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Are Longer Ethernet Cables Slower? Does Ethernet Cable Length Matter in 2023?

The Internet has become an absolute necessity in today’s time. Whether it is for work or entertainment, you need the internet for almost everything you do. 

The increasing demand for the internet has led people to seek faster connections. Luckily, we have different sources of internet, including mobile data, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi.

Out of all the available sources, Ethernet is probably the best option. Besides the affordable rate, the Ethernet connection is mainly popular because of its incredible speed. Plus, it is easy to maintain.

Ethernet connections can cover vast distances. This gives rise to the question of whether longer Ethernet cables slower down the internet speed. If you are wondering the same thing, you should read this article to find the answer.

Longer Ethernet Cables Slower

Does A Longer Ethernet Cable Slower Down the Speed?

Many users believe that the length of the Ethernet cable affects the speed of your internet connection. If the Ethernet cable is too long, it will slow down the internet speed. But how much of it is true? Let’s find it out.

When someone says that longer Ethernet cables are slow, they are not exactly wrong. The common length of an Ethernet cable is around 328 feet, which is very long. But using an Ethernet cable of this length will not affect the speed of your internet connection. Rather it will provide you with an uninterrupted internet experience.

But if the length of the Ethernet cable is more than 328 feet, then there might be some issues that you need to worry about. An Ethernet longer than the specified length can reduce the internet speed. This pretty much answers your question if the length of the Ethernet cable matters.

But when it comes to a home Ethernet network, you need to worry about the length of the Ethernet cable. That’s because you are likely to get a stable speed with optimum length.

When the length of the Ethernet cable is too long, the speed weakens due to increased latency. Ethernet cables that are longer than 100 meters or 328 feet, will still work. But the signal will get lost or become weak due to the distance. Thus, reducing the length of the cable can help boost the speed.

For a reliable internet speed, you can use a 328 feet long Ethernet cable. If you get a longer cable than the specified length, it will cause your internet connection to lag. This happens due to increased latency.

For those unversed, latency is the amount of time taken for the data to travel from point A to point B. In networking, latency refers to the delay between a user’s action and the site’s response to the action.

If you need a longer Ethernet cable, it is better to use two cables, instead of one. But you will need to make sure that all connections are from different internet sources. If you try to use the same source for all your Ethernet connections, the internet speed will not improve. This means you will have the same speed that you already have.

How Long Should an Ethernet Cable Be?

Now the next question is how far an Ethernet cable can run without signal loss.

Well, the ideal or maximum length of an Ethernet cable should be 328 feet or 100 meters. If you get a longer cable, the signal will become weak, which in return will reduce the overall speed of your internet connection.

The 328 feet length is recommended by the manufacturer. A cable longer than that will work, but it won’t give you the desired speed. Not just that, but it may also result in other connectivity issues. To avoid all these troubles, it is better to keep your Ethernet cable within the recommended limit.

The point at which the connectivity drops will vary from cable to cable. This is why manufacturers recommend you stay within 100 meters.

Unlike fiber, Ethernet cables are limited in length because of degrading electrical signals over longer distances. The problem becomes worse when the cables are thin. Trying to push the limit will make the data traveling more sensitive.

In case, you need to cover a longer distance, you can consider extending your cable with a router, in between signals. However, this option won’t allow you to go beyond the 100 meters limit. In this case, you can use a network switch to expand the overall reach.

You just have to make sure that the length of the cable connecting the switch, router, and your device is less than 100 meters. As long as the ideal length is maintained, the router will be able to communicate smoothly.

Related | Difference Between Switch and Router | Switch Vs. Router

Sometimes people make use of fiber optics to increase the limit of an Ethernet cable. But when it comes to a home network, fiber is overkill. For wiring, your house, Cat6 or Cat5e cables should be enough. 

If you feel the need to extend the length of your Ethernet cable beyond 100 meters, we recommend you get a network switch. This will not only help maintain the strength of the signal but will allow you to have extra Ethernet connections to your network as well. Plus it makes an affordable choice.

Is a Longer Ethernet Cable Better?

As already mentioned above, the ideal length of an Ethernet cable should be 328 feet or 100 meters. This is long enough for house wiring and even for many offices. 

There are different types of Ethernet cables available. But all of them are limited to 100 meters. This is the standard limit of Ethernet cables.

As long as the length of your Ethernet cable is within 328 feet, it is good enough. It will ensure a stable and uninterrupted connection without any signal loss.

But if you decide to go longer than 100 meters or 328 meters, this is where the problem starts. Even though Ethernet cables longer than the specific length still work, it is not recommended for a stable connection. 

The long length of an Ethernet cable increases the latency. This reduces the signal strength and thus, you get a slow internet speed. If you use a long Ethernet cable, it can create other connectivity issues as well.

This is why you should install an Ethernet cable of an ideal length. If you need a longer cable than 328 feet or 100 meters, you should use a network switch to extend the overall speed.

To answer your question, Ethernet cables longer than 100 meters don’t make a better choice. So if you are thinking of connecting two Ethernet cables for extended reach, you should drop that idea.

Conclusion on Longer Ethernet Cables Slower

With Ethernet cables of ideal length, you can enjoy great internet speeds. For an Ethernet cable to work efficiently, it should be within 328 feet or 100 meters. Using cables longer than that is not recommended.

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