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WIFI or ethernet; does it matter?


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#1
Tollerowner

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I moved into a new house last week and installed my wireless router in the basement, but am using a computer on the second floor. Good signal, no problems. But the house is wired for ethernet, so I tried that.
Speedtest.net says I am 20mpbs on ethernet, and 18mpbs on wireless. That makes sense.
Cisco's utility that came with the modem says my modem is 5mpbs, and the ethernet is 4mpbs.

1) Why do Cisco and Speednet disagree so greatly?
2) Is Cisco's test biased for their modem? Doesn't seem likely that wireless is faster than wire.
3) Whatever the speed, they are pretty much the same. Does it matter which I use?

My old house had 1mpbs (on Speedtest) DSL, so this seems almost like magic, either way.
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#2
admin

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If your Cisco router is like mine, the speed test only measures the speed to your router. Speedtest.net is more accurate at your computer.

With 20Mps there isn't a lot of advantage to wired ethernet. Wired does have lower latency, mostly important for games; and better reliability, you won't have to reboot the wireless adapter or router.

Wired internet is better (faster) for transferring files, and HD video. If you ever upgrade your internet, wireless can be tricky to get faster than 20Mps. You can't run mixed mode (N + G/B) and you have to use WPA2 type security.
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