Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi: Which One is Right For You?
By Christine Margret 5 minutes
Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi: Which one is better? That’s what you will find out in this blog. It mainly depends on what you’re doing online. Both Ethernet and Wi-Fi have a set of different advantages and downsides. You will get a better idea upon comparing both commodities.
Before starting of with the differences between Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi, I will get to the main definitions of what is Ethernet and what is Wi-Fi to help you decide what’s best for you.
What Is Ethernet?
Ethernet is the traditional technology for connecting devices in a wired local area network or wide area network. It describes how network devices can format and transmit data via an ethernet cord.
Traditionally a blue casing over the wiring, with a square, plastic connector. Ethernet is popular because of its inexpensive pricing. It will remain popular because of its ability to evolve and deliver performance while maintaining compatibility.
Furthermore, Ethernet is still widely used by different institutes, including schools, offices, hospitals, and gamers, for its high speed, reliability, and security.
However, the physical nature of an ethernet connection limits its mobility. It’s not ideal for real-time applications, and it’s a more complex installation process than Wi-Fi.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi refers to wireless Fidelity, it is a modern wireless technology to connect multiple devices simultaneously. This wireless networking technology allows devices to exchange information while forming a network.
The entire internet connectivity in a wireless connection occurs via a wireless router. The wireless router is connected to your internet modem and works as a focal point to transmit the internet signals to all the connected devices.
This is what makes Wi-Fi extremely flexible, and mobile as it enables you to stay connected to the internet as long as you’re within the network physical proximity.
What is the Difference Between the Ethernet and the Wi-Fi?
These are the major differences between a Wi-Fi and an Ethernet connection:
- Wi-Fi uses a router to send signals to your Wi-Fi enabled devices. Meanwhile, Ethernet uses an Ethernet cable that you connect into your device’s port to connect it to the internet.
- Ethernet cable directly connects your router to the device, offering greater speeds. Wi-Fi uses radio signals to send data from your wireless router to your connected devices, offering flexibility and great mobility.
Pros and Cons of Ethernet vs Wi-Fi
|Complex and expensive setup
|Less mobility and convenience
|High online security
|Requires multiple devices for configuration
|Simultaneously connects multiple devices
|Slow speeds and inconsistent connectivity
|Greater mobility and flexibility
|Easy setup and cost saving
|Vulnerable to hacking attacks
|Wide network coverage
Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi Comparision
Here is a table that summarizes the main comparison between Ethernet and Wi-Fi:
|Ethernet is the best for online gaming. It has high speed and less latency
|Wi-Fi is best for streaming on multiple devices. You can connect more than 50 devices over a single router.
|Ethernet doesn’t provide support for IoT devices
|Wi-Fi has great compatibility with IoT devices
|Ethernet connection is more cluttered with various wires and devices
|Wi-Fi offers a less cluttered experience
|Data transmission is safe and doesn’t require encryption
|Data transmission is slow and unsecured and requires strong encryption.
Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi When Should you use Wi-Fi?
You should use Wi-Fi connection for mobility and device compatibility. For example, if you want to stream a movie on your bed or on the couch using your mobile, then a Wi-Fi connection is the best bet. It gives you great mobility, and flexibility compared to an ethernet connection.
Moreover, Wi-Fi network supports almost all devices, its compatibility is huge, and you can connect almost all devices, including your mobile, laptop, Smart TV, desktop, and other iOT devices.
So, if you want internet connection on maximum devices, then you should always use a Wi-Fi connection.
Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi: When Should you use Ethernet?
For three main reasons, you should always use an Ethernet connection. Primarily for faster speed, low latency and secure connection. Ethernet is the best option for online gaming and streaming on a single device.
Is Ethernet better than Wi-Fi?
It mainly depends on your needs. Ethernet cable is reliable, secure and faster. It is a great option for companies and institutes for a secure network connectivity.
However, for a general user, Wi-Fi should be a go-to network. Wi-Fi connections are vulnerable and prone to cyber-attacks, therefore a VPN is suggested for complete online security while using a Wi-Fi connection.
Ethernet vs Wi-Fi: Which One is Faster?
Ethernet connections are faster than Wi-Fi connections. The ethernet uploading speed is 30Mbps, and downloading speed is 60Mbps. Meanwhile, the uploading speed of an average Wi-Fi connection is 15Mbps, and downloading speed is 20Mbps.
How much faster is Ethernet than Wi-Fi?
Ethernet connection gives up to 10Gbps of speed depends on your connected ethernet cable and internet plan. Wi-Fi with new technology offers speed up to 866.7 Mbps.
Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi: Which is more secure?
An ethernet connection is more secure than Wi-Fi. Data transmission on an Ethernet connection directly access the network using a single, attached device to the network. Wi-Fi connection uses remote signals that travel on air, making data transmission more vulnerable, and prone to interception attacks.
What should I use on my Smart TV, Ethernet or Wi-Fi?
Ethernet is the best for Smart TV when a modem is in close proximity. If the modem is not in the close proximity, then you can use Wi-Fi on Smart TV.
Is Ethernet better for gaming?
Ethernet is best for online gaming because it reduces latency and gives high speed for fast-paced games.
Is Ethernet best for streaming?
In terms of streaming speed, Ethernet is the best for streaming. However, for device compatibility and mobility, you should always opt Wi-Fi for streaming.
How to improve Wi-Fi connection?
Though Ethernet connection is fast, reliable and consistent naturally. But, you can also improve your Wi-Fi connection by installing access points, resetting router, disconnecting additional devices, and moving router on a less crowded place.
Here is our final verdict on Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi. Ethernet connection is best for speed, security, connectivity, and reliability. It can be best for online gaming and streaming on a single device. However, Wi-Fi connection gives commendable flexibility and mobility. So, if your priority is to connect multiple devices to the internet and roam around while browsing, or streaming then you should opt for a Wi-Fi connection. However, if you are not concerned about flexibility and mobile, but higher speed is your priority, then you should get your hands on the Ethernet connection.