Internet Misconceptions: Debunking Wired and Wireless Myths

ethernet connection

As of March 2017, there were 3.74 billion internet users all around the world. While many of us feel a need to be constantly connected in this manner, the reality is that not everyone connects in the same way. Case in point: our different internet connection preferences. While some users couldn’t live without their WiFi, others are loyal to their Ethernet connections. There are definitive pros and cons to each method — and each option has its fair share of misconceptions that people believe about these internet hookups. For better or for worse, we’re debunking a few of those myths in today’s post.

MISCONCEPTION: Wireless internet is always better than an Ethernet network.

Reality: Having WiFi may be more convenient, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always better. In fact, an Ethernet connection may be much more beneficial in certain situations. Wired internet is typically seen as being faster, more secure, and more consistent than wireless internet. While improvements have been made to WiFi connections in recent years, they often still pale in comparison to what network Ethernet cables can provide. Of course, having WiFi allows you to move around freely without being tethered to a cable hookup. But if you require something fast and reliable, you’re probably going to find that an Ethernet connection is better for you.

MISCONCEPTION: Only desktop computers can have wired internet connections.

Reality: Actually, you can benefit from an Ethernet connection if you have a laptop computer, too! It may be more common to see desktop PCs hooked up to wired internet networks, but there’s no reason why your laptop can’t be. Of course, you may not want to be forced to work on your laptop in one spot. But if you have a designated desk space or a 500 ft Ethernet cable, you may find that it works great. Plus, it’s an excellent way to ensure you can transfer large amounts of data in a short time period, that you can game without interruption, or that your connection is more secure.

MISCONCEPTION: With WiFi, you’ll get the speeds your ISP promises.

Reality: This is, unfortunately, not usually the case. It may not be because your internet service provider is purposefully trying to deceive you, though ISPs have gotten in trouble for this more recently. Ultimately, it may likely come down to how internet speeds are advertised and how this information is interpreted by the client. Because wireless networks have what’s called environmental degradation — i.e., they become slower when more people are trying to access the airspace — ISPs can’t accurately predict how fast WiFi speeds will be. Therefore, they actually base promised speeds on the devices connected to Ethernet networks. More often than not, you won’t receive the speeds you think you’re paying for if you’re using WiFi. This further illustrates our point from earlier that Ethernet connections are speedier and more reliable. If you really want to get what you pay for, Ethernet is often the best way to go.

Undoubtedly, WiFi does have its benefits. These setups allow multiple devices to connect to the internet and give users the freedom to move around a given area. But this convenience has its drawbacks, too. As we’ve shown here, Ethernet hookups provide more reliability and faster speeds than WiFi can typically offer. When it comes time for you to make a decision pertaining to your internet connection, you might do well to consider the truth behind these myths. That way, the choice you make will be based on your true needs, rather than on what you think you know.

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