Understanding WiFi and wired connections

WiFi provides a wireless internet connection, while Ethernet provides a corded connection. Many routers allow you to connect both ways: wirelessly or using a wired connection. Understanding the differences between Ethernet and WiFi can help you decide how you would like to connect.

Should you connect over WiFi or Ethernet?

Here's a look at the pros and cons of WiFi vs. wired connections

WiFi Connection

Flexible and convenient


Can move around anywhere within range of the wireless signal


Guests can connect without additional equipment

    Tends to be a little slower than a wired connection
    Signal can be blocked by certain materials
    Can be less secure than a wired connection if you don't take security measures.
Wired (Ethernet) Connection Typically faster than WiFi  
  Lower latency than WiFi  
  Fewer problems with interference  
  Can be more secure than WiFi, depending on what security you have in place on your WiFi  
    Requires a cord, limiting location
    Many devices don't have an Ethernet port

How to get a wired connection

Many routers support a hardwired Ethernet connection, but you’ll want to check your specific router to make sure.

Here's what you need:

  • An Ethernet or LAN jack on your router
  • An Ethernet port on the device you want to plug in
  • A USB adapter if you don't have a port on the device 
  • An Ethernet cable designed for the specific speed range

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