In searching the internet, you will find many articles agreeing that when your computer is hardwired to your internet modem/router, your internet speed is much faster, more stable and offers greater security than a WiFI connection.
So should I hardwire all my computers?
Let’s first discuss the reasons for using WiFi in the first place.
- Everyone has mobile devices that need a connection in all parts of your home or office (bathroom, garage, etc.).
- Inconvenient or costly to run ethernet cables.
- Setup time is fast.
- WiFi is sufficient for most normal development work.
Why have a hardwire ethernet connection over WiFI?
- Better stability by reducing packet loss.
- Consistent speeds.
- Reduce outside interference for a more reliable connection.
- Improved security (your data not in the airwaves).
- Lessen latency (delayed traffic).
- Cut dropped signals.
- Not susceptible to environmental elements (walls and floors).
- Best for those who download and upload huge files (video) regularly.
You may not have to run cables throughout your office or home. Maybe just to your main working area. As an example, in my situation, I am hardwired to my desktop computer, because it isn’t mobile. This is also the machine that I process and upload photos and videos, so speed does matter here.
Most of the time, my laptops rely on WiFi but can be connected to via cable if need be, as I do have additional cables connected to the extra ports of the router (if your laptop has an Ethernet port).
Ethernet CablesAll specs based on 100-meter length unless otherwise specified.
This chart only lists ethernet cables that are currently available and recommended for use today.
|Unshielded||1Gb||100 Mhz||Reduced cross talk|
|Cat 6||Unshielded and |
10 Gb @ 55 meters
|250 Mhz||Sheath thicker than Cat 5e||Further reduces cross talk w/ tighter wound pairs & foil or braided shielding.|
|Shielded||10 Gb||500 Mhz||Thicker than Cat 6||Cross talk eliminated w/ thicker sheathing.|
|Cat 7||Shielded||10 Gb|
100 Gb @ 15 meters
|600 Mhz||Thicker and stiffer||Uses GigaGate45 connector. Uses extensive shielding.|
Is the newest Cat 7 Ethernet cable the best cable to use?
First, let’s discuss basic Ethernet cable knowledge.
“Cat” is a short designation for Category. The number that follows represents the specifications that were followed to manufacture that particular cable. I will not address obsolete versions such as Cat 5 and earlier, only the versions that are current and available.
Basic rule: The higher the number equals faster speeds and frequencies (MHz).
So how about Cat 7?
The specs are really high ended. As far as I know, there aren’t any ISP that have speeds that match the capabilities of Cat 7. If you are building a new home and plan to run cables inside the walls, you might consider running Cat 7 cables for future proofing.
You also need to have the hardware to handle these fast speeds.
Hardware that is not up to the task can be huge impediments to your internet traffic.
- Check your router, can it have superfast Gigabyte LAN ports?
- At least four 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet ports.
- Single or dual band, if you stream live video and enjoy smooth gaming, you need to have dual bands.
- Wireless Protocols: 802.11n, allows for maximum data rates of up to 600Mbps and operates on both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands.
Router Security – additional features to look for:
- Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
- Better: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2), which requires entering a network password for each device.
- High Level: WPA-Enterprise security offers a higher level of security than WPA/WPA2, but require a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server to authenticate each client.
- Look for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6): 128-bit scheme for future proofing.
In my opinion, your Cat 5e or Cat 6 cables should be sufficient for normal use. As the majority of users have 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps so Cat5e is more than sufficient to handle your needs. Even if your ISP offers 1 Gbps, you are good to go with these cables.
If you want the maximum speed with smooth consistent speeds, you can’t go wrong with hard wiring your computer with an Ethernet connection.