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Ethernet Slower Than WiFi
Wired and wireless connection standards have gone through some evolutionary steps, and we now have 10/100/1000BaseT (10, 100, and 1000 Mb/ps respectively) for wire and IEEE802.11b/g/n (11, 54, 150 Mb/ps for b, g, or n) for wireless connections.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) defines Ethernet as an 802.3 standard. Ethernet is a standard that refers only to the construction of Local Area Networks (LANs).
Ethernet is a set of descriptions for the physical transmission of signals (electrical power) at OSI layer one and frames at OSI layer two within a LAN.
“Ethernet” technology had developed in 1970. Therefore, the Ethernet standard itself has a speed of 10 Mbit/s. In 1995, the Fast Ethernet standard was born. Its speed is 100 Mbit/s. In 1999, thanks to the technological breakthrough, Gigabit Ethernet was born, which already supports connections at 1000 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s. In 2002 the IEEE published the 802.3ae standard, which described 10 Gigabit Ethernet, or as it is called 10GE, 10GbE and 10 GigE.
Ethernet refers only to wired networks. The most popular cable right now is UTP Category 5 (CAT 5) – unshielded twisted pair. Category 5 cable does an excellent job with Ethernet and Fast Ethernet standards. For higher speed standards such as Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, you will need Category 5e or Category 6 cable.
Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network technology with devices based on IEEE 802.11 communication standards; transferring data without wires like Bluetooth, infrared or cellular. Wi-Fi is not the Internet but a wireless network that helps distribute an Internet signal to multiple devices: PC, smartphone, laptop, TV.
It is necessary: as mentioned above, Wi-Fi is a helper to connect the Internet to the communication device and visit sites and services without using wires; with Wi-Fi, you can connect multiple devices and exchange data at high speed.
It is required:
- To connect the Internet to a communication device and visit websites and services without using wires;
- With Wi-Fi, you can connect multiple devices and exchange data at high speed.
In 2019, a new sixth-generation Wi-Fi standard, 802.11a, was created. It operates at 5 GHz and provides a maximum bandwidth of up to 11 Gb/s. It has high speed, security features, signal processing methods. Ethernet became slower than WiFi.
Wi-Fi connection speed decreases if many devices actively use it at the same time.
What can causes slow ethernet connection
Causes of Ethernet speed drop:
- Excessive overloading of outdated network equipment or damage to one of the nodes at the hardware or software level;
- The human factor, which consists in the fact that users intentionally or unintentionally load the network, running many programs simultaneously that require online mode;
- The integrity of cables and connectors, presence of “twists”, couplers, splitters and other external mechanical devices;
- Software configuration.
To slow down Ethernet connection, it is enough at least one reason for lags to appear and work would be uncomfortable.
Methods to fix slow Ethernet
The basic steps you need to take to increase the bandwidth of your network are as follows:
Check the integrity of the Ethernet cables. Any visible kinks, damaged insulation, or other visible damage will immediately cause the signal to be lost. If possible, use special tools to check the quality of patch cords. They are available at almost any computer specialty store or on the Internet and are inexpensive.
Сheck out that the network equipment installed on the devices is in good condition and supports the speed you want to get. If the needs are higher than what the installed equipment gives out, you need to replace it with a more advanced one.
Install the latest versions of network card drivers and router firmware. With each new driver version, the manufacturers improve the quality of work at the data link level and add new functions and algorithms for better performance.
Optimize the software performance of computers and peripherals. Check for viruses, download all possible updates for the operating system.
In addition to system optimization, tell users that running simultaneously online programs, especially those that consume a large amount of traffic (torrent clients, watching movies on the Internet, etc.) is seriously stressing the LAN equipment.
Check Ethernet on another PC
The drop in data transfer speed may not be due to problems within the local network. The connection speed may have dropped due to the Internet Service Provider’s fault. You need to check it. There are always other computers on the same network. You can use one of them and find out if it has the same speed drop.
Try another cable
The speed of your LAN depends on the characteristics of the cable your computer connects. If it does not have the required bandwidth, the connection speed will drop. You should try using a different one and compare the results.
Check your router
The easiest way to start router diagnostics is to check the LEDs on the front of the router.
If the router is working correctly, the power LED on the router is always green, and the LEDs blink green all the time:
- Settings (usually looks like a gear, may not be present on some models);
- Wan connector (indicates the presence of a signal from the provider through the cable connected to the wan port, most often looks like a circle combined with an oval);
- Connected computers (for each of the computers connected through the lan-connectors, the corresponding indicator should blink).
Check your network card
The most obvious way to check the network card is to look in Device Manager. To do this, open the Control Panel from the Start menu, go to “System and Security”, click the “System” link, and then click the “Device Manager” link. If you have Windows, you can press [Win]+[X] and select Device Manager from the list that appears.
In the Device Manager window, expand the “Network Adapters” section. If a network card is faulty, it has marked with a red cross. There is an exclamation mark next to the name of the network card the drivers have the problem. You may need to update or reinstall them.
Update network card drivers
First, you need to know the full name and model of the network card. To do it, you need to go to the Device Manager:
- Press the two magic keys: “Win” and “R” at the same time;
- Enter the command “devmgmt.msc” and press “OK”;
- In the “Network Adapters” section, go to the properties of the card we need;
- We also need a class, which indicates by a letter. To do it, in the features, choose “Strict driver node name”;
- go to the official website of the hardware manufacturer;
- Click on the “WINDOWS DRIVERS” section and select “Network drivers”;
- Next, install the driver. After that, do not forget to restart the computer.
Use different port
A port is a numbered virtual “device” designed to transmit data over a network. Each network program uses a different port or group of ports to establish communication. Browsers use TCP port 80 for unencrypted traffic (HTTP) and 443 for encrypted traffic (HTTPS). Try to use different ports, and the connection speed may change.
Main Editor in Hooks.Guide, Embedded Software Engineer.