Not all routers are wireless. Wired routers exist and are mostly found in office and home environments where most of the devices are wired or don’t need to be mobile.
Compared to wireless routers, wired routers offer low latency, fast speeds, and more stable and secure connections. This is because they connect directly to your device via an ethernet cable, thus reducing the possibility of signal interference and bouncing.
Where Wired Routers Are Mostly Used
Wired routers are mostly used in large corporations where wiring exists in every office, cubicle, and for all the devices that require access to the internet. Wired routers are also found in places where network security is a top priority since sensitive data can easily be contained and kept secure.
Why Most Routers Are Wireless
Most routers are wireless because the majority of consumer devices that access the internet, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are designed to be portable. With a wireless connection these devices can easily access the internet from anywhere without the need for a wired connection, be it in an airport, hotel, school, etc.
Another reason why most routers are wireless is that there isn’t a high cost involved in adding wireless functionality to a wired router. Therefore, with so many peripherals being wireless, it only makes more sense to get a wireless router for a few extra bucks.
Is a wireless router better than a wired router? (pros and cons)
When it comes to internet speed, wired routers are generally much faster than wireless routers. For instance, wired networks that use Cat6 cables can theoretically reach speeds of 10 Gb/s while the new 802:11ac Wi-Fi standard is capable of supporting a maximum speed of 866.7Mbps.
The following video shows how a wired and wireless connection compare when gaming:
Data transfer speeds are also more stable on a wired network than on a wireless network. This is because a separate cable is used to connect each device to the router, thus keeping your connection free of any dead spots.
2. Ease Of Set Up
Setting up a wireless router is easier and faster than installing a wired router. This is because a wireless connection needs less equipment and you don’t have to run ethernet cables to each device on the network.
You also spend less time configuring firewalls and security applications on a wireless connection than on a wired connection.
A wireless router is very flexible in terms of mobility. This is because it allows you to comfortably use your device in different locations without the need for added connections.
This is why wireless routers are common in places such as homes, hotels and airports where people need to move around with their devices. Wired routers on the other hand lack mobility and are thus better suited for places where devices remain fixed in one location.
Wired routers are generally more secure than wireless routers as long as the necessary firewalls are put in place. This is because, unlike wired routers where communication signals are transmitted through the air, communication in wired routers remains within the cables, thus making it less susceptible to interception by hackers as it travels.
However, this should not steer you away from using a wireless router. To remain safe online, the most important thing is to ensure that your network’s firewall has been properly configured.
For a device to be compatible with a wired router it needs to come equipped with an ethernet port. This can become a problem for many because while the majority of office devices such as desktop PCs come equipped with ethernet ports, very few if any, hand-held devices have ethernet capability.
On the other hand, wireless routers don’t require connecting devices to have connection ports. All that’s needed is a wireless capability that uses a signal that’s compatible with the signal produced by your router.
6. Reliability And Stability
When it comes to reliability and stability, you can expect the signal produced by wireless routers to face some level of interference by objects such as walls, outside networks, and other wireless networks within your area. The strength of a wireless signal also reduces the farther you move away from the router.
A wired router on the other hand is more reliable and stable since all the devices on the network are physically connected to each other via ethernet cables.
Wired Routers vs Wireless Routers Safety
In terms of security, wired routers are considered safer than wireless routers because data transmitted via ethernet can only be accessed if one has a physical connection to the network. Data transmitted over a Wi-Fi network can sometimes be intercepted by hackers if the firewall is not set up right.
In terms of the health risk posed by wired and wireless routers, wired routers are considered safer because they produce a much lower Electro-magnetic Frequency signal than wireless routers (Wi-Fi).
Most standard Wi-Fi networks operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands which fall under non-ionizing radiation. Unlike X-ray and Gamma rays, this frequency is not considered strong enough to interfere with molecular bonds (alter DNA).
However, the International Agency for Cancer classifies even lower ELF-EMF (1Hz-300Hz) as “possibly harmful to humans Research on” despite having no consistent evidence linking Wi-Fi routers to an increased risk of cancer.
Wired routers do exist, however, they pale in comparison to the number of wireless routers that are in use today. This is largely due to the convenience and ease of use that wireless routers offer compared to wired routers.
Also considering the number of handheld mobile devices in use today, most people opt to have Wi-Fi over ethernet connections. Wired networks are still in use in corporations where most connecting devices are fixed and data security is a priority.