Wired or wireless

Connecting your laptop, tablet or other mobile device to a home network is easy. You can use a wired network, a wireless network (you might have heard it referred to as "WiFi", or both! Here are the best things about each - so you can decide which one is right for you.


Wired: why would you use it?

A wired home network is when you connect your computer or other compatible device to your Super Hub with an Ethernet cable. With the introduction of wireless routers, it’s less common these days for a home to only use a wired network.

The best thing about a wired connection is the reliability and speed it gives you (wired is faster than wireless). This makes it ideal for things that use a lot of bandwidth, like playing online games on your Xbox.

What’s great about wired?

  • Faster and more reliable than wireless connections
  • Less risk of others being able to access your broadband connection
  • Easy to set up and troubleshoot
  • No extra wireless equipment is needed

What’s not?

  • Not so flexible when positioning computers and other mobile devices because you need to be connected to your Super Hub using an Ethernet cable
  • Not so convenient for users of laptops and other mobile devices
  • Supports fewer connections than a wireless (usually just four, instead of more than 20)

Wireless: why would you use it?

A wireless network is when your computer (or other wireless compatible device) is connected to your Super Hub without any wires.

Want to check your emails on your laptop in the garden? No problem. Want to tell your friends what you’ve been up to on Facebook? You can do that too.

And because you can connect lots of different devices (laptops, mobiles etc) to the web, everyone in your home can go online at the same time.

What’s great about wireless?

  • No wires! So you can connect wherever you want
  • Ideal for users of laptops and other mobile devices
  • You can connect more devices than via a wired connection
  • Very secure when used with the highest strength security settings (WPA encryption - which comes as standard on our Super Hubs)
  • You can connect your smartphone to your wireless network for faster browsing

What’s not?

  • Performance can be affected by thick walls, electrical interference etc
  • It can be up to 30% slower than wired connections
  • Unauthorised users might try to use your connection (which is why security is so important)
  • If you have an older computer, a wireless USB adapter may be needed

Wired and wireless

Many homes these days combine the reliability of wired connections with the freedom of wireless. For example, you could connect your computer to your Super Hub using an Ethernet cable while you link all your mobile devices using your wireless network.

Why would you use it?

If you’ve got a number of web-enabled devices (laptops, mobiles etc), a mixture of wired and wireless might be perfect for you. Perhaps you want zippy speeds for downloading files to your computer. Maybe you want a rock-solid connection for gaming on your PlayStation. If so, you’d be best off using a wired connection and saving your wireless connection for your laptop, iPad or other portable devices. Wired and wireless connections really can be a match made in heaven!

Extending your network

If there are parts of your home where you can’t get a wireless signal, take a look at Powerline kits. They use the electrical wiring in your home to connect your Super Hub to your devices. Which means you can get a good connection in any room with a socket – and you don’t have to run cable around your home.

More about extending your network

Want to know what kit you need to set up your network?    What you need

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