WiFi vs Cabled LANs : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary
©1997-2017 2014-10-24 Roedy Green of Canadian Mind Products
- WiFi vs Cabled LANS
Nowadays you can hook up your LAN (Local Area Network) with Ethernet cables or with WiFi (Wireless Fidelity)
radio waves, or a combination of both. Which kind of router should you
Advantages of WiFi
- There are no cables to connect incorrectly.
- There is no concern with plain vs crossover cables.
- There are no cables to buy. Cables, especially ones that snake
from room to room can be quite expensive.
- There are no connectors to get damaged, dirty or loose. I have always had trouble with poor connections. I have tried taping them up in various
ways, but I can never get them fully reliable. The tiniest bump with my foot on a cable breaks the connection.
- If you have a laptop that you take away and bring back, there is
nothing to disconnect and connect.
Disadvantages of WiFi
- The transmissions are slower than with cables.
- If you are not careful, other people in your apartment building
can snoop on your transmissions or rack up bills on your Internet
- Some people don’t like exposing themselves to radio waves,
no matter how low the dose.
Advantages of Cabled
- With Ethernet cables you can get get 10, 100 and even 1000 megabits per second.
With WiFi N standard, in theory you can get 300 megabits per second, but actuality, you get a small
fraction of that.
- With cabling, you have greater privacy. People driving by on the street cannot
snoop on your transmissions, even if they know your passwords.
- If you want extra speed you can install two Ethernet cards in one computer and
Disadvantages of Cabled
- If you add another computer, or want to host a guest, you need an
extra cable. You may also run out of slots on the router.
There is always room for one more with WiFi.