Wi-Fi is obviously more convenient than wired Ethernet cables, but Ethernet still offers significant benefits. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wired (Ethernet) and wireless connections.
You probably will not connect an Ethernet cable to your smartphone in the near future.
However, it is generally worthwhile to purchase Ethernet cables from the devices that matter, such as gaming and multimedia computers (or consoles), backup devices, and set-top boxes. To help you make this decision, we’ll look at the top three benefits of using Ethernet over Wi-Fi: faster speeds, lower latency, and reliable connections.
What is WiFi?
WiFi is a wireless technology that connects devices to the Internet without any physical wired connection. Introduced in 1999, this is the most popular type of connection used today.
What is Ethernet?
Introduced in 1973, Ethernet allows you to connect devices on a local network. Composed of an Ethernet cable, a hub, a crossover cable and a router, it allows devices to transmit data over a network.
Ethernet vs WiFi
If the question had been asked some time ago, the answer would be a little different from today. Since Ethernet uses cables, it tends to operate slightly faster than a wireless connection.
Wireless connections are a little slower but offer the convenience of using it at your fingertips. Today, WiFi access points can be easily found in many places.
Thus, the choice is between speed and convenience.
WiFi was initially based on the 802.11g standard. The maximum theoretical speed was 54 Mbps.
Mobile phones could be connected to the Internet with this connection, but the speed was much slower compared to Ethernet – which could easily deliver 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps and beyond.
The 802.11ac standard is the latest WiFi standard, offering speeds of up to 3,200 Mbps. With this new standard, WiFi is much better placed than Ethernet in terms of throughput.
The speeds discussed above are theoretical.
An Ethernet connection provides a constant speed. You will notice this speed fast and stable if you download large files. Ethernet connections are also suitable for streaming HD video.
WiFi experiences signal interference due to many environmental factors. The atmosphere can cause problems and WiFi often produces inconsistent performance. You will see sporadic signals when you move from one place to another at home. This problem can be minimized by placing your router in an optimal position at home or in the office, but it is difficult to achieve the same stable performance in Ethernet connections.
This is another important factor.
Data sent over an Ethernet connection is only accessible to devices physically connected to this network. There is no risk of data loss or hacking.
These devices must use a firewall for their security.
WiFi, on the other hand, is an open network, so its data is not secure. When transmitting sensitive data, be sure to use WiFi networks where the encrypted data is secure. The most secure encryption method is WPA2-PSK, while WEP is the least secure.
Free public Wi-Fi is the least secure. Learn more about the pitfalls of privacy here.
The speed and quality of the connection are not the only things to consider – latency is also important.
Latency is the delay in which traffic between a device and its destination. Also known as ping in the online gaming world, latency is essential for playing games. The reaction time must be fast, and the same goes for the world of IoT data.
If you want to avoid irritating delays or delays when saving data, an Ethernet connection is a right choice. Wired connections offer lower latency.
Obviously, no one connects his smartphone to the ethernet. For portable or remote devices, WiFi is the first obvious choice.
Which connection to choose?
- If you want a connection for everyday use, a properly configured WiFi router will give you an appropriate connection.
- But if you’re a gamer and you can not risk an unstable connection, you’ll want to use Ethernet.
- Likewise, if you need to stream HD videos without problems or connect multiple devices to your network, you’ll undoubtedly get better performance with an Ethernet connection.
Wireless routers also have Ethernet ports that allow you to configure devices individually without any problems.
Wi-Fi is more popular nowadays, but Ethernet connections still offer significant benefits. As such, you must choose your connection according to your needs.