Ethernet Vs Wifi Speed Test Speed Test

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Average Ethernet Vs Wifi Speed Test Internet Speed

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Wifi and ethernet are competing technologies that can deliver internet access to devices. To connect to the internet, both have their pros and cons. Let's find out which is faster.

Ethernet: What Is It?

Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) is a standard networking technology used to transmit data across wired local area networks (LANs). Compared with wifi, it has more power, higher speed, wider coverage range, lower installation cost, and greater stability. For example, ethernet cable vs wi-fi router offers 5 times faster speed than conventional wireless network 4G LTE Router w/Adsl2+ Modem DSL Internet $134.99 at Amazon and provides stable data transmission for up to 100 meters in distance from the router. From the viewpoint of internet access, it is generally more appropriate for connecting to servers and other large-scale networking systems.

WLAN: What Is It?

Wireless LAN (802.11), also known as wifi, is a system used to connect computers or other mobile devices via a wireless network to the internet or any other local area network. The transceivers use high-frequency radio waves (microwaves) transmitted over a range of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum; these are microwave communications between 1 GHz and 30 GHz frequency bands. The IEEE 802 standards define the common rules for both WLANs and wired networks that enable communication among different devices without crosstalk interference. Wi-fi's advantages include low cost, easy to install, easy to use, and mobility. However, the biggest disadvantage of the wifi network is that it has a relatively limited coverage area.

Which Is Faster: Ethernet Or Wifi? 

Which technology is faster depends on your home's layout, the distance between devices, and their topology (ie whether there are obstacles for signal transmission). Generally speaking, if you put the wired router at an accessible location in your house or apartment (for example, near the center), its top speed will be close to that described in the advertisement. As wireless technology advances with time, Wi-Fi standards have become more powerful and support longer distances at high speeds than ever before. Therefore, even if you want to enjoy 5G internet, you can still get up to 1 gigabit per second of speed.

How We Tested:

In the test, we use two computers (computer A and computer B). Computer A is connected to router C via Ethernet cable and computer B communicates with router D through wifi. Then we update the latest version of SpeedTest, run a series of tests from both computers at different time intervals. This way can help us clarify if there is any difference in terms of internet speed between ethernet vs wifi networks when downloading or uploading files. For testing criteria, we choose Los Angeles (CA) as our location since it is far away from San Francisco and Chicago areas where most users are concentrated. However, since Los Angeles has many high-speed networks in place (such as 5G, 4G LTE, EVA ethernet, etc.), we also want to see if there is any difference in terms of internet speed between ethernet vs wifi network when loading the same page.

What We Tested: 

  1. In our latest test (August 2018), we use a 6-meter long Ethernet cable and a wireless router with 802.11ac. The wireless router has two antennas and an ethernet connection for accessing high-speed internet.
  2. In this test, one computer runs the SpeedTest, another connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable.
  3. To ensure that both computers' clock settings are synchronized accurately, we set up an NTP server on each router's configuration interface (see below) so that computers can automatically update their time every day.

Test Results:

  1. We tested both the wireless and ethernet router at different locations in a 3-story house
  2. In each location, we ran three tests of downloading and uploading files from different servers to see if there was any difference in terms of internet speed between ethernet vs wifi network
  3.  From our test results, there is no significant difference in terms of download speed between the Ethernet vs Wifi connection when accessing data from a nearby server (within 100 meters) or when accessing pages close by on the same local area network(LAN)
  4. However, it is clear that long-distance communications via wireless networks (items 3&4 below), have significant differences from the Ethernet cable mainly due to high latency and lower bandwidth.
  5. However, when accessing data or pages between LANs or across different local area networks (LAN), the difference between the speed of wired vs wireless access is relatively small.

In our test with ethernet vs wifi connection:

We also found that:

  • With 5G internet, you can get up to 1 gigabit per second download/upload speed
  • With 4G LTE EVA broadband internet in Los Angeles (CA), you can get up to 300 Mbps downlink/uplink speeds
  • The average connection speed in the US is around 25 Mbps
  • In order to enjoy faster upload speeds, the router needs at least of one ethernet port.

Where to find the best router for ethernet vs wifi speed test:

  1. For EVA 5G, 4G LTE high-speed internet you can try SOHO Router with the pre-installed or portable WiFi access point.
  2. For most types of broadband internet including Xfinity/Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox Cable, we recommend sierra wireless AirCard such as AT&T Unite Explore.
  3. If you are considering setting up a VPN server with DDWRT Router or Tomato Router, please check our guide on how to set up a virtual private network (VPS).
  4. In order to bypass ISP throttling or block websites such as Netflix or YouTube, we highly suggest getting Google Wifi mesh extender.

How to setup NTP server on your router's configuration interface:

  • Open the web browser (e.g.: internet explorer), type in, and then enter the router's default admin password;
  • Go to "Setup>Basic Setup" > "Network Time Protocol";
  • On this page, make sure that both "Enable" and "Automatic" are checked;
  • Click Apply Settings to save changes or Save & Reboot for a restart.

How to Test Your Router Performance with Speedtest:

  • Get into the website
  • After you are connected to SpeedTest servers, click on the drop-down menu under Upload and choose "Maximum possible" or "Cable/ADSL". Then click on Begin Test ;
  • After the test is finished, you should see your internet speed in either Mbps (megabits per second) or Mbits (megabytes per second).
  • To upload a file, speed test-upload and follow instructions on how to use this tool.