TMCnet Feature
January 27, 2020

Ethernet vs WiFi



Using a wireless internet for online gaming is a cardinal sin especially when you are a gamer. Although the wireless internet services have drastically improved with time, you can’t deny the importance of Ethernet cable for online gaming. The global gaming community because of the lag and instability of the connection looks down upon wireless internet. Cox Internet Service offers you Elite gamer that gets you lower latency and better gaming experience. However, if you are not a gamer and use the internet for downloading and streaming, then wireless internet should suit you the best.



How is Ethernet different from your regular WiFi (News - Alert)? Is there any difference in speed between the two? We will answer both these questions in this article. 

Before we move on, let’s understand the basic difference between these two. 

WiFi is a wireless connection that helps you connect to the internet without any physical wire. It’s the most widely used connection option.

Ethernet, on the other hand, requires a physical wire known as Ethernet cable, a crossover cable, and a hub for the connection. To be honest, this is an outdated technology but still has some applications in the tech sector. Let us compare the speeds, latency, reliability, and usage of Ethernet and WiFi services.  

Speed 

Broadband speed is the bottleneck for all the activities involving the internet. If your speed is significantly lower, you will not be able to stream, download, or play online games. It depends entirely on the type of connection you are using. 

Ethernet, without any doubt, offered better speed as compared to WiFi. WiFi was previously based on 802.11g standard and the maximum speed with this standard was approximately 54Mbps. If you were using the internet on your mobile phone, this speed was more than enough for you. However, Ethernet could get you 100Mbps – 1000Mbps and even beyond those limits that is quite huge.

Everything changed with the introduction of 802.11ac. This is the latest WiFi standard and offers speeds up to 3,000Mbps. WiFi now stands much better in terms of speed. 

In case, you want to send files within your network, Ethernet is the faster route. For example, if you wish to transfer files between two computers connected to the same network in your house or office, the transfer will be faster and smoother with Ethernet. 

Latency 

Latency is another big factor that cannot be ignored. It is the delay taken by the traffic from a device to its destination. In simple words, we refer to it as “ping” in the gaming world. Internet quality and speed are more than just raw bandwidth. This is important especially when you are playing online games that require a rapid and quick response from the server – you are better off with an Ethernet connection. If you are just doing regular streaming and download, latency will not bother you much. You can test the difference yourself by checking ping through command prompt with the WiFi and Ethernet. 

Reliability 

The primary reason why gamers prefer Ethernet to WiFi is reliability. Consider playing Call of Duty or Fortnite over WiFi, there may be multiple instances where you get disconnected with the server because of a poor connection. As a gamer, this is the last thing you want to happen. An Ethernet cable delivers consistent and stable speeds. Therefore, you can download large files and stream HD videos smoothly. 

WiFi, although being convenient, suffers signal interference due to many factors. The wrong placement and environmental interference often produces inconsistent performance. You are likely to observe sporadic signaling when you move from one room to another in your house. Placing the router in an optimum position might minimize the issue but you will not be able to get the same stability Ethernet offers. 

Security 

For big businesses and MNCs, data transfer should be secure to prevent any potential attack from a hacker. Therefore, they use Ethernet because only physically attached devices are able to access it. WiFi is not recommended as it’s not safe and the data should be encrypted to prevent any leakage. 

Which one is better?

  • If you use the internet for everyday usage such as regular browsing, streaming, and downloading, WiFi is adequate for you.
  • In case you’re a gamer and don’t want to risk anything, go with the Ethernet.
  • There is no clear winner. Both of them have their pros and cons. Therefore, you should choose the connection based on your needs.


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