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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:08 PM   #1
bobright
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Do the majority of iMac owners use the "Ethernet cable" or connect wireless?

It's a nice change coming over from a bulky old windows PC the iMac can actually connect to the Internet wirelessly. I was thinking at the same time speeds obviously areceffected by being wireless though right? Do most people just use their Ethernet cable?

It is a desktop afterall I think once I get it moved into my office ill hook it up via the Ethernet cable.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:10 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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Both Ethernet and wireless networks are faster than any internet connection you may have. You won't see any difference in internet performance between the two.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:12 PM   #3
Sue De Nimes
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I use Ethernet as my iMac is on a, erm, network.

Wireless still doesn't come close for data throughput or reliability.

I wouldn't recommend anyone using WiFi unless they were unable to use an Ethernet connection.

There isn't any difference between connecting over Wifi under OSX or Window. Both of them work fine.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:15 PM   #5
Foggy
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I have cat 6 based gigabit network throughout the house. Everything that stays in one place is wired in. It's much faster and vastly more reliable.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:27 PM   #6
C62008
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By wire. Noticeably faster than wireless even 4 feet from router.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:15 PM   #7
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by Sue De Nimes View Post
Wireless still doesn't come close for data throughput or reliability.
That's not true for internet use. WiFi is still much faster than the internet connection, and is extremely reliable.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:35 PM   #8
Sue De Nimes
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That's not true for internet use. WiFi is still much faster than the internet connection, and is extremely reliable.
Times my wired ethernet has gone down in last 10 years = 0
Time my wireless connection has gone down in last 10 year = more than 0

If you game then latency is better with a wired connection.

I can't think of a single reason why one would choose wireless over a wired ethernet connection other than "it is one less wire"

To be honest with you I don't much care for how many wires run into my PC - I care about whether it does what I want it to.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:13 PM   #10
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by Sue De Nimes View Post
Times my wired ethernet has gone down in last 10 years = 0
Time my wireless connection has gone down in last 10 year = more than 0
Times my wireless network has gone down = 0
Times my ISP's service has gone down = too many to count

Unless you're in an area with significant interference or you have hardware problems, your wireless network should be as stable as a wired network. The only unstable factor I've ever experienced is my ISP, which affects both wired and wireless internet connectivity. As for my wireless network apart from the internet, it's never failed to deliver consistent high-speed performance.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:16 PM   #11
fossen
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Originally Posted by Sue De Nimes View Post
I can't think of a single reason why one would choose wireless over a wired ethernet connection other than "it is one less wire".
To be fair, running CAT5 through a house, on multiple floors can be a big pain. I used wireless until powerline had reached the point I felt comfortable using it.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:06 PM   #12
blanka
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Both Ethernet and wireless networks are faster than any internet connection you may have. You won't see any difference in internet performance between the two.
Thanks for the theory, but in practice wired is much snappier.
Big files of speed-checking sites give a very distorted image.
Try a big Pinterest page with 1000+ HTTP requests and time the difference.

And if you have like me, an area with 40 networks under the wifi-symbol available with many in the 5Ghz area too, the speed is more like 10:1 in favour of wired. But my ISP delivers 100/70 down up, so that is some serious bandwidth too.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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Thanks for the theory, but in practice wired is much snappier.
Big files of speed-checking sites give a very distorted image.
Try a big Pinterest page with 1000+ HTTP requests and time the difference.
That may be your experience, but I've never found any noticeable internet performance difference between wired and wireless, no matter how many times I've tested both over the past few years. Use whatever works for you, but most ISP speeds don't come close to matching either wireless or wired network speeds, so for purely internet usage, either is fine.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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Both Ethernet and wireless networks are faster than any internet connection you may have. You won't see any difference in internet performance between the two.
I would have to agree. Well said.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:26 PM   #15
talmy
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Two iMacs here, both wired, the Mac mini server and the sole PC here are wired as well. And I have a wire here for my Macbook Pro for transferring files. Sure Internet access is the same speed with either wired or wireless, but accessing other systems on the LAN is much faster over wire.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:39 PM   #16
GGJstudios
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You are comparing apples (no pun intended) to oranges. Your ISP has nothing to do with the wiring in your home.
Actually, it does, since the ISP installed the wiring. But that's irrelevant. My point is that the speed of the internet service is much slower than the speed of either the wireless or wired network, so the bottleneck is the internet service, not the wireless or wired network.
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No, it is not as stable. As I said before, ask someone who uses online applications that require constant connectivity. Particularly if they are in an area like an urban setting where the spectrum is not exactly smooth sailing.
My setting is as urban as it gets (near the center of downtown in a top-10 city), and I've never had a single problem with my wireless network's performance or reliablility.
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Originally Posted by talmy View Post
Sure Internet access is the same speed with either wired or wireless, but accessing other systems on the LAN is much faster over wire.
Exactly. I agree that wired is faster for other LAN traffic. My point relates to internet traffic alone.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:10 PM   #17
aggri1
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Wired if at all possible. Copying files over the wireless is tediously slow - and last time the MacBook Pro totally froze for more than half a minute at a time when copying from the iMac (not even mouse motion! Why?! So much for 'multi-tasking OS X'). Sometimes videos won't even play smoothly over the wireless. I also found that both Macs didn't reliably re-connect to the wireless network when waking from sleep if the router wasn't broadcasting SSID, so I've had to turn that on again. And finally, both Macs had trouble printing to the network printer which was connected to the router via ethernet when the Macs were on wireless-only.

I never got iPhone wireless syncing working either, it always started and then froze or lost connection.

Wireless is a nice idea, but just isn't reliable in my experience. Perhaps it's the particular router, but since that router came with the internet service, I don't feel like buying another one just to try it.

Last edited by aggri1; Dec 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM. Reason: clarification w/ grammar
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:04 AM   #18
KaraH
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Actually, it does, since the ISP installed the wiring. But that's irrelevant. My point is that the speed of the internet service is much slower than the speed of either the wireless or wired network, so the bottleneck is the internet service, not the wireless or wired network.

My setting is as urban as it gets (near the center of downtown in a top-10 city), and I've never had a single problem with my wireless network's performance or reliablility.

Exactly. I agree that wired is faster for other LAN traffic. My point relates to internet traffic alone.
Since we are talking about LAN traffic I still do not know what your experiences with connecting beyond your house have to do with the discussion. As I said though, if you want to bring such into the convo my wireless devices have lost connectivity MUCH more often than my wired ones.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:26 AM   #19
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I would have to agree. Well said.
My pings are more erratic with wireless, I don't think I would game seriously on wireless. On wired, I can do gigabit+jumbo frames to my NAS and other computers to transfer hundreds of gigabytes without worrying about dropping out due to interference.

I have also serviced a lot of routers that seems to overheat without a heatsink. Prior to having them serviced, they were periodically suffering dropouts when large amount of load was placed on them. Wired was never affected (different switching logic, I guess in those models), but wireless dropped dead.

I also have a topology at home that puts the gigabit switch directly connecting several computers, and the wireless connects to the lower through-put devices on a secondary node.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:59 AM   #20
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Both Ethernet and wireless networks are faster than any internet connection you may have. You won't see any difference in internet performance between the two.
I get 44.68Mbps wireless, 99.02Mbps wired.

Even more importantly, shifting a few gb of data over cat6 gigabit is a LOT faster than shoving it over wifi. When 802.11ac is readily available and in all of my machines I will consider using wifi on the desktops.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:07 AM   #21
randy98mtu
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I wire everything I can. I have wired connections on my desk, in my living room and in my basement. My iMac is the server for iTunes. I have Apple TV's in the living room and downstairs that are wired, as well as bluray players and other devices. The laptops and iDevices are wireless, as well as the Apple TV and PS3 in my bedroom, as I have no wires there. I find wires are always more reliable.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:05 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Both Ethernet and wireless networks are faster than any internet connection you may have. You won't see any difference in internet performance between the two.
While I agree with that, one must be aware of a few things when making the decision to go wired or wireless. Wireless has a lot of variables involved that will affect performance. Building construction, interference, capabilities of both the access point and wireless device, etc. In my house, we use video baby monitors for our twins. They run in the 2.4GHz spectrum and reek havoc on wireless, and even my wireless mouse. The wireless access point I was using up until a few weeks ago was only capable of 802.11n on the 2.4GHz side, so the wireless performance in the house was spotty at best (if the baby monitors were plugged in, which they are 24/7). I got a better access point (aerohive) that is capable of 802.11n on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I set up a separate SSID for the 5GHz and it works great.

Having said all that, GGJ's comment holds true. Especially if the variables I mentioned above are taken out of the wireless side of the comparison.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 12:14 PM   #23
Wakeywarrior
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I have 75 meg fibre (get 50 on a good day but normally around 40).

With wireless, the quickest I can get on speedtests on any of my devices (ipad, Nexus, imac, Windows laptop) is 30 meg.

So I use Homeplug AV 200 with the imac (and I have a Sonos, Sky box, Xbox and Nas drive all plugged into Home Plug all over the house) and I get the full speed.

You can't beat a Homeplug in my view unless you can wire directly into the router.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 12:33 PM   #24
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Wired whenever possible.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 12:57 PM   #25
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I started with wireless but switched to wired because copying large files to my NAS is faster on a wired network. I didn't notice much difference on internet speeds.
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