Are flat Ethernet Cables Good?

Are flat Ethernet cables good? If you have purchased Ethernet cables anytime soon, you may have noticed two types available in the market. 

These are Flat and Round Ethernet cables. But, they differ not only in shape; other factors make both usable in different situations.

In this article, we will look into both types of Ethernet wires and see whether Flat is as beneficial as its counterpart.

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How Flat Ethernet Cables Work?

Flat Ethernet cables have twisted pair cables laying side by side while the copper strands are flat. 

These cables are cheap, easy to handle, and roll up in smaller packaging than round ones. Due to such ease, people prefer it for quicker and inexpensive installations.

These pairs are less expensive since they do not have individual shielding and are more prone to EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) as the length of the wire goes longer.

 Also, these wires do not have enough protection if they get heated at some point.

 Their maintenance may require a lot of time, and thus, it’s better to use them for shorter distances at places where the EMI will be lower.

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Are Flat Ethernet Cables better than Round Ethernet Cables?

Overall, round Ethernet cables have a wider application area due to stronger shielding. But flat cables also have some prominent features that keep them from becoming obsolete in the market. 

Let’s see some of the factors differentiating between the two.


Installing the Round cables even around the corner is easy and with better finishing. Compared to Flat cables, they are durable, low maintenance, and can go a long way once installed. 

On the other hand, the flat wires need extra care and do not deliver as much uptime as the round ones.

Data Distortion

Disturbance in data is more common in Flat cables since they do not have an extra layer of protection and cannot work for longer distances.

 However, round cables have fewer distortions over long lengths and are ideal for such applications.


Round cables have layers of protection and filters, making them reliable for longer times. But, since flat cables do not have insulation, they are vulnerable to cuts and harsh environments.

Bending Radius

Slow internet due to bent Ethernet wires

Caption: Slow internet due to bent Ethernet wires

Bending the Ethernet cables may slow internet speed and significantly influence the network’s performance.

 Additionally, you may experience multiple lost sessions of connection and data.

Among the two, the flat Ethernet wires still have lesser consequences upon bending due to their greater flexibility factor. Hence, they are used under carpets or floorboards.

Space and weight

Flat cables also compete for weight and space due to their compact shape.

 They do not bulk as extra layers of material are present, making them lighter and smaller than the circular cables.

Electricity quality and Strength maintenance

As mentioned above, the internal electrical strands in a flat cable are parallel to each other in the entire cable. 

This conductor setting makes the electrical signal quality stronger till the endpoint.

 Also, the strength is maintained; thus, the signal quality does not deteriorate, letting the receiver get full bandwidth.   

Heat Generating

Since there are layers of material inside the round cables, heat may not dissipate if generated by the conductors.

 Since flat cables are free from the bulk, they do not face such issues regardless of any situation.

Do Flat Ethernet Cords Give Slower Internet Speed?

Multiple Ethernet cables in a Datacenter

Caption: Multiple Ethernet cables in a Datacenter

Flat Ethernet cables may lack shielding, but it does not affect the speed of the internet.

Since both round and flat Ethernet cables have the same function, they help the devices to make a wired connection with the internet or a local network. 

The speed of connection depends upon two things: the cable length and the category you choose. 

Common categories you can see are Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7, and Cat8, and all are available in flat and round designs.

Now, if you choose a Cat5 cable, whether flat or round, you will see the internet speed is the same, given that there is no external disturbance. 

As you up the cable category, like using Cat7 or Cat8, the data transfer will automatically get faster regardless of your chosen design.

Hence, if you want to buy Flat Ethernet cables for smart TVs or gaming systems, you can get them for less. 

You may face problems in connection stability and reliability, but these issues may also resolve once installed inside the house with shorter cable lengths.

Flat Ethernet Cables vs. Round ones: Common Applications

Network cables with RJ45 connectors

Caption: Network cables with RJ45 connectors

Choosing between flat and round cables depends completely upon the type of project that you are working on. 

Since their speed factor stays the same for smaller distances, homes and other small networks may use any of the two designs based on convenience and budget.

Overall, if you have to wire a larger area, a complex data center, or a mesh of devices, it’s better to go for the round Ethernet wires. 

It is due to their sturdy nature; they will endure the harshness of the application, making the wiring harness last longer without collapsing.

Flat cables are for you if you are low on budget, need flexible wire for better wire management, and do not need much durability due to the nature of your intended area.


Round or Flat-shaped Ethernet wires both have their pros and cons. So it’s better to analyze them and see whether your application is worth spending money on. 

If the wiring area is tedious and needs stronger cables, then Round Ethernet is best. But, if you have to wire indoor places, such as your living room, flat cables may do the work perfectly. 

We at Cloom offer custom cables and wiring harness solutions, so you don’t have to worry about perfection. To get the work done, contact us now.

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I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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