Technology and the internet are growing together at a faster rate than ever before. Is your home network up to the challenge of delivering high speed internet to all of your computers, tablet, phones, and other devices? It’s estimated that the average 2,400 square foot home in the year 2015 will have 60 to 100 internet-connected devices. Do you think you can get by with just a wireless router? Find out whether wireless versus wired connection speeds are right for your home network.
Wireless versus wired internet: The fastest connection for your home network
The short answer: BOTH give you the fastest internet connection possible. The long answer: It depends how much stuff you connect to your network. While a wireless router may give you internet speeds very similar to a wired connection, once you start adding more components to your network, it seriously bogs everything down.
Here’s a free resource to test your internet connection speed. Check out my results comparing wireless versus wired speed:
As you can see, the wireless connection provided 97.6% of the download speed and only 93.9% of the upload speed compared to the wired internet connection. This test was performed with just one device connected either wirelessly or with a wire. If there had been more devices connected, there would probably be a much bigger difference.
If you think your home network can only be wireless or wired, think again. A combination of wireless and wired internet in your home is the safest, smartest, most efficient way to connect. Your fastest, most reliable internet connections are going to come from a hard wired connection. Your convenient, flexible internet connections are going to come from a wireless connection. Having both wireless and wired internet gives you the most choice with your home network.
“It’s estimated that the average 2,400 square foot home in the year 2015 will have 60 to 100 internet-connected devices.”
That’s not a far-fetched number or a guess. Let’s take a quick inventory of what internet-connected devices you may already have: desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, Blu Ray Player, TV, receiver, printer, music system, gaming consoles, and so on. That’s 10 separate devices that require an internet connection!
You may have 2 or more desktops, a laptop for every member of your family, maybe a tablet for everyone, definitely smartphones, 2 printers, 2-4 smart TVs, a wireless music system like Apple’s AirPlay or Sonos, and so on. Wow! That’s a lot of stuff connecting to the internet at the same time, in the same place. Doesn’t it make sense to streamline your home network for the fastest possible internet connection?
Open up the internet highways to your home!
Think of your home network like a highway system. A smart, efficient highway system is designed to allow people to move fast from one point to another. There are probably many different routes to take, depending on where you want to get to. A smart highway system is designed to scale up for greater usage in the future.
A poorly planned highway system will be slow, ineffecient and perpetually clogged. If a city (think your home) only has one highway going into and out of it (like having one wireless router) that’s going to slow things down a lot for users of the highway (internet) trying to get into and out of the city.
Out of the two scenarios, which one best describes your ideal home network?
So just like any city needs a smart highway system to facilitate movement of people and goods quickly and efficiently, a home needs a smart network system to facilitate movement of data quickly and efficiently. Open up as many highways for your home network as possible!
Your best advice is to connect as many devices as possible with a hard wired connection. Anything else, like laptops, phones, and tablets are best left on a wireless connection. It’s common to set up multiple wireless routers throughout your house to give you the strongest possible wireless signal. This is really easy to do when you have a wired home network, so you can plug in any addtional wireless routers anywhere you can plug in an Ethernet cable, the cable necessary for a high speed internet connection.
In conclusion, your network needs to be as big as your needs. If you don’t have a large space (like an apartment) and you only connect two or three devices to the internet at most, you’ll get along with wireless internet just fine. If you have a larger space (like a house) and you are connecting a multitude of devices, having both wireless and wired internet connections will maximize your home network!
What kind of network do you have in your home? Please, feel free to comment and ask questions.