There are two ways to connect to the internet — Ethernet or WiFi – whether you’re setting up a smart home, gaming, or checking your email.
But which one is the best one to choose?
WiFi vs Ethernet
Even while WiFi is nearly always handier than Ethernet, Ethernet is far quicker, more secure, and more dependable. However, configuration is the most important factor. Even though Ethernet is more secure and quicker, there are WiFi solutions that are better. In terms of equipment and setup, it’s impossible to beat an Ethernet connection when all other factors are equal.
That’s all you need to know for now. More information is required to get the whole picture.
But before we get into it, let’s go over the fundamentals.
What is the difference between Ethernet and Wi-Fi?
It’s basically a communication protocol used to link items in your house to the internet through Ethernet (802.3) or WiFi (802.11).
Local Region Network (LAN) is the term for a network that connects several devices in a limited area to the internet (LAN). With the Wide Region Network (WAN), a considerably broader area may be covered, such as a school or medical facility.
The modem is used by both Ethernet and WiFi to connect to the internet. Modems allow you to access the Internet.
As a result, numerous devices may connect to the internet at the same time through a router, which connects to your modem. A firewall is also included in routers to protect your internet connection.
The main difference between Ethernet and WiFi is how they connect to the modem/router.
A physical connection links the internet to Ethernet. An Ethernet cable connects to the router (which is linked to your modem), or a modem-router combination, and to the Ethernet port on your computer or other device.
In theory, you could bypass your router and connect directly to your modem using an Ethernet connection, allowing you to access the internet immediately. Using an Ethernet connection to connect a single device eliminates the requirement for a router. However, because of the additional security provided by a router’s firewall, doing so is strongly recommended.
In addition, an Ethernet-to-USB converter is available for connecting Ethernet to your USB port. The lack of an Ethernet connection on most gadgets makes this particularly useful.
On the other hand, WiFi is wireless. Wireless Fidelity is the term given to this technology.
WiFi communicates with other devices by sending signals through radio waves. Both a modem and router are required when using WiFi for internet connection (whereas with Ethernet, you don’t need a router but preferable since it is more secure).
Again, the modem connects to the internet, and in this instance the router broadcasts your WiFi signal (or radio frequency), which allows your devices to connect to it and eventually the internet.
Wireless Local Area Network is the term used to describe the network of connected devices when you use a router to set up WiFi.
In light of this information, which is quicker, Ethernet or WiFi?
When it comes to determining how fast something is, bandwidth and latency are the most important factors.
Capacity is related to bandwidth. It’s the internet’s ability to move info. How much data a particular connection is capable of handling.
Latency is all about the time it takes to complete a task.. Sending data across the internet requires a certain amount of time (or delay).
Bandwidth and latency may be likened to the size of a pipe and the speed at which water moves through it. Latency and bandwidth have a huge impact on internet performance.
When it comes to bandwidth and latency, a sluggish connection will be slower than a fast one (it means less delay when remember low latency is great).
Consider the checkout queues at a grocery store as an illustration of this. Shoppers in our hypothetical scenario will take 60 seconds to go through a checkout queue (low latency). Customers will be able to check out faster if there are more check out lanes available than if there is just one open.
So, to get a sense of how fast the internet is, we need to take into account both bandwidth and latency.
Megabits per second, or Mbps, is the most common unit of measurement for Internet speed.
For example, 10Mb is a common abbreviation for megabits per second. When it comes to your internet speed, the more megabits per second (Mbps) you have, the better. Internet rates of 50 to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) are sufficient for most houses.
In terms of speed, Ethernet and WiFi are comparable.
To put it another way, if you’re looking at Ethernet versus WiFi speed, Ethernet is nearly always lower latency (less delay) and greater bandwidth (more capacity).
This, of course, implies that the network is properly configured.
Considerations for configuring an Ethernet network.
The following are the most important considerations while installing Ethernet in order to get the maximum possible speeds:
Your internet service provider’s plan. If you have a slow internet connection in your house, here is the first place to start looking for a solution. If your internet subscription restricts you to 25 Mbps, you don’t need equipment that can handle 100 Mbps. Most internet service providers provide plans ranging from 25 megabits per second to more than 2000 megabits per second. If you’d want to see how fast your internet is, you may do so here.
The modem on your computer Even if your internet package offers high speeds, you’ll only be able to access them at the speed of your modem. Make sure to verify your modem’s speed tiers before you buy a new one. Make sure it has DOCSIS support, too. Most broadband internet providers need this as a condition of signing up for their service.
Your router’s IP address Using a router, you may share your modem’s signal with other devices. Once again, be sure to verify the maximum upload and download speeds that are supported by your network. However, keep in mind that the speed of your router may go down as you connect lots of devices to it since the router is dividing the signal from the modem.
Your network cable An Ethernet cable seems to be merely an Ethernet cable at first look. That’s just not the case, though.. It’s possible to categorize Ethernet cables into several subcategories, each of which is recognized by a “Cat” and a version number. There is a maximum speed for each category. Cat 5, Cat 5, Cat 6a, Cat 6, Cat 7, and Cat 7a are the most frequent. Listed below is a breakdown of each category:
|Cat 5||100 Mbps|
|Cat 5e||1,000 Mbps|
|Cat 6||1,000 Mbps|
|Cat 6a||10,000 Mbps|
|Cat 7||10,000 Mbps|
|Cat 7a||10,000 Mbps|
factors for setting up a wireless network
If you’re using WiFi, you’ll still want to evaluate your internet package, as well as the speed of your modem and router.
Your router’s location in relation to the device you are using The router will lower the channel width and data rate as the device travels farther from the router, until it reaches the minimum. Your speed will decrease, to put it simply.
The distance between your router and your device Your internet connection will be affected by things like concrete and walls since you’re utilizing WiFi, which relies on radio frequencies. The slower your WiFi signal becomes, the more hindered it is.
How much sabotage is there in the atmosphere? (from both WiFi and non-WiFi sources) 2.4 GHz radio waves are used by many gadgets in your house today, including WiFi. Network congestion and interference increase when more devices use the same frequency to communicate. There is an increase in network latency as devices fight for bandwidth.
When designing a WiFi network in order to maximize performance, there are simply more aspects to take into account. Things like distance, obstacles, and interference all come into play when it comes to WiFi since it utilizes a radio signal.
It’s important to keep in mind that in order to hack into an Ethernet connection, a hacker must have access to the Ethernet wire itself.
Due to the fact that WiFi is communicated by radio waves, eavesdropping is more simpler. A person sitting in their vehicle or in the apartment next door might possibly pick up your WiFi network and use it to connect to the internet while outside your house.
It’s because of this that Ethernet is considered more secure.
Breaking into someone’s house and hacking their Ethernet is more difficult and time-consuming than snooping on your WiFi connection.
However, WPA2 encryption has been implemented to WiFi in recent years (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2). Basically, this implies that you can set up a password for your WiFi.
In order to secure your WiFi network, all you need to do is create a password.
It’s not only about the kind of connection you use when it comes to security.
In addition to the connection itself, you must also take into account the operating systems of the devices you’re linked to and whether or not they’re up-to-date.
Security flaws and vulnerabilities may be fixed through software updates, which is why they are crucial. Putting your device at danger if you don’t have the most recent version installed. In addition, there are more vulnerabilities that are not included in this article.
It’s a simple one, so don’t worry about it.
Ethernet is a kind of wired connection that connects your computer or other device to the internet. That implies that you’re constrained in terms of where you can go in your house since you’re tied to a cable.
You’ll also have to cope with a slew of wires in addition to being confined to a small space. Cords are a pain in the ass. Multiple wires strewn over the floor or walls are an eyesore for me. They’re unsightly, and they obstruct the flow of traffic.
The cost of running wires throughout your house if you want to connect a large number of devices through Ethernet isn’t inexpensive.
In the event that you already have Ethernet connections running throughout your house, this is clearly not a big problem. A video game console may not be the most important factor in your mobility, but it’s still important to note that this is still a restricted mobility device.
WiFi, in the end, provides greater flexibility than Ethernet. When you don’t want to be tied down by a cable, you may move the gadget anywhere you wish. Did I mention that wires are a pain to work with?
Wireless vs. Ethernet: Which one is better?
In the war between Ethernet and WiFi, Ethernet is almost always victorious in the long-run. Simply said, it’s quicker and safer than WiFi. This means that setting up your system properly is crucial!
For example, let’s say you’ve got the greatest modem/router combination and a Cat 6a Ethernet cable, but your internet plan only offers 25Mbps of bandwidth. What a surprise! You’ll be limited to 25 Mbps of internet speed. Most WiFi alternatives are slower than this!
Also, think about what you’re hoping to achieve.
In most cases, you don’t need to worry too much about the speed of your internet connection. As long as you have some middle of the road equipment, a basic 50 Mbps package should sufficient
When it comes to gaming or creating a smart home, on the other hand, latency may be an issue. You may want to do more research in these cases to ensure that your internet service will fulfill your requirements and expectations.
I use both Ethernet and WiFi in my house. There is room for both of them.
What kind of internet connection do you have at home?