Since the advent of the internet, there have been many developments in the technology which allows people to connect to it. Back in the ‘old days’, most people had to use a dial up connection, which would often be interrupted by phone calls given that it used the phone line.
Now, however, the introduction of WiFi and Ethernet connection has completely changed the scene, and facilitated internet connections as we know them, but which is better? Here are some considerations.
As one of the most common methods of connecting to the internet, WiFi, or wireless networking, can now be found in many public spaces and in private residences. It uses radio waves which are transmitted between the wireless router’s antenna and a computer’s wireless adapter to send information to and from the internet.
Multiple devices can connect to a WiFi network as long as they are within its range, which is usually around 150 feet indoors. A password is often needed for private wireless networks, although many public networks are free.
The counterpart of WiFi, Ethernet, also allows people to connect to easily connect to the internet, but it is often known as a ‘wired’ connection because this access is granted through wires rather than radio waves. This means that special wires usually need to be purchased (from the likes of a supplier like RS) to facilitate the connection.
It is also sometimes referred to as LAN (local area network) connection because it was first used to connect several computers together in a network using cables (although it has evolved greatly since).
Which is Better?
Deciding which connection is better will often depend on what each connection is being used for. WiFi is very convenient, given that no wires are needed to connect, so the internet can be accessed wherever someone may be (as long as they are within range).
However, Ethernet connections tend to be much stronger, given that they run straight into the network and the distance between the user and the router has no effect on internet connectivity. So, for a single computer or device, Ethernet may be more effective, whereas a place which needs to grant internet access to multiple devices may find WiFi more useful.
Both Ethernet and WiFi have come a long way since their inception, and both technologies will likely continue to evolve in the coming years. As such, there may well be even more ways to access the internet in the coming years.