Before introducing Wi-Fi, Ethernet cable was the only method to connect with the internet. These cables are also used to connect two computers in order to exchange the data.

In Ethernet cables, you will find two types; straight-through and crossover cables. The straight-through Ethernet cable is used to connect the computer with the switch or router. On the other hand, a crossover Ethernet cable is used to connect two computers for data transfer. However, Cat8 Ethernet cable is the latest version that provides super fast speed and frequency.

Yet, one of the most critical components of the Ethernet cable is its cabling length that is attached to the router and PC. Although it could be a difficult task to determine the overall length of the Ethernet cable, I am here to help you identify it. In this article, I will let you know how far an Ethernet cable can go and how you extend its length?

What is the Maximum Length of an Ethernet Cable?

Basically, a single run of an Ethernet cable is constructed to go for a maximum of 100 meters which is equal to 328 feet. However, if the Ethernet cable crosses the cabling length limit beyond 100m, it will start to weaken the signals.

Thus, many networking experts have advised that if you want ideal signal consistency with the ethernet cable, you should not go beyond 100m. If you extend this length, you would encounter several connectivity problems and the performance will eventually lack.

Reason for the Limit of Ethernet Cable Length

Unlike the fibre connection, which provides ideal signals and speed with a distance of over 60 miles, Ethernet cable has a limited length to provide perfect speed and execution. The reason is due to the electrical interference over long distances. The longer the distance, the more resistance will occur and transferring data becomes more difficult. 

Although fibre may seem very attractive for some people because of its higher speed and longer length, it is not ideal for residential or commercial use that may become an overload. Besides, fibre cables can be more expensive than Ethernet wires.

But don’t worry! You can extend the length of Ethernet as well by following a particular method.

How to Measure an Ethernet Cable

Well, an Ethernet cable comes in variety of lengths (max 100m). Thus, I have heard many people wonder about the length of the Ethernet cable they have adopted. If you have got a new Ethernet connection or are going to buy a new ethernet cable, then you should measure its length. 

While measuring the Ethernet cable, you can follow several ways to conduct this process.

Using a Cable Tester

The easiest method to measure the length of any cable is using a tester. It is a network testing tool that is specifically designed to calculate the precise length of the cable. This tool is effortless to use and also provides several other features, including identifying the speed across the run. You can save the information as well. 

Measuring through Tape

Other than the tester, you can manually use a measuring tape. But, this method is ideal for shorter Ethernet cables. You can definitely not use a measuring tape for a 100-meter cable because the tape is also limited. So, if you opted for a 10-meter cable, you can measure it manually.

Footage Markings

When you get a new Ethernet connection, most of its cables have footage marking on their outer shielding. But in order to measure the cable, you require specific numbers so that you confidently know the particular length of the cable. So, just like the tape measurement, this method is ideal for exact calculation.

How to Extend an Ethernet Cable?

While choosing between the Wifi vs Ethernet cables, many people prefer Ethernet connections for gaming consoles and PCs because of more access points, range extension, PoE devices, and other aspects. But what if you have got an Ethernet connection and its length isn’t reaching some devices in your home? 

At this point, you can follow some steps to extend the cable’s length.

Keep in mind that you can execute this step for the cable less than 100 meters. You cannot exceed the 100-meter Ethernet cable and get good connectivity.

First of all, you need to see whether you are able to replace your Ethernet cable with the longer one. Replacing it with a longer cable eliminates the need for extra connectors. 

But, if you are unable to swap your Ethernet cable, you can get an RJ45 inline coupler connector and attach it with the cable two cables to increase the length.

Performance after Cable Extension

Now, you may be thinking about the performance of the cable after attaching the connector with another patch of cable. 

I have personally identified the results of before and after extending the cabling length and have come to the point that there is only a slight difference in the speed and frequency of the internet. Although the lengthier the cable, the poorer its performance would be. But there is little impact until it exceeds the 100m length.

Bottom Line

Remember, an Ethernet cable should be a maximum of 100m or 328ft. If you extend the length of your cable beyond that, you will face poor connection. However, if you think that your Ethernet cable is shorter for your home, the best way is to replace it with the longer one, but you can also extend it using a cable connector.

Ayesha Ali
Ayesha Ali
I’m Aysha Ali, a full-time PC hardware and gaming analyst. Growing up as a gamer has instilled an interest in evaluating gaming hardware, which is why I spend my free time writing about it. As an author at Try10, I maintain our series of blog posts that give readers tips on how to choose and use your device better.