Wireless or Ethernet

  Border View 12:15 05 Jan 2012

I am with o2 and use their wireless router. I have used it wirelessly for the last three years because it was too far away from my computer. I use Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and the internet connection strength at the bottom of the screen shows up to three bars (normally only two).

This morning I managed to connect to the router using a 5 metre ethernet cable and the strength has gone up to four bars.

I can't see the difference. A speed test shows the same speeds 2.6 down 0.7 up.

Would I be just as well off being wireless? What difference does the strength from two bars to four bars make?

I would appreciate your comments please.

  northumbria61 12:39 05 Jan 2012

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  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:41 05 Jan 2012

A debatable one this.

The slowest part of the system is said to be the phone extension from the master socket to the router.

Therefore coupling from router to PC via wireless or wire will make no difference.

Connecting the router direct to the master socket then using cable is faster than connecting to master socket and then using wireless.

The boss says I cannot have the router in the hallway and a cat5 cable running up the stairs as the phone cable is bad enough :0)

yet to try, temporarily, the router in the hallway and a wireless connection to see if it makes any difference (will have to wait until she's away for a while :0)

  robin_x 12:55 05 Jan 2012

Don't confuse speed between router and exchange with speed from router to laptop or other computer(s).

eg I get 20Mbps laptop in conservatory to router in living room (worst case).

This is fine for the Internet, although possibility of dropouts is higher.

But shifting large video files around my system (or backups), cat5 ethernet cable gives the full 100Mbps.

  beeuuem 13:55 05 Jan 2012

Borderview When you connect the Ethernet cable did you disable the wireless connection? It may be that the system searches for the first available connection from a list and the wireless comes first? I only offer this as a suggestion as it would be expected to see a noticeable increase in speed via an Ethernet connection.

  Border View 14:04 05 Jan 2012

Thanks all for responding.

Beeuuem - no I haven't disabled the wireless yet. Have not figured out how to. Off to have a look.

  Border View 14:35 05 Jan 2012

Thanks for that beeuuem.

I was still connecting wirelessly. Went into Open Network and Sharing Centre and disabled wirless connection. Now dont have the bar chart showing signal strength but a little tv with ethernet plug.

I can now see a difference in my speeds at page loading.

Should explain that my router is plugged directly into the main socket. I don't have any extensions in the house. (Got rid of them about three years ago as they were creating too much "noise"). In the end I realized that speeds from the exchange were different to those from the router to the PC.

Wish I could have better speeds from the Exchange but I am on the distance limit. Now happy with what I have.

Thank you all for responding. Will now give the green tick.

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