In general, wired connections are better, faster, and more secure for businesses than wi-fi connections. In a nutshell, a wi-fi connection transmits data by wireless signals, and an Ethernet connection transmits data via cable. Because no cables are required to access a wi-fi connection, this adds greater mobility for users who are on the go and can’t readily connect to a network or the Internet.

For business offices operating in one place with lots of data that needs to be secured and fast speeds required to conduct operations, Ethernet connections are generally more desirable.

While wi-fi does have its conveniences, especially when it comes to the ability to roam about while maintaining a signal, Ethernet is the better choice when used for desktop PCs, game consoles, servers, or smart TVs that stay in one place all the time. In those cases, Ethernet gives you a more consistent, reliable, solid connection.

Ethernet network adapters offer more bandwidth, so there is more room for data transfer. In addition, this option offers lower latency, as well as a more stable and reliable connection. Today we will go over the differences between the two and why wired connections may be better for you in terms of network support.

Differences Between Wired and Wireless Connections

The biggest difference between Ethernet and wi-fi is the connection method: one is wireless and the other is not. Quite simple in theory. But let’s delve further into each.

1. Ethernet

Ethernet connections work with the use of cables that you plug directly into your device. This is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around for decades, first used in the 1990s for dial-up modems. Ethernet is still used to connect wi-fi routers to ISPs. Ethernet cables can measure anywhere from two feet long up to hundreds of feet long (when used for servers).

2. Wi-fi

WiFi connections send data over radio waves via frequencies in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz range. A wireless access point (usually a router) will then broadcast a signal that is detected by devices such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, and consoles.


Yes, several variables will determine the actual speed of both types of connections; however, Ethernet is almost always faster than its counterpart. For example, the fastest Ethernet speeds today are about 10Gbps or higher, while the fastest wi-fi speeds top out at 6.9Gbps. That said, actual speeds are usually much slower, less than 1Gbps. Wi-fi connections tend to slow way down when experiencing a heavy processing load, while Ethernet connections are faster and more reliable because they’re not competing with other devices within the network.


Ethernet connections are more secure than wi-fi connections. On an Ethernet network, for instance, you can only access data by physically connecting a device to the network; on a wi-fi connection, data travels through the air and can be intercepted by anyone more easily.


Ethernet connections are more reliable because they are protected from interference and crosstalk, and are not impacted by the physical objects nearby. Wi-fi connections, on the other hand, are vulnerable to interference from physical objects or electrical devices that may block the signal.

Large Files

Because Ethernet connection speeds are higher, you can achieve faster data transfer and lower latency when uploading large files, using bandwidth-rich applications, or streaming video.


The one area in which wi-fi achieves higher marks than Ethernet is in the realm of convenience. Users who use wi-fi are able to move freely throughout a home, business, or yard without having to be attached to a desk or workstation by cable.

In Conclusion

To sum up, wired Ethernet connections are more reliable, faster, and more secure with lower latency than their wireless cousins. Whenever possible, such as in a business setting, it’s best to use wired connections to achieve better performance and more secure operations.

Wi-fi is best on a personal level when using small, portable devices such as phones. But in the end, Ethernet connections are many more times faster than wi-fi networks.

Request a Quote From Cardinal Technology Solutions

Are you experiencing slow loading speeds? Do you want to explore the benefits of w-fi vs. Ethernet? Here at Cardinal Technology Solutions we can test your wi-fi signal strength for you and offer solutions to your connectivity and performance issues using either option. Get a free quote on our network support services, including exploring the differences between wi-fi and Ethernet connections. We are a veteran-owned small business providing a variety of IT services for Winchester, Virginia, and the surrounding areas.