Although an Ethernet connection was formerly thought to be one of the finest ways to link your router and computer, customers occasionally claim that their wired connection is slower than Wi-Fi. How is this possible, and why does it occur?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, because every piece of technology has its benefits, but also its downsides. However, people usually choose Ethernet because they know it’s the fastest and most reliable way to get Internet, so it can be bothersome to see that it doesn’t work.
Let’s check what the problem might be and how to quickly fix it.
Why is your Ethernet slower than WiFi?
The Ethernet cable is the wired internet connection between your computer and the router, and as such, it should be the fastest feasible connection. However, this is not always the case because the Wi-Fi connection might be quicker at times.
To figure out why this is happening, we must first evaluate a few factors.
A speed test is required before diagnosing the Ethernet connection and comparing it to the Wi-Fi. This is simple and free to conduct online, and the results will show you how fast or slow your connection is.
We check this data because you will need the exact speed of your internet to file a complaint with your internet service provider. Furthermore, this information will tell you whether your Ethernet cable has been manually configured to a certain speed restriction.
Here are some of the reasons why Ethernet is slower than Wi-Fi:
- The length of the cable – An Ethernet cable that is too lengthy might result in a lost signal and a slower internet connection. The cable should be up to 328 feet long, which is generally plenty for even the most demanding users.
- The Ethernet connection is restricted — While the cable connection is typically more dependable and quicker, this is not always the case. If the Ethernet card used to establish the connection is outdated or has a manual limit put on it, the Ethernet connection may be slower.
- Interference – While most people believe that nothing can break a cable connection, this is not fully correct. Although Ethernet cables are designed to be durable, some gadgets, such as neon lights, can cause connectivity issues and even disrupt Ethernet connections.
- Viruses – The internet connection may be hampered because of the device to which you are attempting to connect, rather than the cable itself. Malicious program-infected computers frequently exhibit connectivity issues and sluggish data transfer.
Finally, you should be aware that the Wi-Fi connection and signal have much improved in recent years. With the advent of the 5GHz spectrum, Ethernet speed can be slower than Wi-Fi, especially if the previously described issues are present.
How to boost Ethernet speed?
Now that you know what caused your Ethernet to be slower than wireless, we can recommend some changes that will allow you to have the greatest internet connection available.
1. Inspect the wires
Since we’re looking at an Ethernet connection, it’s critical that the cable is fully functional.
This implies that there should be no broken or bent elements that might interfere with the transmission and slow down the connection.
In addition to being in perfect conditions, the cable must be new and as short as the conditions permit. Older cables are known to cause connection issues, and if they are excessively lengthy, the signal may be lost and leak.
The Ethernet wire should not be installed near other devices or neon lights, so proceed with caution.
If you’re not sure if the cable is the issue, try an alternative one and test the connection that way.
2. Experiment with a different port
If the cable isn’t the issue, it might be the remainder of the physical connection. As a result, double-check all of the ports on your device as well as the router. These ports might potentially get damaged and stop transmitting signals.
If your router has any free ports, try switching to a different port and checking the speed again.
3. Reboot the router
Once you’ve determined that the cable and ports aren’t to blame for the sluggish connection, it’s a good idea to restart the router.
If the connection is normally stable and the internet speed is adequate, a simple restart of the router may be sufficient to resolve the issue.
This is a simple process that just takes a few minutes to complete; just remember to give the router enough time to completely reboot before attempting to reconnect.
4. Set the speed and duplex
As previously said, one of the connectivity issues your Ethernet may be experiencing is in the settings. The Ethernet connection can be set to use the fastest available speed or it can be manually selected.
Locate the connection in Network Settings and right-click on the Ethernet connection icon. This will bring up a pop-up menu where you can view the current status of the connection.
If it’s too sluggish, you may adjust the speed and duplex in the same pop-up window by clicking the properties button.
You will be able to select between auto-negotiation and manual settings as a result of this. The connection will run at full speed if auto-negotiation is enabled, while manual negotiation may be set to 10mbps, 100mbps, or 1Gbps.
5. Install the latest network drivers
If you still have a slow Ethernet connection after setting the options to auto-negotiation, you should examine the network drivers. Drivers may be updated manually or automatically, and this is a rather simple and quick solution to the problem.
If this does not work, you may attempt a new installation of the network drivers, which often works.
6. Scan the device
Another issue that many people overlook is the presence of viruses and malware on the device on which you are attempting to connect. These malicious programs have developed significantly in recent years and now create a variety of issues on networks and PCs.
Regularly scanning the device and updating the antivirus might save you a lot of time and work in the long run.
7. Turn off VPN
While VPN, or Virtual Private Network, might be useful for keeping your IP address private and providing additional services on the internet, it can also slow down the connection.
The VPN connects your device to a distant server while disguising its IP address. Since the server is generally situated in a different country, this might take some time.
To ensure that the VPN is not the cause of the sluggish connection, try checking the same sites without it. If the internet speeds up, you’ll know what the issue was.
If the VPN was not the source of the problem, you have a few more options.
8. Turn off all other gadgets and applications
The internet is used by several devices at the same time, and as a result, the bandwidth you have may get crowded and cease to work.
If you’re having connection issues and your Ethernet connection appears to be slower than usual, you should examine all of the devices and programs that are taking bandwidth.
This covers any gadgets in your home and workplace, even those linked to Wi-Fi. Furthermore, some background programs might cause the internet to slow down. This is especially true if files are being downloaded or programs are being updated.
If this occurs at a time when you require a fast Ethernet connection, you can pause the programs and updates and reschedule them for a later time. This will free up the connection and restore your access to speedy internet.
9. Contact your Internet Service Provider
If everything else fails and you’ve tried all of our ideas, it’s time to contact your internet service provider. This is one of the reasons we recommended running a speed test in the first place since the findings should be reported to your ISP.
Your provider should be able to assist you with numerous connectivity issues and supply you with the necessary information. This covers your current and ideal payment plan with them, as well as any potential upgrades to your internet speed.
Furthermore, you may always request that a specialist be deployed to your location to examine the problem firsthand.
Professionals should be able to detect any equipment malfunctions and utilize high-quality instruments to ensure that everything is in working condition.
A fast internet connection is essential for most of our time and everyday life, and it might be annoying to have a sluggish Ethernet connection that is claimed to be the finest.
However, with our thorough tutorial, you now know how to solve the problem effectively and quickly, as well as how to increase the speed of your connection every time.
What factors affect internet speed?
Lastly, a few additional words of advice for those who wish to know their connection better.
Internet’s speed is one of those topics we still don’t know well enough, and yet we enjoy talking about it. This is why, in order to discover the optimal solution for every problem, we must first determine what impacts the connection the most.
In this scenario, the Internet connection can be either wireless or through an Ethernet cable. However, regardless of whatever one you pick, there are a few factors that may affect internet speed, such as:
- Subscription plan – Your internet service provider is responsible for internet speed, and you must ensure that the plan you choose meets your needs. Your ISP may improve the speed of your internet, but it typically comes at a fee.
- Router – Routers and modems are critical pieces of equipment that must be fully functioning and brand new in order to provide the fastest internet connections. Connection problems and delays can be caused by issues such as poor placement, obsolete firmware, and other factors.
- Ethernet cable — The connection that connects your device to the router must be free of damage and, ideally, not too lengthy.
- Wi-Fi connection — usually, Wi-Fi is slow but Ethernet is fast most of the time; nevertheless, the ideal speed of the wireless connection is determined by the band used and the router’s proximity, among other factors.
As you can see, when there is a problem with your Internet speed, the answers aren’t one and the same for everyone, and most of the time it could be a combination of factors.
Remember to keep your equipment functional and up to date, and to check your subscription plan regularly – that way, you’re already halfway towards the solution for most Internet-related issues.