Life without the internet is unimaginable. Our homes, workplaces, and even our shopping joints are incomplete without having an internet connection. I cannot even imagine formatting my monthly budget without including my optimum Wi-Fi plans cost.
There are two ways to get access to the internet. You can go wireless, or choose a wired connection, (that is called Ethernet). Both of these connections have their merits and demerits. To know how these two differ and which one offers something that you need, read below.
Introduction to Both
Here is a short introduction to both before we compare their features:
Wired Network: Commonly known as Ethernet, this cable connects your device to your modem or router. It is ideal for using with big devices, like a computer desktop system, or a TV.
Wireless Network: Commonly known as Wi-Fi. This requires no cable or wire to connect to the internet. You get internet signals via your router or modem, which turn into wireless internet.
Now see how they are different from each other:
Ethernet connections can go as fast as 5GBper second. A good Wi-Fi (wireless) connection can go up to 1GB per second. Although Ethernet offers a higher internet speed, it is of no use to daily life consumers who can do well with 1GB too.
Ethernet not only reaches the top speed but because of no radio signal interference, it can easily maintain that speed too. The lost internet packets are fewer, which makes it more reliable to use while doing business transactions online, or while running business applications that require a faster and non-breakable internet connection. Video gamers also prefer a wired connection over a wireless one, as staying connected for playing a specific round in a specific time is crucial to them.
The ethernet network is mostly secured by a firewall. The Ethernet routers have a firewall installed by default and you can add extra ones too to increase the security. Your data is transmitted through the Ethernet cables, so mostly it is as safe as your routers. If your router is protected by a firewall, you are safe.
When it comes to security, using the wireless network could prove to be a little risky. If you have not secured your wireless connection well, all it is going to compromise your security is a good hacker. Of course, you can use precautionary security measures too, like protecting your connection with a strong password. If you cannot make it safe completely, you can at least make it harder for the hackers to get to it.
Ethernet works as a tether. This implies that there is a limitation to how far you can move the connected device, i.e., you can go as far as the cable lets you. You can set up a longer cable to connect it to your desired device, but that is all. Setting up a cable requires making it pass through a wall (sometimes, several!), and the connection requires maintenance too, to avoid any degradation.
On the other hand, a wireless connection requires no tether to work. The only limitation is the physical range of the Wi-Fi signals. Wireless signals are normally reachable to everybody in a small house, but when it comes to big offices or relatively larger houses, broken signals occur frequently. You can get signal repeaters installed, or install extra routers in the room where you need the signals to work the most.
Combine the Best of Both
Concluding, there are merits and demerits to using both the wireless and wired connections. But guess what, you can have both!
Modern routers have Ethernet ports installed, so you can connect the cable to your big devices, as well as enjoy the Wi-Fi for you handy ones. This is a good option for people who have more than one device at home that require an internet connection to work. So, now you can keep all the mobile phones and tabs running, while the Ethernet takes care of your heavy devices.
I recently recommended the Optimum plans for new customers to my friend after my experience with the service. She wanted both types of connections. But I cautioned her that sometimes having a single device with an internet connection won’t suffice.
So make sure you decide according to your need and equipment.