Last updated on 5 July 2022
Ethernet is a powerful resource in data transfer. The fastest on-the-market ethernet is the 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which allows data to be transferred at an astounding rate of 10 billion bits per second! A big upgrade that the usual 1 Gigabit standard we see mostly around us.
One thing to note is, to run 10GbE speeds, you will need Thunderbolt 3 or upwards on your computer. This is due to the data transfer sizes.
Also, another thing to note, GB is different from Gigabit. Don’t be tricked by this confusion! Gigabit is different to Gigabytes. Usually, hard drives are measured in bytes such as GB (Gigabyte). When referring to Ethernet, we are talking about gigabits. The difference is below:
“A gigabit 1,000,000,000 bits. It is one-eighth the size of a gigabyte (GB), which means a gigabit is eight times smaller than a gigabyte. Additionally, Gigabits are mostly used to measure data transfer rates of local networks (Ethernet) and Input/Output (I/O) connections. The exact measurement looks like this: Gbps which means Gigabits per second.” Source – Mixvoip
Here are 5 of the best ethernet adapters:
- 1. CalDigit Connect
- 2. QNAP QNA-T310G1S Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE
- 3. OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter
- 4. Sonnet 10GBASE-T Thunderbolt to 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
- 5. Sonnet Twin 10G SFP+
If you’re searching for the perfect ethernet cable, look no further! Read on to learn more about these five recommendations.
10GbE vs. 1 Gigabit
Before the list begins, let’s look at the differences between 10GbE and Gigabit technology. Gigabit is struggling to keep up with the growing demands of the virtual world.
The Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter is an example of an ethernet adapter that is currently being phased out in favour of 10GbE devices, such as the Mac Studio.
10GbE is the more expensive one of the two, but as the name suggests, it is ten times faster than Gigabit.
To read a more in-depth analysis of how Gigabit and 10GbE compare, primarily through the lens of a small business owner, visit Datto’s blog.
A list of the best 10G Ethernet adapters
1. CalDigit Connect
The CalDigit Connect is the 10GbE key to elevating your studio, home network, or gaming performance. It works on both Windows and Mac (provided that they are Thunderbolt 3 or 4 enabled). Windows requires a Windows Driver install which you can download from the CalDigit site.
CalDigit is a brilliant company, I have tested their devices a lot and they stand above the rest in terms of quality. They are truthful to their speeds and customers.
In addition to its transfer power, it connects and transfers over distances of around 100m (328 ft). This is especially handy for accessing and processing large files, such as video files and video editing software.
The cable is portable, easily connected and disconnected, and requires no external power source. Not only this but data like video and audio are transferred in real-time with no delays.
The CalDigit Connect connects to desktops, laptops, iPads, and tablets seamlessly. The outside aluminium casing allows top performance while keeping the inner mechanisms cool and protected.
2. QNAP QNA-T310G1S Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE
The QNAP is an exceptional choice. This 10GbE adapter has Mac and Windows capabilities, with real-time data transfers and no additional power source. Again, you will need Thunderbolt 3 or 4 to use it.
This is the perfect way to avoid filling your storage with large multimedia files! Connect it to any Thunderbolt 3-enabled Mac or Windows device and make your life much easier.
The QNAP is a stylish and cost-effective ethernet option. The cover has been specially designed with heat-dissipating grooves along the outside, and with a shape that makes storage quick and simple.
To check out other impressive features of this ethernet adapter or purchase it, take a look at Broadbandbuyer.com’s review of the product.
3. OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter
Large file transfers, video editing, live game streaming, this adapter can do it all! This energy-efficient and cost-effective 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter is an excellent option for an all-around brilliant experience.
The aluminium casing is optimized for heat-suppressing airflow and is fitted with a noise-cancelling fan mechanism.
The OWC allows you to remotely use your PC, whether it be for work or leisure purposes. This high-speed adapter can work from distances of up to 100m (328 ft) without any trouble or interruptions.
This device is AVB ready and is fitted with a rubber casing, making it rugged and low-maintenance. Durable, practical, easy to set up, and even easier to use, with a one-year OWC Limited Warranty: what’s not to love?
If this is checking all the right boxes, head over to OWC to read more about, or even purchase, the Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter.
4. Sonnet 10GBASE-T Thunderbolt to 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
A reliable adapter that connects to any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer with a Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 port. The Sonnet 10GBASE-T operates at speeds of up to 40Gbps.
Though not as versatile as some of the other top options – e.g., it’s not compatible with any devices other than computers – the 10GBASE-T is cost-effective and has the same simple setup and energy-efficient qualities that the other adapters boast.
This multi-Gigabit adapter has a durable aluminium outer build but doesn’t compromise on the portability and noiselessness that is so valued in this technology.
In addition, this adapter comes with a 2-Year Product Warranty and lifetime access to technical and customer service support. To see how this adapter compares to the others listed above, or to learn more about this product, take a look at the product description on Sonnettech.
5. Sonnet Twin 10G SFP+
The Sonnet Twin adapter adds 10GbE speed to any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer with a Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 port and has a data transfer rate of 40Gbps.
This adapter is unique because, in addition to a port that connects to your computer, it has another port that allows you to link up to 5 Thunderbolt-enabled peripheral devices!
Though not wholly noiseless like some of the options on the list, it is still sufficiently quiet for desktop use with little to no disturbance and makes up for the slight noise with up to 15W of power provided to peripheral devices.
On top of that, it’s got fantastic flexibility with SFP+ Transceiver options. If this device catches your eye, visit Sonnettech for its overview and pricing.
There are a few things to consider before choosing an ethernet adapter, such as a cooling system and maximum distance capacity.
Compatibility between cables, ports and devices is a vital consideration, especially when it comes to gigabit technology.
10 Gigabit Ethernet is only compatible with specific types of 10G ethernet cables. Options to consider are fibre optic cables, copper cables, twin axial cables, and unshielded twisted pair cables.
Using a cable that is incompatible with your device may mean you have to purchase extra features, such as gigabit media converters. This, as well as the overall quality of the product you purchase, affects data transmission to a huge degree.
However, ethernet cables are exceedingly flexible pieces of equipment and it is highly unlikely that you will have compatibility issues.
Compatibility considerations are still essential though since you can only utilize your equipment effectively if you understand exactly what you’re looking for.
Another factor to think about is the age of certain ethernet cable makes: an older cable is likely to be slower on data transmission than more updated versions. Read this article by Electronicsnotes to compare ethernet cable performance.
Heat is a vital aspect to consider when purchasing any tech. Insufficient cooling can have a disastrous impact on performance by slowing down your device or on safety by damaging your hardware.
So, when buying an ethernet adapter, you must choose one with sufficient cooling mechanisms.
Maximum Distance Capacity
The distance capacity of an ethernet adapter or cable is measured by how far it can stretch before there is a signal lost between two devices.
The maximum length of an ethernet cable is usually 328 ft (100m). Ethernet cables range from only several inches to a few hundred feet.
As stated above, they need to be short enough that there is no signal lost between two ends, but also not so short that there is electrical interference between the two joined devices.