How Does an Ethernet Cable Compare to Wi-Fi?

In a wireless world, let’s not forget about the applications in which using an ethernet cable still offers excellent benefits. For some in-home or in-office purposes, you may consider foregoing the convenience of Wi-Fi for the consistent reliability and speed that ethernet cables provide. While Wi-Fi is known for its convenience, ethernet is known for its dependable service, every time. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the uses of Ethernet and Wi-Fi.


There’s no doubt that ethernet is a faster way to connect to the internet than Wi-Fi. Ethernet cables can provide up to 10 gigabits per second, and in a much more consistent way than Wi-Fi. Also, for transferring files between two devices in a network, ethernet will also make that a much faster process than Wi-Fi. Test out the difference by transferring files on Wi-Fi and then again with an ethernet cable connected.  


Latency refers to the amount of time time it takes for traffic to travel from one device to its destination. This is especially important for gamers, who refer to it as ping. Using an ethernet cable is the best way to ensure that latency won’t be as much of a factor. For other internet uses, including casual web surfing or even streaming movies, the amount of latency won’t cause you any noticeable issues. Compare the latency of Wi-Fi and Ethernet by pinging your router’s IP address on Wi-Fi and then again while connected to an ethernet cable.    

Interference and Reliability

Given the nature of the connected technology, ethernet cables offer much more reliability than Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connections are subject to a lot of interference, from simple factors such as the layout of your furniture which could block the signal. The interference will lead to lower connection speeds, high latency, or even dropped signals altogether. Because of the direct connection that ethernet cables provide, it is more reliable on a consistent basis.

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