Wi-Fi Versus Ethernet: the Pros and Cons

Wi-Fi Versus Ethernet: the Pros and Cons

May 26, 2021 0 By Hoofer
Zerto Gartner Report

Our modern technological advances—whether it’s satellite imagery or online gaming—are built on the foundation of internet connection. And because modern tech puts an emphasis on hands-free capabilities, Wi-Fi is typically seen as the more advanced option. But Ethernet still exists, and the proponents of it often hail it as superior to Wi-Fi, while others maintain that it’s archaic and outmoded.

For those trying to decide the best options for their homes and business, knowing the pros and cons of Wi-Fi versus Ethernet will help them draw a conclusion.

Wi-Fi

Pros

Freedom of Mobility

One of the primary reasons we turn to Wi-Fi is because it allows us to go hands-free. And given we’re in an age of mobile devices, this fact is essential. This mobility allows us to extend internet usage throughout entire buildings and even in select outdoor settings instead of in specified stations.

Connects a Variety of Devices

When the internet is dependent on a specific set of chords, it’s limited to whatever devices that chord is plugged into. That means only a select few computers at a time can use Wi-Fi. This says nothing of devices without Ethernet ports, such as cell phones and tablets. Wi-Fi allows a greater number of devices to use the internet all at the same time.

Cons

Weaker Connection

Although Wi-Fi connections are stronger now than they have ever been, there is still much that can interfere with them. Physical barriers and other electronic devices can make Wi-Fi connections spotty, and they may vary from location to location.

Possibility of EMF

Electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, are everywhere in our environment, and a common source of them is Wi-Fi connection. While research is still ongoing as to whether this is a bad thing, some theorize that there may be connections between EMF and conditions such as insomnia or cancer. There are ways to protect your home from EMF, but they may fiddle with your internet connection.

Ethernet

Pros

Stronger, Faster Connection

When looking at the pros and cons of Wi-Fi versus Ethernet connection strength, there is no question—using Ethernet gives users a connection that’s faster and stronger than Wi-Fi. The factors that may interfere with a Wi-Fi connection don’t disturb an Ethernet connection. Because there’s nothing interfering with what’s happening in the chord, connections on Ethernet tend to be strong, faster, and more consistent than Wi-Fi connections. 

Better Security

It is far easier to access another house’s Wi-Fi than it is to access their Ethernet. This can potentially leave those with Wi-Fi more vulnerable to identity theft and other privacy concerns. Those with Ethernet’s internet can’t be accessed without being hooked up to the chord itself.

Cons

Limited Devices

As mentioned, the fact that devices must be hooked up to Ethernet means that you can only hook up so many at a time. This is fine in homes with limited electronics or people, but in homes with multiple technology users, this is often unfeasible without significantly changing their lifestyles.

Tripping Hazards

While the physical impact of Wi-Fi is invisible and largely debatable, there is no question as to whether or not Ethernet cables create an impediment. Extra chords can create tripping hazards or become an eyesore unless they’re installed in the walls.