Thinking about the ol’ dial-up connection days, the Internet world has come a really long way when it comes to getting a computer or a laptop online. The wireless technology, popularly known as Wi-Fi, is the most well-known method of Internet connectivity because it enables the user to be mobile without any restricting cable connections. But what about the other methods of getting online and when is it ideal to use them?

This article you will learn a little background, as well as the different pros and cons, of each type of method of connecting to the Internet.

Wi-Fi

 

The more familiar way of getting online, WiFi works by communicating with a nearby WiFi-enabled router that has access to the Internet. With devices coming with WiFi adapters built into them, WiFi is the most convenient way when you want to connect to the Internet anywhere.

Advantages

WiFi is great for connecting to networks, whether you’re at home, your workplace, or in public places such as cafes or airport. With its ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly, it can be very useful for getting a device online where wires can be inconvenient to use. Given how so many devices come with built-in wireless adapters, you may be able to use WiFi functionality out of the box. Otherwise, you will need to install a PCI or USB adapters, which are durable and inexpensive nowadays, in order to get online.

Disadvantages

It’s not peachy all the time when it comes to using WiFi connection. For use in public areas, you have to get within a decent range of the router. While you can technically connect from anywhere within its radius, you’ll need to be quite close to achieve reasonable download speeds. Sometimes, there are small obstacles you may have to endure before you gain access to a public WiFi network such as getting its password, signing up with an account, and even buying a data plan for the time that you use. This makes it more of a hassle to get online than, say, a mobile connection.

When you’re at home, WiFi connections aren’t perfect either. Interference with other appliances such as microwaves, cordless phones, and fridges can cause weak or unstable signals. A neighbor’s router can also interfere with your own, especially if both of your routers’ channels are too close.

Ethernet

 

While Ethernet seems to be pretty obsolete compared to its wireless counterpart, it still has a place within the modern age of technology. So what can Ethernet do better than a WiFi or mobile connection?

Advantages

By far, the best aspect of using an Ethernet connection is its ability to draw maximum amount of data your router and/or connection can handle. When connecting via WiFi or mobile Internet connection, you naturally lose some of the connection through signal loss as it travels through the air and goes through obstacles such as walls and furniture. You won’t have to experience these issues with a cable connection, which means your Internet connection will be as solid and as fast that it can allow. This is particularly good if you play very quick online games, as they require the lowest pings possible to play well.

It also means you can dodge WiFi interference, as your connection will be across the wireless and not wireless. This means it doesn’t matter how many wireless connections the household or your neighbors are using — since your own connection won’t be competing the connection amongst them.

Disadvantages

The biggest flaw of having an Ethernet connection is the fact that you need to run a wire between your PC or laptop and the wireless router. In large houses or up/down stairs, this can prove to be problematic if not impossible. As such, Ethernet is only really useful if you’re close to the router or if you’re able to get the wire to your router without causing any inconvenience with other household members. If it really proves too much of a struggle to get the wires across, then having a WiFi connection is your best choice.

Mobile Internet

 

While mobile devices naturally use mobile Internet the most, you can use 3G or 4G connections on a computer or laptop. You can achieve this in two ways: either attach a USB dongle (usually sold by mobile network providers) that receives mobile Internet, or get a mobile WiFi router, which acts like a normal router excepts it connects itself to mobile Internet like a phone would. So what can mobile connections bring?

Advantages

The key aspect for using mobile Internet is the ability to use it anywhere with coverage. If you find yourself in a spot where you can’t connect to a public WiFi router, but you can get a phone signal just fine, you can get onto the Internet using a 3G or 4G connection. This makes mobile data an incredibly handy choice for someone whose always on the go. Who wants the convenience of the availability of mobile networks while also using the power of a laptop or computer over something like a phone or tablet?

Disadvantages

Despite how widespread mobile coverage can be and how 4G speeds are getting very good, it’s not the de-facto choice for computers just yet. Mobile connections can be quite expensive, and oftentimes more pricey than a home Internet connection. It also comes with some quite strict data usage, so performing “regular” computer-based actions like downloading large files or software, and streaming HD videos may get you into trouble. Aside from that, you may find it’s not as quick or stable as a WiFi connection can be. This is proven true if your current location doesn’t have a 4G coverage yet, for instance. As such, it’s a great option if you find yourself unable to connect using Ethernet or WiFi; otherwise, you’re probably best off with the first two methods.



This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 6:15:33 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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