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Does Long Ethernet Cable Reduce Speed? (Explained)



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When we use ethernet cables, we’re always looking for them to be of the highest quality and perform their task. Internet speed is essential for all users and wired internet can help. It is therefore recommended to follow the recommendations of experts regarding which Ethernet cable to choose and which kind and length is sufficient.

Ethernet cables don’t decrease speed. Its maximum cable length is 328 feet and therefore the cable’s length will not cause any major delays. However, if you are using an extension cable greater than 328 feet in length your network will be weak and could affect the overall speed and reliability of your internet connection.

You’ve come to the right spot to learn details about the lengths of Ethernet cable and the way it impacts speed.

Does the Length of the Ethernet Cable Matter?

When we set up internet-connected devices at home We don’t really think about it. The most important thing we do is to purchase the cable and connect it to the port.

In reality, the majority of us do not care over the size of our cable. We only care about whether it is functional or not.

Ethernet connection is crucial to connect us to the internet. The right cable to choose is crucial, however often we don’t know what length to select and if it is important in any way.

If you take a look at Ethernet cables you will notice that they are CAT-labelled on them as well as a code. The CAT is a reference to the category while a number indicates the version of the specification that the cable employs.

A higher number could mean the cable is faster. It allows Ethernet cable to offer more rapid connections.

The distance of the cable doesn’t necessarily affect the speed of the cable. It won’t affect the speed of the network in any way, particularly newer Ethernet cables.

However, it isn’t a reason to buy a cable throughout the whole house and expect it to function perfectly.

It is possible to limit what length a cable should be. While there isn’t a specific maximum length that the cable should be, there exist recommended length guidelines. More cables generally result in an increase in latency.

This is due to the distance that signals have to travel in the cable. The longer the distance the higher the likelihood that interference is likely to occur.

Ethernet cables can reach 3328 feet. If they are over they will not interfere with your connection since certain cables can extend further than 328 feet without issues. It is usually based on the kind of cable you are using and the maximum speed it is able to support.

There is no difference in speed when you use a Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable that is less than 328 feet. The speed could be reduced to 10 to 15 Mbps when you lengthen the length of the cable to greater than 328 feet.

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Therefore, distances smaller than 328 or 360 feet won’t affect the speed of your connection. If you travel long distances, you’ll encounter slow connections and high latency.

How Long Can an Ethernet Cable Be Without Losing Speed?

An individual Ethernet cable can be said to have a max length capacity that is, it is the longest length that it will travel before a signal loss takes place (called attenuation). This is because that the resistance to the electricity of a long cable impacts its performance.

The cable’s two ends should be in close proximity to receive signals rapidly and also be sufficiently far from electrical interference that it is possible to prevent interruptions.

This precaution, however, does not restrict the extent of the network as the hub or router can be connected to multiple Ethernet cables within an identical network.

The length of one CAT5 cable prior to attenuation is 328 feet. CAT6 can reach the same 328 feet. While it is possible to create Ethernet cables lengthier, these may suffer from signal loss especially when they go through huge electrical appliances.

The length of an Ethernet cable differs based on whether it’s a thinner Ethernet cable, referred to as “10BASE2” or a thick Ethernet cable referred to by the name of “10BASE5”.

The first kind of cable will have a max length of 597 feet and the second could have a maximum size of 164 feet.

But, I would suggest that you limit yourself to the maximum length that an Ethernet cable is able to reach: 328 feet. For longer distances, the electrical distances decrease. The longer your cable is shorter, the slower the speed will become.

If you’re looking for an extended run it is possible to extend your cable using some active components, for instance, a router, that is placed between the signals. While you can’t over the limit of 328 feet it is possible to install the network switch to expand the reach of your cable.

So long as the cable that connects the router to the switch and back to the switch device isn’t longer than 328 feet long both your device and router will continue to communicate

There are campuses with sprawling areas that utilize fiber optics to get beyond the limitations in Ethernet cable. Fiber is more affordable than other equipment required to accomplish the task using copper.

Fiber is not the best choice when wiring your home. This is the reason CAT5e, as well as CAT6 cable, are sufficient for length.

If you’re looking to extend your Ethernet connection past 328 feet I suggest investing in a basic switch. It’s a device that provides additional Ethernet connectivity to the network.

They swap packets to forward and receive data to the device you want to use. It does the job effectively and isn’t costly to purchase.

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Do Multiple Ethernet Cables Reduce Speed?

The modems typically have at least four Ethernet ports. The modem’s configuration will determine which ports are available. certain ports could be used intended for TV or IP, but sometimes you can utilize all four ports to access the Internet.

If your modem only has one port that is dedicated to the Internet then you’ll need either a router or switch. Internet providers offer integrated devices with the capability of a tiny router.

They generally come with four ports and they can be connected to four devices. It is possible to purchase a router if you do not have one built-in.

In the event that you are connected to several Ethernet cables at once, this could decrease your speed for each. However, your internet connection could slow down their speed, not the switches.

More cables can lead to more hassle and a more complex setup, especially in the event that you have extra cables from earlier.

For the latest devices, manufacturers have trimmed their ports. In that situation, you will need the Ethernet Switch or Ethernet splitter for connecting several Ethernet cables.

It is likely that you are wondering if the switches and cables slow down the speed. It is contingent on the kind of network that you’re using the splitter.

Ethernet splitters are built upon Fast Ethernet, and they offer bandwidth at 100 Mbps. For example, The Cat5E Ethernet cable is made up of four wires and that’s eight wires within one cable.

Two out of four Fast Ethernet pairs are in use, the rest does not. The splitter uses 2 100 Mbps signals coming from an internet router. It’s two Ethernet cables on one side.

Another option can be one that is an Ethernet cable share kit. It connects two Ethernet connections on the same wire. It comes with two splitter devices, and gives the fastest connectivity to more devices, using only one cable.

Utilizing an RJ45 coupler will be the most economical method of joining more Ethernet cables. It’s a compact plastic device with two jacks on each end. Additionally, it does not alter the speeds of the Internet connection.


To maximize the use of an Ethernet cable, you must follow the directions. There’s no way to determine what length of your Ethernet cable is likely to have issues.

Therefore it’s best to limit your cable to 3328 feet for safety reasons. But, if you wish to increase the length of your cable, consider using the alternatives mentioned earlier.

I am a dedicated and passionate writer. A self-starter who learns through hands-on experience, research, and collaboration. Detail-oriented and attuned to the big picture.