WiFi vs Ethernet: Which is faster? Safest? Secure?

There is a debate over the potential speed of WiFi connections versus wired connections. Ethernet connections are not only faster but also safer.

The era of technology in which we live leads us to stay connected at all times (Some times forcefully). Consequences of the connectivity is seen in communications and in the way we got used to what is happening instantly. Today, as users of technology, we consider it natural to be able to obtain information or communicate immediately with another person.

In this context, two options are generally available to us to stay connected. The first, via wireless access via WiFi, and the second via a network cable, commonly called Ethernet. Let’s analyze these two options to determine what sets them apart and take a closer look at the belief that network cables are always the best option.

Internet access via a network cable: faster?

Naturally, the arrival of wireless connectivity represents a great advantage because it allows us to keep our physical space cleaner and to avoid the need for lengths of cable between the connected devices. The convenience offered by wireless, when we talk about pure speed, the debate has been there from a long time. WiFi or network cable: which is faster? The answer is quite simple; the wire is faster. Although WiFi is a newer protocol, many factors come into play and affect the speed of a connection. We will only cover a few of them in this article. Perhaps the main problem is the saturation of the channels and the large number of default connections, which makes data transmission speeds less stable and generally lower.

its also depends on the building structures, for example, concrete walls, swimming pools and other building materials which can cause loss of signal and reduced performance, which affects the speeds achievable from a WiFi connection. In general, the higher the frequency, the higher the rate of absorption of signals by walls and floors.

Of course, these slight variations are practically invisible during working. However, the differences in performance are most evident when it comes to activities like online gaming, sharing files over the network, or streaming UltraHD content.

In summary, we can say that although there are different norms and standards for each type of connection, a properly installed network cable connection will generally be faster than a WiFi connection. For example, the 802.11ac standard declared speed of 6.5 Gb/s is the maximum theoretical speed (which is faster than Ethernet 2.5 to 6 Gb / s), but that in most cases, this potential speed is not attainable, because it is affected by the obstacles that we have just mentioned. Ethernet connections, on the other hand, offer more stable performance, as they are not affected by these problems or other external factors. Finally, it should be noted that a few years ago, the Cat.8 Ethernet protocol was launched. Due to its high costs, the use of this protocol is not very widespread, but it can reach speeds of up to 40 Gb/s.

Internet access via Ethernet is safer than WiFi.

If we think in terms of secure communications, the argument for wireless connections disappoints immediately. If we compare it to Ethernet, various types of Attacks can be carried out remotely, such as the authentication of a device or the hacking of the encryption key to access the network. Over the past years, we have witnessed the emergence of vulnerabilities like KRACK, which affects WPA2 (one of the most robust and widespread protocols), and which has probably been the trigger that has led to the development of the new WPA3. However, it has not yet widely use. Also, an attacker could block wireless communications, with more or less success, thanks to the famous signal jammers.

Finally, another widespread type of attack is one that uses fake access points, where the victim connects to an open network that was created by the attacker, who then spies on user traffic and steals his data. Of course, these attacks are impossible to perform remotely via an Ethernet network, since an attacker would need physical access to achieve them.

For these reasons, wired connections are safer than wireless connections, or in other words, they offer a lower risk of incidents if you do not go to great lengths to apply some of the various security measures available.

So, do we need cables or WiFi?

After reading this, you may have started to think about the advisability of updating your network architecture and connecting everything via Ethernet. Of course, for devices like smartwatches, tablets, cell phones and smart lighting, this option is not possible.

We can logically conclude that the best way to transfer files between devices at maximum speed is to use an Ethernet cable. It is essential to clarify that the Internet speed indicated in the contract concluded with your ISP does not make any difference in this case.

It goes without the need for mobility will have an impact on our decision, as will the number of ports available on our router. If you use a laptop and continuously move from one office to another in the area covered by your WiFi, it may be impractical to limit yourself to one cable. It would effectively force you to stay in the same place. With a desktop computer, however, things are different. Although desktop computers can be equipped with a wireless card, this is only recommended when it is not possible to connect an Ethernet cable between the desktop and the router. For network sharing devices and media players, cable connections are also a preferable solution.

While the dream of cordless devices is already within our reach, in many cases, it’s not the best option if you like high speeds. In the end, it all comes down to setting your priorities.


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