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Wireless vs. Wired

When you're about to set up your network, at home or at your business, you have both wireless and wired connection options available. One type of Internet connection may be better suited to your needs than the other. However, there are advantages to each, and you'll want to look at the critical features of each before making a final decision.

Wireless

Wired

Connection Security

Less secureMore secure

Speed

54Mbps100Mbps

Number of users

As many as allowedOnly as many as cords available

Reach

Entire home or businessDependent on cable length

Device compatibility

Nearly universalMust have Ethernet port

Mobility

Highly mobileImmobile

Wireless

Advantages of wireless

  • Mobility - Without the need for a wired connection, you are free to move anywhere within the range of the wireless router and maintain a good connection.
  • Device Compatibility - As long as a device is wireless-ready, it can connect to the Internet.
  • Number of Users - You can have as many users as there are devices within the range of the network.
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Limitations of wireless

  • Speed - Although wireless Internet speeds have come a long way, they are still not as fast as a wired connection.
  • Limited Capacity - If you have too many people on the network at once, it can bog down the connection and everyone's speed will slow.
  • Less Security - Although there a variety of security options, it is more difficult to control who is using a wireless connection, especially when it comes to devices like smartphones and tablets.
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Wired

Advantages of wired

  • Speed - Wired connections offer much higher download speeds for large amounts of data.
  • Better security - Since you need an Ethernet cord to connect, you'll know exactly who will have access to your network.
  • No Interference Issues - Often a wireless connection can be slow in certain areas of your home or business where the wireless signal gets blocked. With a wired connection, this is never an issue.
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Limitations of wired

  • No Mobility - You are going to be limited to the length of your Ethernet cable.
  • Demanding to Install - Installing a wired connection throughout an entire office or home might require a lot of cable and potentially drilling through the walls in order to add wires. 
  • Limited Device Compatibility - In order to access the Internet, a device will have to have an Ethernet port. Most smartphones and tablets canno taccess the network this way.
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