WiFi vs. Ethernet: Which Is Better?

Last Updated: October 29, 2021By

White router on white surface

Whether you’re a professional photographer, videographer, or just need to get things done while traveling, wireless internet access is something that we all rely on. However, there are two main types of connections that people use to get online: WiFi and Ethernet.

Which one should you be using? This article will answer this question by exploring the differences between these two technologies and giving some tips for choosing the right type of connection for your needs.

What Is the Difference Between WiFi and Ethernet?

WiFi is a technology for wireless local area networks (WLANs) that allows electronic devices to connect to each other without requiring cables or power lines. It uses high-frequency radio waves instead of wires and has become popular at home.

Ethernet connection is another way to access the internet, but it requires a physical cable. This means you’ll need to run cables around your home and drill holes in walls for this type of connection. Ethernet is the best choice for devices that require a constant, high-bandwidth internet connection.

What Are WiFi and Ethernet Used For? 

WiFi allows you to connect to your desired websites from any location within range of a wireless router. This means you can use it at home, in cafes or restaurants with public WiFi, and even on public transport.

Ethernet is the preferred connection for devices such as desktop computers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs because it offers higher speeds than WiFi.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Speed

WiFi is designed for use in small or large areas. The average WiFi connection speed range depends on GHz, the number of connected devices, and how many walls or floors you’re connecting through.

2.4 GHz is the most commonly used frequency, but it has a slower speed range of around 450Mbps.

5 GHz is way faster, with a speed range of around 1300Mbps.

Ethernet is usually faster than WiFi due to its wired connection nature. However, different types of cables have their own maximum speeds, which can vary greatly depending on the type being used. Cat-cables tend to be better for home use. For example, Cat8 can reach speeds of up to 40Gbps.

Ethernet provides faster speeds than WiFi because there are no limits due to the distance between devices or interference with other wireless networks that could slow down the connection.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Connectivity

Black and white router turned on wooden table

WiFi routers can cover an entire home or office space. It allows multiple devices to connect simultaneously, but it can sometimes be inconsistent or slow due to interference from other electronic devices in your home and radio frequencies between walls. This means that devices placed at opposite ends of a building may not be able to connect.

Ethernet cables are usually limited to one device per cable, but the connection is direct and therefore faster. This makes it easy for you to connect your devices without worrying about interference or distance between them.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Cost

WiFi routers can be bought from most electronic retailers, but high-end models will be more expensive than basic ones. You’ll also need to purchase a separate modem – these can range greatly depending on your ISP’s plan, so you may want to shop around.

Ethernet cables are relatively cheap to purchase, but you’ll need to measure the distance between your router and devices that you want to connect before making any purchase. You’ll then need to run the cable around walls and other obstacles.

Furthermore, If one cable is damaged, it will affect the rest of them, so replacing individual cables could get pricey if there are many throughout your house or office.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Latency

Latency is the delay between sending and receiving data over a network. It can be impacted by many factors.

WiFi has a much higher latency than an Ethernet because of its radio frequency use – this means there’s less bandwidth available for each device, and more data is lost in transmission.

Ethernet has much lower latency than WiFi because of its wired connection nature – it sends the data straight from one device to another without any interference and loss of bandwidth due to radio frequencies.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Security

WiFi routers usually come with a default network name and password, making them easy to connect to. However, they are also easier for hackers or other strangers to access because of their proximity – this can lead to identity theft or other attacks on your devices.

Ethernet cables are physical wires that can’t be hacked into remotely, meaning that your data and information are much more secure.

WiFi vs. Ethernet: Convenience

WiFi routers are located near the devices you want to connect, which makes it fast and convenient. They can also be moved from place to place if needed without having to rewire them each time they’re relocated.

Ethernet cables tend to stay in one location once they’ve been installed because of their physical nature – this is usually more practical because it gives you a fixed network connection to work from.

Which Connection Type Should I Use?

If You Have a PC

Ethernet is the best choice in this situation. It delivers faster speeds and lower latency than WiFi, making it a much better option for online gaming or streaming high-quality videos without any buffering issues.

If You Want a Signal Throughout Your Home

WiFi is the best choice because it can cover a larger area, but you may need to invest in high-quality routing equipment if thick walls block the signal.

WiFi and Ethernet both have their own pros and cons, so it really depends on your individual needs. If you’re happy with the speed of your current connection, then there’s no need to change it.

However, if you find that reception is dropping out in certain areas around your home or office space, then an Ethernet may be a better option if your device allows it.

Additionally, you may use Mesh WiFI to boost your WiFi signal in hard-to-reach areas.