WiFi versus Ethernet

ethernet-cablevs_wifi

Wi-Fi is obviously more convenient than wired Ethernet cables. But Ethernet still offers major advantages — faster speeds, lower latency, and no wireless interference problems.

Ethernet is just plain faster than Wi-Fi; there’s no getting around that. Wi-Fi has gotten significantly faster over the last few years thanks to new standards like 802.11ac , which offer maximum speeds of 866.7 Mb/s , but this also means you need an AC Modem and compatible WiFi dongles.

The exact maximum speed of your Ethernet cable depends on the type of Ethernet cable, a wired Ethernet connection can theoretically offer up to 10 Gb/s, if you have a Cat-6 cable. However, even the Cat-5e cable supports up to 1 Gb/s.

But your Internet connection is the real bottleneck — it’s the slowest part of the system.

For example, if you want to transfer files as fast as possible between computers or devices in the same house or otherwise on the same local network, you’ll want to use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi — and ideally at least Cat-6 cables instead of Cat-5e ones. Your Internet connection isn’t a concern with this, so it’s all up to the speeds your local network and hardware can provide.

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Latency
Connection quality just isn’t about raw bandwidth. Latency is also a big factor. This is known as “ping” in online gaming circles. If you want to reduce latency as much as possible, for example, if you’re playing online games and need reaction time to be as quick as possible — you’re much better off with a wired Ethernet connection.

In summary, with Wi-Fi, there’s a bit more of a delay with the signals that travel back and forth to your modem and WiFi dongle. With a wired Ethernet connection, there’s much less latency. You can test this by running a ping command. Ping your router’s IP address, both while connected over Wi-Fi and then while connected over Ethernet. Compare the results to see how much latency the Wi-Fi is adding.

Wi-Fi is subject to interference. With Wi-Fi, many more things can interfere. Your next door neighbour networks, other devices using Wi-Fi , and objects like walls doors etc can can all cause problems.

If you’re moving around, with your laptop, your signal may be stronger in some places than others. That is why it is also a good idea to use a WiFi unit that is USB instead of internal.

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Internal WiFi units in a desktop PC (as above) may have antennas but it is unlikely you will be able to move the computer around for a better connection.

Most USB units give you up to 1 metre of cable which allows you to move the unit around a fair bit, getting the best signal possible. One of the best units for this is probably the D-Link DWA-192 (pictured below) which is also USB 3.0. But make no mistake about it, no unit will promise or give you 100% flawless connectivity.

AC1900 Wi-Fi USB 3.0 Adapter

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Wi-Fi is still very useful. Wi-Fi allows you to get a smartphone, tablet, or laptop connected to your network from mostly anywhere when moving around. But Wi-Fi also allows you to connect devices to your network without running an Ethernet cable, so it can just be useful even when you don’t want to bother running an Ethernet cable. And that is the only real benefit of WiFi, convenience without cables

On the other hand, if you have a desktop PC or server that sits in a single place, or if you have a game console or set-top box that is next to your TV, then Ethernet cable is the best solution.

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4 Top reasons of WiFi interference.

1. Distance & walls.
It is quite obvious the fuerther you are away from your modem and the more walls you have in between will creat interfence and a weaker signal. You may want to consider a WiFi Repeater.

2. Your Neighbours Wi-Fi Networks;
One of the biggest source of interference today for most people is their neighbours’ Wi-Fi networks. The problem is that most existing Wi-Fi equipment operates on the same crowded 2.4GHz & 5GHz band.

3. Household Electronics
Is your microwave oven, cordless phone, or baby monitor sabotaging your Wifi?
Most problems with cordless phones and microwaves involve products that use the 2.4GHz band. Even some wireless baby monitors are at 2.4GHz, which can interfere.

4. People :You might recall from science class that the human body is mostly water, up to 75 percent. Water can certainly hamper Wi-Fi speeds. Too many people, like too many walls, in the way of your Router can create interference with the signal.

 

At the end of the day if you want good & consistent network speeds and you want to play games at a competitive level, you cannot go past Ethernet cable.

WiFi versus Ethernet