Hardwired vs wireless internet – is this really still a discussion worth having?

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Hardwired vs wireless Internet – there was a way more clearcut winner in years past. But is there still today?

Well, I can tell you that every once in a while when I’m guesting on somebody else’s podcast or livestream, they will tell me that a hardwired connection is better than a wireless connection for the recording. And maybe that’s true if you don’t set up your wireless Internet correctly. But is it true as a flat statement?

I don’t think so but let’s take a look here at the options.

What even is hardwired Internet?

Hardwired Internet, ethernet cableHardwired Internet means that the ethernet cable from the wall gets plugged into the computer.

Back in the day, that’s how it used to be done. No questions asked. it was the only option. Which is probably why some podcasts still tell you today that “hardwired is best.”

In fact, I remember, when I was working in a newspaper newsroom and they were talking about Wi-Fi for the first time and how it would work in a big office building. Basically Wi-Fi access points and computers would switch between them. It seemed groundbreaking at the time.

And certainly in homes, hardwired has been the norm when people had desktop computers and they were placed in a specific location. Today, people walk around with their computers or iPads.

Read next: How does a whole house generator work?

Wireless internet

Wireless routerTraditionally, wireless Internet – especially in a home – was distributed through one router.

And then that router was placed wherever the outlet was which previously would’ve been hardwired into the computer nearby.

Today, that’s not the most effective way to cover a house with high-speed Wi-Fi. A Wi-Fi mesh system – using eeros, for example – extends the coverage to the entire house no matter how far the spot of the computer is from the original router.

Eero WiFi mesh system

So then what I do with these I place them in strategic locations around the house. For example, I use a Ring router as what would’ve originally been just the one and only router. And then the other devices are placed near my office set up and in another farther away location in the house. With that it’s covering the entire house with good Internet in all spots.

You can even plug devices into them, but of course that’s not the original router and I would say that’s not the traditional definition of hardwired Internet anyways.

And, if you have a MacBook, you can’t plug into an ethernet cable anyway. So it’s not hardwired versus wireless Internet. It’s you will be using wireless Internet. But the good news is it works just fine anyways when set up correctly. And of course, the inbound speed from the Internet company needs to be good.

So when people insist hardwired is best, they could be correct, but only when you’re Internet, speed and Wi-Fi system or not up to snuff.

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