Home network: Ethernet or Wi-Fi
If you do not go into the jungle of network technology and do not utter such terrible words as a router, a switch, a hub and a routing table, the task boils down to the following: connect two computers in the same house. You can do this either by extending the network cable from one computer to another (99% of computers and laptops are equipped with an RJ-45 port), or by installing Wi-Fi adapters on computers (most laptops and netbooks have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter). Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
Price. The option with a network cable seems cheaper – you have to spend only on a cable, network adapters are already installed. But laying the cable around the house (especially if you have to drill holes in the walls and pluck the skirting boards) is not cheap. With wireless Wi-Fi, on the contrary, you do not need to buy and install a cable, but you have to buy one or two Wi-Fi adapters (if you are not talking about two laptops). However, the price of a wired or wireless adapter in the region of $ 20-30 is not so high that the price issue becomes decisive.
Convenience. Wireless Wi-Fi is definitely more convenient. After all, no wires curling in balls on the floor and complete freedom – you want – you can sit in a room on the couch with a laptop, and you want to – watch an online movie in the kitchen. Wi-Fi catches everywhere.
Data transfer rate. But Ethernet wins in this parameter. If Wi-Fi, the manufacturer’s declared 802.11b data rate is 11 Mbps (this is provided that the transmitter and receiver are 10 cm apart and completely free from interference), while the real one is 3-4 times less , then the data transfer rate over the network cable is up to 1000 Mbps. And the interference is not terrible for him – because the cable is shielded, and he does not care at a distance. Therefore, if the speed and stability of the channel is important to you, then it is better to stop on Ethernet. It is also worth noting that the new 802.11n data transfer standard allows data transfer at a maximum speed of 600 Mbps. This speed is many times greater than the old standards, but devices that can use this data transfer standard are much more expensive than their old counterparts.
Security. With security, Wi-Fi is full of seams. If it is simply impossible to intercept data from a network cable without physical access to it, then the range of a Wi-Fi network is up to 200 meters. And if you live in a multi-storey building in a dense building environment, you can provide how many people theoretically fall into the coverage area of your home Wi-Fi network. Of course, the network is password protected (if you do not forget to install it), and there is data encryption (WEP and WPA), of course, you can increase the level of security by setting the network and the firewall accordingly, but still …
Health effects. As already mentioned, the Ethernet network cable is shielded – that is, no electromagnetic pulses penetrate either inside or outside. The Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter emits, and you and your family members fall under this radiation. And although it is believed that the radiation power of a Wi-Fi antenna is hundreds of times less than a mobile phone in communication mode, do not forget that it is not only the power, but also the frequency. The frequency at which the mobile phone works – 900 or 1800 MHz does not resonate with water and organic molecules, in contrast to 2.4 GHz – the frequency of Wi-Fi and microwave ovens. Yes, yes it is not known why, but the microwave uses the same frequency as wireless networks, creating interference and prompting thought. But progress does not stand still and now you can buy a Wi-Fi adapter that operates at a frequency of 5 GHz and is already different from the frequency of the microwave, but I note again that such a Wi-Fi adapter will cost much more, devices running on 2.4 GHz frequency.
From all of the above, we can conclude: if you want something beautiful, elegant and convenient – choose Wi-Fi, but if you are an adherent of reliable, secure solutions – even for the sake of convenience – your choice is the good old power cord.
Of course, it’s not enough just to buy a pair of Wi-Fi adapters and a router to set up a network at home. For correct operation of all computers on the Internet, the correct configuration of the Wi-Fi router is necessary, which of course you can do yourself. Perhaps you already have experience setting up wireless devices and you can do everything without additional help.