How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi

Emily Thomas

You’re probably thinking that the speed of your internet connection could do better, considering the number of devices that now fill your workspace. If that’s the case, and you’re looking to improve your internet performance, this article is a step-by-step guide for you – “How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi”? Let’s explore the shift from wireless connectivity to the superior and interference-free world of Ethernet. You’ll find guidance on everything you need to make the shift – whether to turn off your Wifi, plug in an Ethernet cable, or manage those cables for a well-organized workspace, it’s all covered for you. So, get ready to amplify your internet experience today!

How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi

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Understanding the Basics of Ethernet

What is Ethernet?

Imagine that data is a town, and this town is your home device. In order to travel to this town, you need a set of roads; that’s where Ethernet comes in. Ethernet is the traditional technology for connecting wired local area networks (LANs), enabling devices to communicate with each other via a protocol, a set of rules or procedures for transmitting data between electronic devices.

Ethernet vs. WiFi: A Basic Comparison

Ethernet and WiFi are different methods of connecting to the internet. While both serve the same function, Ethernet stands as the older and more reliable pillar. Ethernet offers a steady connection and better control over your LAN as you can easily manage connected devices. On the other hand, WiFi provides wireless convenience but is subject to signal interference and security risks.

Reasons to Use Ethernet

Ethernet is the preferred choice for certain high-bandwidth activities like transferring large files, gaming, and streaming high definition movies, in which reducing latency and lag time is critical. Additionally, Ethernet offers a more secure and private connection as it’s harder for intruders to gain unauthorized access.

Equipment Required for Using Ethernet Connection

Ethernet Cable

The lion’s share of the job in an Ethernet setup falls on the humble Ethernet cable. This is the data highway that connects your device to the internet. Ethernet cables come in various categories, each suited for specific speed limits and environments.

Ethernet Port

An Ethernet port is a physical docking point that is intended to accept an Ethernet cable. This port provides the passage for data to move between devices and networks. Most computers come with at least one Ethernet port.


A router is an essential device that plays a major role in data delivery. It processes and directs data packets from the Ethernet cable to your device, ensuring the information reaches the correct device.


The modem is the bridge between your local network and the internet. It modulates and demodulates the data between your digital device and the analog signal from your internet service provider.

Ethernet Adapter

If your device does not carry an Ethernet port, that’s where Ethernet adapters come in handy. It enables you to add a port where there wasn’t one, allowing you to connect an Ethernet cable.

Types of Ethernet Cables

Understanding Different Categories of Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables are divided into categories, each offering various speed and frequency capabilities. Common ones include Cat 5e (up to 1000 Mbps), Cat 6 (up to 10 Gbps) and Cat 7 (up to 10 Gbps with higher frequencies).

Determine the Right Type of Ethernet Cable

To select the right Ethernet cable for your needs, consider your internet speed, distance between devices, and your environment. Generally, a higher category means improved performance but at a higher cost.

Using Shielded vs. Unshielded Ethernet Cables

Shielded Ethernet cables include an addition layer of protection against noise and interference, making them ideal for environments with plenty of electrical devices. Unshielded cables are more common and cost-efficient for everyday use.

Setting Up an Ethernet Connection

Connecting Ethernet Cable to Router and Device

Setting up an Ethernet connection involves connecting your Ethernet cable to the router and your device. You’ll need to locate the Ethernet port on your computer and the corresponding port on your router, then plug in each end of the cable.

Checking Connection Status

Once you’ve made your connections, it’s time to check the status. On most operating systems, you can review your connection status in the network settings area or by hovering over the network icon in your taskbar.

Diagnostic Tool for Ethernet Connection

If your connection isn’t functioning properly, you can use your operating system’s built-in diagnostic tool. This tool will analyze your connection and help identify any problems.

How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi

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Switch from WiFi to Ethernet on Different Operating Systems

Switching on Windows

On Windows computers, you can easily switch to Ethernet by plugging in your Ethernet cable and navigating to Network and Sharing Center. From there, you’ll have the ability to set up a new connection or network.

Switching on MacOS

For MacOS users, upon connecting your Ethernet cable, your device will automatically prioritize the Ethernet connection. You can confirm this by checking your Network settings.

Switching on Linux

Those utilizing Linux can switch to Ethernet through the Network interface. Similar to the other systems, once you plug in your Ethernet cable, your device will prioritize the wired connection.

Ensuring a Secure Ethernet Connection

Password Protection

Although Ethernet connections are inherently more secure than WiFi, it’s still important to protect your network. Setting a strong password for your router is a basic yet fundamental step towards security.

Firewall Settings

Make sure to enable the built-in firewall in your router or device. Firewalls add an extra layer of security protecting your network from potential threats from the internet.

Regular Firmware Update

Routinely update your hardware’s firmware to ensure you have the latest security patches and enhancements from the manufacturer.

How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi

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Troubleshooting Common Ethernet Connection Problems

No Internet Connection

If your connection suddenly drops, check your cables to see if they’re properly connected. Restarting your device, router, and modem can also help resolve this issue.

Slow Speed

Slow speed can be caused by various factors, including using outdated equipment and cable, or interference from other devices. Try upgrading your hardware or rearranging your setup to resolve this issue.

Intermittent Connection

For intermittent connections, ensure that your cables are high-quality and in good condition. Interference, outdated hardware, or issues with your internet service provider can also cause connection instability.

Maximizing Ethernet Speed

Upgrading Your Ethernet Cable

Using a higher category of Ethernet cable can deliver faster speeds. Upgrading to Cat 6 or Cat 7 cables will significantly increase data transfer rates.

Using a High-Speed Router

A high-speed router can handle greater data volumes efficiently, translating to faster browsing and downloading speeds.

Disabling WiFi When Using Ethernet

To ensure maximum speed with an Ethernet connection, you might find it beneficial to disable your WiFi. This prevents automatic switching between WiFi and Ethernet which can affect your connection speed.

How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi

Understanding Ethernet for Gaming and Streaming

Benefits of Ethernet for Gaming

Ethernet is the top choice for gamers owing to its reliability and speed. It provides a stable connection, which means smooth gameplay without lagging or interruption.

Ethernet for Streaming

For streaming, Ethernet wins over WiFi. It provides better speed and more reliable performance, ensuring you can stream your favorite shows in high definition without buffering.

Impact of Ethernet on Lag and Latency

With Ethernet, issues of lag and latency (which refers to delays in data transmission) are greatly reduced compared to a WiFi connection. This makes Ethernet highly preferred for real-time gaming and live streaming.

Pros and Cons of Using Ethernet

Pros of Ethernet Over WiFi

Ethernet generally offers faster, more reliable internet speeds and has lower latency than WiFi. It also provides a more secure connection, minimizing the chances of hacking compared to wireless networks.

Cons of Ethernet

However, Ethernet does lack the freedom and convenience that WiFi offers. Ethernet cables can add clutter and may be impractical for devices like smartphones and tablets which lack Ethernet ports. Also, setting up Ethernet can be slightly more complicated than simply connecting to WiFi.

Choosing Between Ethernet and WiFi

In deciding between Ethernet and WiFi, consider your internet requirements and circumstances. Ethernet is advantageous for high bandwidth activities, network control, and stability, while WiFi offers convenience and mobility. It’s all about finding the right fit for your needs, and in many cases, using both in tandem could be the optimal solution.

How Do I Use Ethernet Instead Of Wifi