Although using wireless to access the Internet always sounds like the best option, there are actually advantages and disadvantages of wireless Internet and depending on your environment and circumstances it may not always be the best option even though it is available to you.

the advantages and disadvantages of wireless internet

The two main types of Internet connection are wireless – this is the means of connecting to the Internet via a router and using a wireless connection for the first part of the link (between your device and the local router).

The second type of connection is hard wired – this involves the same method of connecting to the Internet (via a router) but the initial link between your device and the router is made by a hard wired link which is almost always an ethernet link.

the advantages of wireless Internet

Whilst there are many advantages and disadvantages of wireless Internet, there are probably more advantages. If an average person has the choice of using wireless of hard wired connection to access the Internet they are more likely to chose the wireless option.

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The main reason that wireless is more attractive is because its very easy to set up – most modern computers have wireless capabilities built into them and as long as you know the password for the wireless connection, you can be connected in a matter of minutes.

Some of the other advantages to using wireless Internet are as follows:

  • Connecting to wireless is very easy and fast
  • You can have multiple connections to a single wireless access point and are not limited by available (physical) connections
  • You do not need any additional leads (Such as Ethernet cables for hard wired connections)
  • You can move around much more easily
  • You can connect to public wireless access points without needing any physical access to them
  • You can connect a much wider range of devices (such as mobile devices)
  • You can connect to many different types of wifi devices (Such as 3g wifi routers)

The disadvantages of wireless Internet

So you have seen the comprehensive list of advantages to using wireless to connect to the Internet. But this article is about the advantages and disadvantages of wireless Internet. So the next part of this article will focus on the disadvantages of wireless Internet.

wireless usb dongle

You might think to yourself that there are no real disadvantages to wireless Internet, but there are a few:

  • Wireless Internet connections are quite often slower than wired ones
  • Wireless connections are often much less stable and the quality of the connection can fluctuate
  • Wireless Internet is often susceptible to interference from other types of wireless signals in the area
  • Equipping all devices with wireless modules can involve additional cost as not all devices have wireless as standard
  • Using wireless adds a security risk to your Internet communications as although encrypted, your data packets are still being transited and are susceptible to interception

Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of wireless Internet

As you can see, there are more advantages to wireless Internet than there are disadvantages. The advantages tend to be very functional ones, and ones that are designed to save you time and make life easier.

The main advantage is the flexibility and convenience of wireless. Its very quick and easy to establish a wireless connection, you can do so from a range of devices and a range of different types of wireless access points.

The disadvantages of wireless tend to focus around security and stability. No matter how secure the wireless connection may be, it does add another element that makes it open to potential attack in a broader sense than that of a hard wired connection. Due to the nature of wireless connections, they are often less stable than wired connections.

When to use wireless and when to use hard wired

Because of the advantages and disadvantages of wireless Internet there are situations that tend to prefer each type fo connection. Wireless connections are preferable when you are not doing anything that requires a high level of security and also when you are performing tasks that do not require a high level of stability in terms of the Internet connection. Good examples would be browsing the Internet for research, checking personal emails and so on.

Wired Internet is preferable when you are carrying out tasks that require high levels of security and also when you are performing tasks that require a great level of stability. Good examples are Internet banking, corporate work and also playing online games.