What is Ethernet ?

Ethernet is really just a name for a Local Area Network (LAN) and it is commonly used to refer to the cables used to connect your device to your network. So, what is a LAN cable?

A LAN is just a term for a small network of devices all connected together. This could include a single computer, or several linked together in your home. If you are asking yourself “how to use Ethernet?” it is very simple. Just connect your device to your modem using an Ethernet cable and you are ready to go.

Ethernet has been the standard for internet connectivity for a long time and as our internet technology has evolved, so too have the cables we use for it. You will most commonly see Cat 5 cables which can support speeds of up to about 100 Mbps. For anything faster than that you’ll need Cat 5e, 6, 7, or 8. To find out what an ethernet cable is, go through this article. While here, you can also find out the difference between CAT6 vs CAT 6A, CAT6 vs CAT 6E, CAT 6 vs CAT 7, or CAT 7 vs CAT 8 cables.

What is WiFi?

Wi-Fi is another way to connect to a network but without the need for wires or cables - it is very common in public areas. Through the use of an Ethernet router, you can broadcast a signal that anything that can pick up the signal can use to connect to your network. Most computers do not come with wireless capabilities, so you'll have to pick up an Ethernet WiFi adapter for them.

Wi-Fi doesn’t mean anything, it is just the brand name for this kind of wireless networking. The name was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is an organization that owns the term “Wi-Fi Certified” and only allows its use on products that can pass certain tests. Essentially, Wi-Fi is just a marketing term used for wireless internet connections.

Ethernet vs. WiFi

When considering the benefits of one type of connection over another there are a lot of factors to consider. All of this information should be prefaced by saying that both connection types are valid and can get the job done in most situations. The only major reason to choose one over the other is if your network operates with a speed faster than 1 Gbps. If that is the case, you should use a wired Ethernet connection because Wi-Fi is incapable of supporting speeds faster than that. You can increase the range, though, as we explained in our WiFi extender for gaming reviews.

Otherwise, whether you should go with one or the other depends on what device you are using and what that device’s purpose is. Tablets, phones, and laptops are often better used with Wi-Fi because it is convenient to have a wireless connection with mobile devices. If you are a gamer then your console or PC should probably use a wired connection because it is more stable. We also reviewed best Ethernet adapters for Switch, for example, which you will also need.

The final verdict: Is Ethernet better than WiFi?

To resolve the LAN vs. WiFi debate, your best choice—Ethernet or WiFi will always depend on what you can use and your tastes and preferences. If you prefer the convenience of wireless connection to messy wires, then a WiFi connection is best for you. However, if you don't mind staying in a place near the LAN socket to enjoy faster speeds and reliable connections, then Ethernet will make more sense.