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more wi-fi questions

Nancy Hummel

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my prior thread.

Is there any value or benefit from running an ethernet cable from the xfinity modem to my computer? I have a Dell laptop for work. I have a docking station that I connect everything to.

I used to have a work phone that I connected from a Netgear box which plugged into the xfinity modem but now we use zoom phones.

The Wi-Fi seems to work fine and I don't want to mess up a good thing.

Thanks.
 

Plai

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Kinda depends on which speed your wifi is connecting vs the speed of the ethernet cable. I say do a speed test on both configs and see which works best for you:
https://speedtest.xfinity.com/
But, if all you're doing is watching videos, surfing the net, and "working" (email/zoom), it's unlikely to really matter. A decade or two ago, the ethernet would have been a clear winner.
 
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Nancy Hummel

Nancy Hummel

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Kinda depends on which speed your wifi is connecting vs the speed of the ethernet cable. I say do a speed test on both configs and see which works best for you:
https://speedtest.xfinity.com/
But, if all you're doing is watching videos, surfing the net, and "working" (email/zoom), it's unlikely to really matter. A decade or two ago, the ethernet would have been a clear winner.
Thanks. I appreciate the help.
 

Dwight

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Now days the internet speed is usually slower than wifi, so the cable probably won't be faster.
 

scott43

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And it depends how close you are to the access point. If your WiFi signal is poor you will do better with a hard connection. I use Ethernet at home for my work computer for various reasons. But as others have said, it's not much better these days.

Having said that, when I'm in the office the hard wire is noticeably faster than our office WiFi. When you're moving a terabyte of data you notice.
 

dbostedo

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If your WiFi signal is poor you will do better with a hard connection.
I'd be curious about a WiFi signal being poor when you're close enough that running a cable is an option. (Unless you've got runs inside your walls I guess.)
 

scott43

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I'd be curious about a WiFi signal being poor when you're close enough that running a cable is an option. (Unless you've got runs inside your walls I guess.)
Yeah we wired a bunch of the house. We have an access point on a hard wire on the main floor. And hard connections in a few rooms that we use as offices nowadays. And we have concrete walls in our basement which degrades the signal fairly quickly.
 

johnnyvw

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Our last house was built with wire mesh lath and plaster, which greatly affected wi-fi signals unless you were in the same room as the router. We had to have my wife's work computer hard wired because of that. For anything else, the wi-fi was "ok", but just barely
 

crgildart

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Kitchen appliances between the access point and device kills the WiFi signal. Old school Cat 5 cable, switches, and cards were limited to 100mps. Modern stuff can be in TBs but all of the infrastructure needs to be up to that or it's 100 mps
 

Wilhelmson

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my prior thread.

Is there any value or benefit from running an ethernet cable from the xfinity modem to my computer? I have a Dell laptop for work. I have a docking station that I connect everything to.

I used to have a work phone that I connected from a Netgear box which plugged into the xfinity modem but now we use zoom phones.

The Wi-Fi seems to work fine and I don't want to mess up a good thing.

Thanks.
It is worth a try and it shouldn’t cause any trouble if you decide to go back to wifi.
 

Mendieta

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Kitchen appliances between the access point and device kills the WiFi signal.

I was going to address that point. @Nancy Hummel , this will depend on how many "smart" devices you have at home (ring cameras, appliances, thermostats. IME, even though the throughput of Internet Connections has gone spectacularly higher, so has the traffic in the home networks. And modems/routers tend to choke. Having a separate ethernet connection (assuming your computer and modem are modern enough to use fast ethernet), will help you have your PC on a solid connections, and eventually less interruptions in video calls, etc.

Just to be pragmatic, the call and video quality for my ~ 100 colleagues at work is solid from the office, and spotty when remoting. And that's big numbers statistics. Connections at work are all wired, and that's the difference.
Hope this helps!
 

scott43

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If you're in a more dense area, WiFi can be dirtied by nearby WiFi traffic as well. It's important to note your actual internet speed as well.. 100Mbps ain't much good when you're going through a 25Mbps pipe..with 10 devices in your house.. :)
 

Sibhusky

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It maybe depends on your wiring quality and the age and position of your routers and points. Mesh helps a lot. But I seem to remember testing wired vs. WiFi a few years back and at the time, our wired was faster than our wireless. The house is wired completely with CAT 5. Since then, tho, we've replaced everything (network provider, routers, etc.) and now use wireless exclusively. We have 2 networks. One is definitely faster than the other. Plus, use of a VPN can impact speed.
 

Wilhelmson

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Wire is almost always faster as long as the wires are good. Hardware on the poles breaks down. The internet company will suggest you upgrade bandwidth. We bought 1G for the same price and it is marginally better.
 

jonc

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What problem are you trying to solve? Are you getting spotty zoom calls? Internet dropping out? Phone works better than computer when on the WiFi? Just generally concerned that you aren’t getting the most performance out of your current setup?

The wired connection to the router will be more stable and typically faster than WiFi. That may help solve problems that are inside the house (if you have any) but most things are limited by the Internet connection on the other side of the modem.
 

pete

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my prior thread.

Is there any value or benefit from running an ethernet cable from the xfinity modem to my computer? I have a Dell laptop for work. I have a docking station that I connect everything to.

I used to have a work phone that I connected from a Netgear box which plugged into the xfinity modem but now we use zoom phones.

The Wi-Fi seems to work fine and I don't want to mess up a good thing.

Thanks.
several items I've noted for myself related to your post, note I'm not a IT guy, more a hack:

  • Age of your xfinity modem. If newer it likely will support both wired and WiFi, so in theory you can run both and see which works best.
  • WiFi may vary by location and other interference signals .. so your set up, house, neighbors, signal densities may make wired more reliable but today, with newer modem, 5G is common and even older is fine for most data rates. Newer Modems use directional antennas to improve connection.
  • Run both wired, WiFi speed tests. Too, what other items are on your modem? Note that if you run other hardwired toys off the modem or through a switch, it may downselect to the slowest item/phy. Point is, be aware that your printer if hardwired may drive the modem to 10Mbps from 100Mbps. If signals are slow, you can try disconnecting some toys or isolating them through their own switch.
  • Zoom and other conf call tools run should be fine at 5Mbps. HD streaming for TV is similar but recommended is higher. Most home internet runs minimally 40Mbps but it of course depends on many factors but you likely know what you're buying.
  • Your Modem may allow you to set priorities for what's hooked up. you can give your laptop priority over everything else. Most the time this will not even be noticeable. This in case you have lower BW and other at home who kick on Netflix to stream 4K.
  • Oh, are you datacapped with xFinity? some services decrease bandwidth if you hit a limit .. so if your calls are good at the beginning of a billing cycle, maybe you have a data cap?
 

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