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2013-01-11 6:13 PM

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Subject: Wired internet faster than wireless?

I've tried to read about this and am finding two schools of thought.  First, if you can wire, you should as wired will always be faster or more reliable.  Second, the bottleneck is probably at the ISP so wireless will be as fast as wired and there won't be a difference.

In my house we can easily have 2 xboxes online gaming, Roku streaming, iphone streaming, and laptop internet browsing all happening at the same time.  Something always gives, and when it's my husband's xbox he wigs out (but don't all gamers complain about lag?).  I want to wire his xbox, which will require drilling through the floor.  He's in the second camp that it's the ISP's problem and we just have to deal with it as there's nothing faster than Comcast in our area.

Thoughts?



2013-01-11 7:37 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Master
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Lake Norman, NC
Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

Your wireless top speed is going to be 54Mbps up/down.  Your wired speed is typically going to be 100Mbps up/down.

BUT...  Your Internet connection into your house from your ISP is most likely going to be:

10Mbps down,   5Mbps up...  For standard $40/month
30Mbps down, 10Mbps up...  If you pay a hefty premium
60Mbps down, 20Mbps up...  If you don't care about cost and want "warp speed"

So inside your house, it probably doesn't make much of a difference.  Speeds will decrease over distance and how many walls and what's in your walls, but the bottleneck won't be wired vs wireless.  It'll be the speed of the ISP connection coming into the house.

2013-01-11 7:59 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Master
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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

Never in a million years would I game on wireless unless there was no other choice. It's not even reliable for a VPN tunnel for work. 

You can't just look at speed - you have to look at latency and interference which wireless has in spades. Fine for web surfing/email as they can resend each packet 100 times and you can't tell the difference. 5 bars might still be 30% error rate. Video steaming is usually painful on wireless as well so it buffers way in advance.

Wireless also hates cordless phones, microwaves, other houses wireless, metal studs, concrete, plaster, bricks, etc.

You often don't have to drill in the floor - you can fish up the wall if your basement is not developed or just run up the heating vents which is what I did in the new house. Line from the basement/router to the main tv/ps3/etc, and to the main office, then wireless for the phones/pads/upstairs. In the good old days, putting in a new phone or cable jack was not a huge deal - cat5e should be no harder.

 



Edited by Khyron 2013-01-11 8:01 PM
2013-01-11 8:24 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?
To me is sounds like you have too many using at the same time overloading your ISP most likey and not your local network. As said earlier, wired for things like gaming is prefered. But some numbers were wrong.

Modem wireless is 802.11n which is up to 300mbit, but only under the best conditions, typically it's slower. Modern wired ethernet is 1000mbit or gigabit. That will help with internal speeds, but won't help anything streaming from the net.
2013-01-12 11:09 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Master
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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?
My son's been whining about lag on his xbox tonight.  I told him to go do something else instead.  It's wired, btw.  I guess my ISP is poor.
2013-01-12 11:33 PM
in reply to: #4574663

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

Wireless vs wired inside the house can absolutely make a huge difference.  Copying files from one computer to another over wireless is about 1/4 of the speed compared to wired.

Another option if you don't want to drill holes and run wires is to use a Powerline adapter such as this.  I use this to get internet access to a computer on the far side of my house where the wireless is just too flaky.  It works great - I don't get anywhere near the max speed it rates but it's enough to stream an HD movie over from another computer.  It obviously costs more than just running a line but it's easy and portable.



2013-01-13 11:57 AM
in reply to: #4574584

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?
ApplePie - 2013-01-11 7:13 PM

I've tried to read about this and am finding two schools of thought.  First, if you can wire, you should as wired will always be faster or more reliable.  Second, the bottleneck is probably at the ISP so wireless will be as fast as wired and there won't be a difference.

In my house we can easily have 2 xboxes online gaming, Roku streaming, iphone streaming, and laptop internet browsing all happening at the same time.  Something always gives, and when it's my husband's xbox he wigs out (but don't all gamers complain about lag?).  I want to wire his xbox, which will require drilling through the floor.  He's in the second camp that it's the ISP's problem and we just have to deal with it as there's nothing faster than Comcast in our area.

Thoughts?

 

In short, you're both right.   Going wired for his XBox, given the current potential loads on the wireless infrastructure (it's a consumer level router, not enterprise), going wired would absolutely eliminate any sources of lag within the house.  

 

Conversely, it may not be noticed much because with the amount of traffic you generate, the ISP's side of things would still be a bottleneck at times for a few reasons:

1. you generate a lot of traffic, and depending on whether or not that traffic is being prioritized (and how), someone else in the house starting a download, or a movie stream, could easily induce lag.

 

2. It's cable.  It's a shared network between you and everyone else in your neighborhood that is on the same loop.  So, you not only have to deal with your traffic, but that of all of your neighbors as well.

 

 

Lastly - lag is just a part of internet multiplayer gaming.  Everyone gets it, everyone gets over-the-top irked when they get their butt handed to them by "internet windage", hehe.  It's just how it goes.

2013-01-13 11:36 PM
in reply to: #4575714

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Master
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Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?
axteraa - 2013-01-12 12:33 AM

 

Another option if you don't want to drill holes and run wires is to use a Powerline adapter such as this

IF you happen to know that any of your neighbors are Ham Radio enthusiasts, please don't do this. 

Devices like this can nearly wipeout a radio's receiver on certain frequencies.

From a practical standpoint, however, they are as convenient as axteraa says!

2013-01-14 1:45 AM
in reply to: #4575714

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Nor*Cal
Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?
axteraa - 2013-01-12 9:33 PM

Wireless vs wired inside the house can absolutely make a huge difference.  Copying files from one computer to another over wireless is about 1/4 of the speed compared to wired.

Another option if you don't want to drill holes and run wires is to use a Powerline adapter such as this.  I use this to get internet access to a computer on the far side of my house where the wireless is just too flaky.  It works great - I don't get anywhere near the max speed it rates but it's enough to stream an HD movie over from another computer.  It obviously costs more than just running a line but it's easy and portable.

Powerline adapters are what I used too. Best $50 i spent. I needed a wired network connection in our family room to connect our smart TV (Netflix, Amazon video apps), and Xbox. I had a spare router (also wireless) around, so all those devices are hard wired into that. Then the router into the powerline adapter which bridges to the main wireless router in our bedroom. Overall, it works pretty well. No noticeable lag and no dropped connections. The living room router also serves as an second wireless AP.

-ak-

2013-01-14 8:11 AM
in reply to: #4575702

Master
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Memphis, TN
Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

SevenZulu - 2013-01-12 11:09 PM My son's been whining about lag on his xbox tonight.  I told him to go do something else instead.  It's wired, btw.  I guess my ISP is poor.

 

If he's playing COD it's probably the game servers.  It's the worst game for lag lately

2013-01-14 2:25 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Pro
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Omaha, NE
Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

Oooh, finally a question I can help with.     I've been a network engineer for 15 years and own a company that sells networking products.

As the others have mentioned there are caveats with running wireless because you're at the mercy of your environment.  If you're in an apartment complex with 50 neighbors all with wireless, you will likely get horrible interference.  If you live in a more isolated area with little interference you'll notice no difference between wired and wireless.

So there's really two different things that could be the issue.  You could have congestion or you could have interference.  Congestion is similar to congestion on a highway.  Too many cars and not enough lanes, so everyone slows down.  Same thing on the network.  Too much data trying to get through and not enough bandwidth.  Interference is more like 10 people trying to talk to you at once.  Because everyone's talking you can't understand anyone and you have to keep telling the person you want to hear to repeat what he just said.

Congestion can also occur in many different places.  Your ISP could suck and be running and near 100% capacity to your neighborhood at times.  If this is the case you could spend $100k upgrading your home network and nothing will change.

So, before you go doing a lot of work and spending money, I'd suggest trying to figure out where the slowdown is.  I'd eliminate everything in your house and just plug your ISP ethernet cable directly into your laptop/pc.  Then go to www.speedtest.net and hit the green "Begin Test" button when it comes up.  This will give you a baseline performance number for your house.  Now plug your router back in and connect to it directly and run the test again.  Should have similar results because your router shouldn't be slowing anything down.  Then connect to your network wirelessly and run the same test.  If you don't have any interference you should get similar results again.

Now, if all three run exactly the same and they're all slow.  Then you have an ISP issue, as in they are congested upstream.  If it just runs crappy on the wireless network then you've got some interference that's likely stepping on the channel you're using.

The best way to fix the wireless interference is to download a program called "wifi analyzer" on your smartphone (android) or download inSSIDer for your laptop. You can run it and it will tell you exactly whose running and on what channels.  If you see that you're on a channel that has a lot of other people running in your neighborhood then you just need to web into your wireless router and change the channel to a different one and repeat the tests.

So, you may be able to just change channels on your wireless and be done with it, or running a cable is always an option if there's just too much interference.



2013-01-14 5:09 PM
in reply to: #4574584

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Lake Orion
Subject: RE: Wired internet faster than wireless?

It may be the TV, when my wife gave me a new flat screen TV (LCD) without my input I started playing COD(call of duty) and was having major lag on it.  I swapped it out with the bedroom plasma and I was back in business.  Just something to consider.

Now that I've been getting more serious about my training the gaming is a thing of the past.

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