Does Using Ethernet Slow Down Wireless Devices?
Often we worry about having enough capacity for everyone when we set up our home WiFi network for friends and family to enjoy.
More and more devices are connected to our home wireless networks as the need for connectivity grows, which makes network performance one of the most important things in the home when it comes to entertainment, work and security.
An Ethernet connection may be better for you than a wireless network, based on what you’re doing, and if you need raw performance at the expense of mobility.
Changing from a WiFi connection to an Ethernet cable could a good idea for a variety of reasons, whether you’re gaming or using other applications, but this depends on a few factors.
To help you make the decision without negatively impacting on everyone else we need to answer the question: does using Ethernet cable slow down WiFi speeds?
Does an Ethernet cable slow down WiFi for others?
This is one of the most common questions that new internet users ask us. The short answer is no.
An Ethernet cable connection does not slow down your WiFi for other users, no matter what kind of device they are using to access the internet, provided that there is no excessive traffic coming from that connection.
That being said, there are a few things you can do in order to make sure that everyone on your network has fast speeds and enough bandwidth to use their WiFi devices.
You can check what channels each of your devices is on by going to a site like inSSIDer and clicking the “Channel” button.
If your WiFi is set up correctly then the chances of a configuration error slowing down your network will not be possible.
If you have set up your WiFi channels and chosen a channel that is not clashing with any of the surrounding networks then there won’t be any interference from other networks either.
Using Ethernet will have even less of a chance of slowing down the wireless devices on your home WiFi network.
Does Ethernet affect WiFi for others?
No, not directly. Instead, Ethernet use can cause issues if you are downloading or uploading a lot of data, and you don’t have proper network traffic management in place.
Modern routers have QoS (Quality of Service), traffic management and VLAN functionality that gives you fine grain control over the way your internet is being used.
This means that a single user cannot use all of the bandwidth at once. Instead, users will be limited and throttled, and everyone will have enough bandwidth to connect to the internet and the local devices on your network.
The standard routers that come with your internet package are generalized pieces of hardware that do many things at once, but not necessarily very well. If you are looking to really harness the full potential of your home WiFi network then you really have to look at upgrading to a standalone WiFi router.
To this end, we have collected 5 excellent choices that are great examples of WiFi routers that can help you to take the control of your internet and elevate the user experience to a whole new level:
- NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming 6-Stream WiFi 6 Router (XR1000) Best for Gamers
- TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router(Archer AX6000) Best for streaming
- ASUS AC3100 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC88U) Most features
- Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-Band Open Source Router for Home Most customizable
- NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream WiFi 6E Router (RAXE500) Most extreme for large houses and many users
Does Ethernet cable affect internet speed?
This is another question that many people have when it comes to does the use of WiFi slow internet speeds. Again, the short answer is no, an Ethernet does not affect your internet speed. This holds true even if you are downloading files through BitTorrent or similar applications.
Does using Ethernet cable slow down wireless devices?
No, Ethernet cable connections do not slow down wireless devices locally as they are completely separate from one another. The real problem with using an Ethernet cable is that it can slow down the internet if there is high usage while wireless devices are also trying connect to the internet. This is no different from any other wireless device also accessing the internet, so the answer is no, using Ethernet does not slow down your wireless devices.
How does using Ethernet vs wireless affect your home network and why does it matter to you as an internet user?
Wireless internet is the most convenient way to access the web and all of your favourite online content. The reason is simple: Ethernet cables are a hassle to try and run properly, and you can’t be expected to walk around the house with an Ethernet cable sticking out of the bottom of your iPhone or tablet. (Which is actually possible with a USB Type C Ethernet adapter)
However, does Ethernet affect WiFi for others? This is a question that you might want to consider as the answer will depend on how much data you are transferring from your devices. If you use BitTorrent or similar applications , then using an Ethernet cable might slow down internet speeds for other users if you are not throttling your downloads, so that can be a real problem .
What are the benefits of using Ethernet over WiFi in your home network setup ?
The primary benefit of using Ethernet instead of WiFi is stability. Cables are inherently more reliable due to the fact that they are a physical connection between the internet router or hub/switch, which means that there is never a drop in signal, which can happen occasionally with some WiFi devices.
Along with improved reliability is improved speeds. If your wired or Ethernet connection supports gigabit transfer speeds, then you can truly get the most out of your internet connection if it is above the 500Mbps threshold. Wireless devices generally cannot achieve these speeds.
The gamers in our audience will also tell you that the latencies of their favorite online competitive games are also far lower when using an Ethernet cable. This is because there is far less chance of interference from competing frequencies on an Ethernet cable (although EMI can sometimes present a special challenge of its own).
So, to recap the advantages of Ethernet over Wireless:
- More reliable connection
- Faster speeds
- Lower latency rates for online gamers.
If you are wondering does Ethernet affect wireless transmissions directly, the answer is no. There’s a good chance that there might be interference between your wired connection and other devices on your network if you have multiple people using it at once to download large files from the internet or stream content in 4K.
Does an Ethernet cable slow down WiFi for others? Again, the answer is no. If anything, connecting to the internet with an Ethernet cable will improve your speeds as well as stability of connections even when WiFi routers or hubs are being used in large homes.