This topic works fairly close with my other post about routers.

Just like the post about if you need a router and what kind, the question about do you really need network cables and if you do what kind do you need all depends upon what you are trying to do and what your current hardware is.

If all you want to do is surf the internet, play on social media, send emails and you have a laptop, tablet or a smartphone then the answer to that question is that you can pretty much rely off of your wireless. If you have desktops that do not have wirless cards in them then you do need to get either a wireless network card, or network cables run in your house.

If you have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone and you also have a streaming device such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV , a Roku or other similar devices then you still should be able to get away with just your WiFi on your router, depending on if your router is good enough for that.

If you have multiple streaming devices and you have laptops, tablets and smartphones that use WiFi, you could be pushing the limit of your router to where internet slow-downs might start to happen or the streaming media on your TV will get choppy here and there as it is a lot of work for the router to do via WiFi.

If you are in the above where your internet is not perfectly stable, the first thing that you can do is to try to restart your router and or modem and try again. If it still persisits then you may want to hard-wire your streaming devices.

As for the type of cable that you can use also depends on the hardware that you have. If your router cannot handle gigabit, then there really is not much sense in getting the top of the line, latest up to date cable to which I think is CAT-7 right now, the norm is still CAT-5, which is widely available and easy enough for you to make your own cable runs and crimp the ends yourself.

If you do have a good router that has Gigabit capabilities and you are only wanting to run lines to your streaming boxes, then I would suggest getting a variation of CAT-6, to which can handle the Gigabit data transfer, and it is almost 4 times as thick as CAT-5e as it is shielded much better to prevent signal interference. This you can also do yourself, and the cable almost looks like the size of a Cable TV line. You will need to get special tools to do this, or you can measure our how long of a cable you need and order one online for CAT-6a. If you fully want to know the specs behind all the different cables (CAT-5, CAT5e, CAT-6, CAT6a and CAT-7, I would head over to They have a good writeup on the differences between CAT5,CAT6 & CAT7.

If it were up to me, I would do what I did and run CAT-6a as my router, switch and PC can handle gigabit. In another post, I willl go over the switch and if you need one of those or not.

Using hard-wired cable can releive some of the stress on your router and it can also make your network faster as data in the wires can travel much faster and push more data than over the WiFi signal can.