If you want to connect to the Internet today you have two great options that are, broadly speaking, the most used, the Ethernet cable in its different versions, and Wi-Fi, also in its different versions. To these two options should be added, in addition, the mobile data-driven connections (4G mainly, since 5G has an adoption rate that is still quite limited), although this third option is mainly focused on the smartphone sector. Both fall into the category of wireless connections, since they do not use wiring.
And what connection should I use? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question on more than one occasion, and the truth is that not only there is no universal answer, but it is also not good to always limit yourself to a single connection.
Ideally, to have the best possible experience, is to know the advantages and disadvantages of wireless and wired connections, and choose one or the other depending on what we need to enjoy the Internet, our favorite games or those multimedia contents that we like so much.
Cable Internet Connection: Advantages, Disadvantages and When to Use It
A wired Internet connection typically achieves a cleaner and more stable signal, and allows us to enjoy maximum performance possible, as long as we use the right components. For example, if we have contracted a connection with an upload and download speed of 900 Mbps, but we use an Ethernet cable that can only reach 100 Mbps, we will be creating a clear bottleneck. We would need a Gigabit Ethernet cable, which can work at a maximum of 1,000 Mbps.
With this type of connection we will enjoy reduced latency, we can make the most of the Internet connection that we have contracted and we won’t have to worry about interference. This type of connection is the best option to use certain devices, such as:
- Video game consoles that we are going to use online.
- Computers and laptops to download heavy content, or to play online.
- Smart TVs attached to high-resolution streaming multimedia content platforms.
We must use this type of Internet connection when performance, stability and connection quality are our top priorities. Among its most important disadvantages are all those associated with the limitations inherent in any wired connection:
- It ties us to a specific place.
- We need a cable for each device.
- Cable management, in multi-device environments that use this type of connection, can be chaotic.
Wireless Internet Connection: Advantages, Disadvantages and When to Use It
We have already anticipated that two major variants are used today, Wi-Fi and mobile data. The first is the most widespread in homes and companies, and the second is used in more specific situations and cases.
Wireless connections have, as main advantages, that they are very easy to use, and that simplify the creation of multi-device environments without having to deal with the nightmare of wiring. For example, a router placed in an adjoining room can be used to connect two smartphones, three laptops, a PC and a smart TV to the Internet, without having to use a single cable. Among the devices that can get the most out of this type of connection are:
- Smartphones, tablets and the like.
- Portable consoles.
- Smart devices.
With the arrival of the Wi-Fi 5 standard, the performance of this type of connection has improved considerably, and the same applies to mobile data after the standardization of 4G. However, the speeds offered by this type of connection are highly variable depending on the distance and coverage, and are very sensitive to obstacles and interference, because they usually offer lower performance, less stability, and higher latency.