What to Prefer? Fixed-line Internet Connections or Wireless Internet Connections?
Internet has made the world a better place; it’s as simple as that. Everything is easier with the internet around: education, work, research, leisure, and any other activity one can imagine, the internet has the answer. To explore the wide vast world of the web, let us look at a few components which help in getting the benefits of the internet to us.
There are two types of internet connections: wired, or Ethernet, and wireless, commonly known as Wi-Fi. Both have their own pros and cons, and the preference for each depends on a number of varying factors.
Fixed-line connections are those which require the user to connect the personal device to the internet network through a wire. It is commonly known as an Ethernet connection. There are several benefits to a wired internet connection, as well as a few disadvantages. Let’s have a look at both:
As a rule of thumb, wired networks are generally faster than wireless connections. This is due to absence of impact on the internet signal from external environmental factors such as radio frequency interruption, proximity, etc.
With the right kind of security protocols in place, wired networks are more protected from unauthorized access than wireless connections purely because of their lack of external exposure.
Wired connections do not have router proximity issues, nor is their bandwidth impacted by the fact that there are obstacles in the way of the internet signal. The system is closed and unable to be influenced by external factors. Thus, it is more reliable and stable.
Because of the amount of equipment involved, fixed-line internet connections are generally more expensive to set up than wireless connections.
Wired connections are not mobile. Once the system is in place it cannot be moved around if needed, and hence it is a barrier to mobility. If you need to use your device in a different place with your wired network, you need to connect it using extra wires and switches which creates a hassle.
- Installation & Maintenance:
Installation for a wired network is time consuming and complex. Each and every device to be used needs to be connected to the network through wires, switches and routers, and security protocols need to be put in place. Also, all this needs to be done through a maze of wires and equipment which, afterwards, needs to be fixed out of the way neatly.
For larger networks, maintenance is another cost to bear. Smaller and/or personal networks can do without servers, but for storing data on larger networks, servers and their associated costs become necessary to bear.
Wired connections are at times limited to a certain number of users because of their limited number of ports for device connectivity.
Wireless or Wi-Fi connections are more commonly in use for personal devices in households. Their pros and cons are:
Wireless connections are inexpensive not only to set up but also to maintain. The equipment needed is minimal and upkeep is next to nothing.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to having a wireless internet connection is its mobility. The internet connection can be accessed from anywhere on the premises, without the need for cables and physical connections.
- Lesser user limitation:
Because it is not limited to a set number of ports, a wireless connection has the potential to handle more users based on its bandwidth.
Because of more visibility and exposure of a wireless connection in the form of frequencies, a wireless connection is more vulnerable to unauthorized access, and hence requires more security measures than a wired connection.
The speed of a wireless network is largely dependent on the proximity of the personal device to the router as well as the amount of obstacles in the way of the internet signal. The further the router or the more the obstacles (such as walls) in the way of the signal, the lesser the bandwidth.
- Frequency interference:
Wireless connections can be impacted by everyday household objects which emit similar radio frequencies, such as microwaves.
Preference for either a fixed-line or wireless internet connection greatly depends on the intended usage and the end user’s personal inclinations. If you require maximum security and reliability, and cost is not a concern, then a wired connection may be your choice. Wired connections are also best for high speed and high load requirements such as gaming. Wireless connections are best where mobility is frequent and wires are seen as unsightly limitations. In short, individual requirements and limitations can best determine the type of internet connection to get.