Use wired ethernet instead of Wi-Fi when possible

LifeHacker, one of my personal favorite blogs, recently ran a poll on how many of their readers use a wired network in their house as opposed to wireless only. A surprising minority were exclusively wireless, with most people reporting at least some of their devices being wired – and this is a good thing! We’ll discuss a wiring project in our next post, but I’ve recently run some speed tests using SpeedTest.net, testing on my Dell Laptop in three configurations: wired, Wi-Fi two floors away, and Wi-Fi right next to the access point.

The results were pretty telling: network speed on a wired connection is understandably good (I have a 100Mbps Xfinity connection by Comcast – getting real speeds of almost 80Mbps isn’t too bad!):
wired

When I was in the same room as the Wi-Fi access point, you can see the download speed comes nowhere close to being physically wired – it’s 65% slower:
wireless-mrc-down

When I tested again two floors away from the Wi-Fi access point, download speed dropped off another 30%:
wireless-mrc-up

The takeaway here is that not only is wired ethernet dramatically faster than Wi-Fi, but distance matters when connecting wirelessly – if you have a multi-floor house it might be worth considering the use of multiple access points.

Posted by Matt Chiste
July 24
One comment on “Use wired ethernet instead of Wi-Fi when possible
  1. Aseem says:

    Those WiFi speeds are atrocious! I live in an apartment building and am sounded by at least a dozen routers. With some tuning I was able to bump up the speeds dramatically. I was even able to get my full 50 mbps over a 5 ghz band. I haven’t tried 2.4 yet, but I can comfortably stream HD video from my NAS to my tablet. Don’t let your wifi-only devices suffer ;)

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