There are usually two types of networking technologies that we use for Home or office networking. One of them is wired technology and another one which is getting more popular these days is wireless networking technology.

Both these technologies have their own advantages. We will compare both these technologies in five different areas.

  • Ease of installation
  • Reliability
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Total Cost

Wired LANs

As the name suggests wired LANs are the networks which are connected through wires with each other. The standard cable used for these types of networking is Ethernet cable.

To increase the efficiency of networks and maintain their speeds, wired networks use central HUB, switches or routers to connect more than one computers with each other.

To share the internet connection with others computers, modem or router needs to enable dial-up sharing the connection. Broadband routers allow easier sharing of connection and also have built-in firewall support.

Installation

The installation of wired networks is a very hectic work to do. You need to spread the wires everywhere where you have your computer. So those devices which can work wireless as well needs to bound with Ethernet cables in case of wired networking.

After hardware installation, all other networks protocols are same for both wireless and wired networks.

Reliability

Ethernet cables are very reliable because manufacturers are improving day by day and ensuring high quality.

You need to take care of cables whenever moving the device from one place to another because loose cables can cause a lot of network speed issues in a wired networking.

Broadband routers have also improved a lot and all the issues that they were facing in past are now been completely removed. These routers are multifunctioning and provide many customizable options to their users. All these have increased the reliability of wired networks.

Performance

The performance of wired networks is often more than wireless networks. Usually, 10 Mbps internet speed is available in traditional internet connection but you can increase this to 100 Mbps which is not achieved in a practical world but wired connection provides the maximum speed of internet without any bandwidth loss.

Also for file sharing and gaming wired internet connections offer more speed than wireless. Now Ethernet switches are used to overcome the slowdown issue of wired networks.

Security

Firewall security is the primary consideration for any LAN networks. Network switches don’t have any kind of these firewalls so you need to install manually through different soft wares on your computer. On the other side broadband, routers offer firewall capability which is configurable through their own soft wares.

Wireless LANs

There are different standards of WiFi technology such as 802.11a/b/g/n and the new one 802.11ac.

Installation

There are two modes of wireless devices

  • AD-hoc
  • Infrastructure

The ad-hoc wireless mode allows a peer to peer communication between devices. While infrastructure mode allows devices to communicate with a central device which then communicates with other devices connected through LAN.

Most devices require infrastructure mode to access the internet like printers, or other wired devices. On the other hand, Ad-hoc mode can be used only for file sharing.

To establish a connection with wireless devices we need WLAN cards for both types of connections. While infrastructure mode needs a common access point which should be installed at a central point so that it can be reached by any wireless device with minimal distance.

Reliability

Comparatively, wireless networks have more reliability issues. The most important issue is the range of these devices which can differ depending upon the way they are installed. So a careful installation can minimize these issues but will never finish them completely.

Performance

Performance is the most important factor that we cannot neglect. The maximum bandwidth that is allowed with 802.11ac is 5.3Gbps which is a great achievement in wireless technology but still it needs some improvement.

Distance is the key factor that can change the performance of wireless devices. So you need to stick to a particular range to access the internet but at least it is better than wired networking for which you need to stick in a particular place.

The overall wireless connection is awesome for home internet sharing with more than one devices and for printers as well but it’s not suitable for home gaming.

Security

It is to be considered that wireless networking is less secure than wired networking which is true. Because signals travel in the air which can be easily intercepted and can also be hacked easily. Although WLANs used WEP (Wired equivalent privacy) encryption standard which makes wireless communication as safe as possible.

No computer network is secure completely but you can have some important points in mind for the security of your networks.

  • Ensure that internet firewall is configured properly
  • Search for “spoof emails” and should have enough knowledge about such emails.
  • Do not allow access to network devices to anyone that comes to a home.
  • You should know the concept of “spyware” and ways to avoid it.