For those of us old enough to remember a time before WiFi, there's still something genuinely magical about it. Internet! In the air! Can you believe it?
We've cut way down on cables and can now access the internet anywhere in our homes (sometimes with a little help), and the signal strength is generally good enough to stream HD videos and play online video games against people around the world.
Except for when it isn't.
You see, wired internet still exists and it's still going strong. In fact, you should probably still use it whenever you can. Convenience doesn't always produce the best results, and that's definitely true when it comes to internet speeds. Ethernet cables might be old-fashioned, but there are still plenty of reasons why you should use them whenever possible.
What makes ethernet better than WiFi?
Obviously, WiFi is great. It's changed our lives, allowing for an unprecedented degree of flexibility with internet-enabled devices. Home WiFi is even good enough in large portions of the United States that people justifiably feel comfortable using it for everything, such as work, gaming, and streaming. Still, the fact of the matter is that a wired connection is still objectively better for just about anything that requires an internet connection. Sometimes the benefits are subtle, but sometimes they're life-changing.
For example, WiFi is notoriously fickle. Thick walls and metal objects can totally throw off the signal emanating from your router and turn what should be a perfectly connected household into a depressing dead zone. There's an entire industry devoted to selling devices that combat this issue.
Wireless connections are also more prone to signal drops and high latency. If you're just browsing the web, you might not notice this, but people who are in online video games with you definitely will. Last but obviously not least, the connection speed is almost always going to be slower on a wireless connection. My home WiFi is very good and my connection speed still multiplies by two or three when i plug in an ethernet cable.