Wired vs. Wireless Networking

vs.



Wired Networks
ProsCons
  • Ethernet cables, hubs and switches are very inexpensive.

  • Some connection sharing software packages, like ICS, are free.

  • Ethernet cables, hubs and switches are extremely reliable.

  • Wired LANs offer superior performance.

  • Broadband routers offer equivalent firewall capability built into the device, configurable through its own software.

  • Wired connections can reach networking speeds of up to 1000 Mbps with Gigabit Ethernet networking equipment, necessary for bandwidth hungry.

  • Need to run cables in difficult environments through walls, floors and ceilings.

  • Cables need to be run from computer to computer and switch to switch. Process can be time consuming.

  • Loose cables likely remain the single most common and annoying source of failure in a wired network.





Wireless Networks
ProsCons
  • The greater mobility of wireless LANs helps offset the performance disadvantage. Mobile computers do not need to be tied to an Ethernet cable and can roam freely within the WLAN range.

  • It is relatively easy to set up a WAP and configure a WNIC using a wireless connection utility.

  • Wireless networks have much less cabling which leads to a much neater working environment. You do not need to run cables across your house/office, which can create trip hazards across rooms, hallways and stairs. Also choosing to set-up a wireless network means that you do not need to run cables underneath carpets or drill holes through walls or ceilings to pass cables through.

  • Need to run cables in difficult environments through walls, floors and ceilings.

  • Cables need to be run from computer to computer and switch to switch. Process can be time consuming.

  • Loose cables likely remain the single most common and annoying source of failure in a wired network.


About Us

We are a group of current or aspiring teachers currently studying at Pace University in Westchester County in New York State.



Research Sources

 

Wireless vs. Wired LANs

This resource document outlines the advantages and disadvantages of wired and wireless networks according to ease of installation, total cost, reliability, performance, and security.

Wired vs. Wireless Networking for the Home

This site from Netgear, a leading manufacturer of wired and wireless networking hardware lists the benefits of both wired and wireless networks on this site.

Wired vs. Wireless: Sometimes There's No Substitute for a Cable

This is a news article which discusses the limitations of Wireless technologies and why Wired networks are inherently better.

Planning Out Your Network: Wired Versus Wireless

This site authored by Dell provides an evaluation of the pros and cons associated with wired and wireless network technologies.

Wired or Wireless? Choose Your Network

This news article on PCWorld provides an evaluation of wired and wireless networks and will help users and administrators choose which network will be best based on networking needs.