation would be to run this out, then once inside, to a switch which you can distribute around the office.
Up to 100ft
Tops out at 100ft
It’s more CAT6A cables! It’s the same verse as the first, but this time, it comes in 100ft and has a bevvy of colours to choose from. This variation from Monoprice even comes with a choice of colours to spice up your life.
There’s very little difference between this and the smaller version mentioned previously, but this is certainly a high-quality cable, there’s no doubt about it.
CAT6A is designed to cut through ‘alien’ traffic coming through so that you don’t get interference, hence the 550MHz signal advertised on this cable.
Things To Consider
Of course, the best bang for the buck is the 300ft bulk cable, it’s literally 300ft of cable. If you’re capable and follow some tutorials, you might find that splitting the cable up will be extra beneficial, allowing you to make more. This is a cheap and inexpensive method of getting more out of what you’ve spent money on.
However, if you just need an end to the endpoint, the flat-ended cable also works well too. It’s clean and completely out the way if set upright.