With the launch of ever increasing broadband speeds, I thought I’d do an anecdotal test on how fast your wireless connection is, when compared to wired.When I say wired, I mean using an Ethernet (CAT5) cable plugged into the wireless router.When I say wireless, sitting with the same laptop to the same router but connected by the wireless side of the router.On the same “side” of the router, a server, running some FTP download software that allows me to  download, and upload, files.
The reason for all this is that with the increasing use of wireless, attached to higher speeds courtesy of your ISP, people expect the same speeds for their bucks.They don’t care, or don’t know, why it would be different. To be fair, wireless has never been punted as a Very High Speed Medium (VHSM).Personally, I would only use it for general browsing and downloading and if you look at most companies, wireless is an add-on to the network, not a core function. So now we know how the test was performed, what were the results like? See below:

As you can see, the difference is enormous-now a few caveats before I get slaughtered by the technophiles. This is a 54G network, it is not a N network. G networks can only do theoretical speeds of 54Mb/sec but you can see it’s well down even on that.My laptop was only 2 foot from the wireless router and I had no competing signals. Also, and this I found surprising, was that there was no difference between using encryption and no encryption. The connections on the wired side are 100Mb/sec but some are half duplex so you wont get 100Mb/sec anyway. The point was not to see how fast I could go on wired but the difference between an average wired and wireless network.

I’m going to get a N router (and N adaptor) and do the same tests but I bet I get nowhere near the advertised 300-600Mb/sec. Think about it-you can make such outlandish claims but until you get a home connection that can supply you with VHSM , how do you test it? And even within the home environment, 15-20Mb/sec will quite happily stream HD video (this seems to be the litmus test at the moment) so why do you need N type? Sorry, I digress, the whole point is if you want a high speed home LAN network that doesn’t suffer from interference, that does what it says and gives you a constant and reliable service, don’t choose wireless.Get Ethernet.

Leave a Reply.