Speedtest: Ethernet vs Wireless AC

realeric

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 19, 2009
1,062
1,319
United States
Here is a speedtest result. As expected, 5GHz wireless ac is faster than 100Mbps ethernet. I wish Apple supported 1Gbps ethernet. What's your speed?

100Mbps ethernet: (I used speedtest.net app)

speedwire.png


5GHz wireless AC connection:

speedwireless.png
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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Denmark
Why would you even want gigabit ethernet on it, it has no uses?

And personally I would pick low latency over useless speed increase, so ethernet for sure.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,677
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Unless you have an Internet connection that tops 100Mbps, what good is that? Gigabit is great for a local network moving data across a LAN. With data coming in from the Internet, it's kind of overkill. I'm getting like 20Mbps down, so it doesn't seem worth much.

Only benefit I can see is not crapping out when I turn on the microwave. That annoys the heck out of me.
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,550
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The sole purpose of the ATV is to stream. Therefore, it should support as fast a connection as possible. Gigabit ethernet would be nice to have as my internet service is currently 150 Mbps and I may go higher soon. I still prefer hard wiring to wireless when given the choice.

Having said that, I wouldn't be too surprised if they drop ethernet altogether on the next model given the performance of wireless. That's something Apple would do.
 
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zinned

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2015
102
22
Why would you even want gigabit ethernet on it, it has no uses?

And personally I would pick low latency over useless speed increase, so ethernet for sure.
Unless you have an Internet connection that tops 100Mbps, what good is that? Gigabit is great for a local network moving data across a LAN. With data coming in from the Internet, it's kind of overkill. I'm getting like 20Mbps down, so it doesn't seem worth much.

Only benefit I can see is not crapping out when I turn on the microwave. That annoys the heck out of me.
Of course there should be a 1000BASE-T and not a 100BASE-T. One who uses Home Sharing would benefit from this. Then there's the question, why implement a 100BASE-T instead of a 1000BASE-T at all? I would say that it must be harder to find a big supply of 100BASE-T connectors than 1000BASE-T, also more expensive today. Apple must have a big stock of 100BASE-T connectors that they want to get rid of :)
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,211
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The sole purpose of the ATV is to stream. Therefore, it should support as fast a connection as possible. Gigabit ethernet would be nice to have as my internet service is currently 150 Mbps and I may go higher soon. I still prefer hard wiring to wireless when given the choice.

Having said that, I wouldn't be too surprised if they drop ethernet altogether on the next model given the performance of wireless. That's something Apple would do.
Purpose is to stream 4-6mbps h.264 streams.
Why do you seem to think >100mbps is necessary for a 4mbps stream...
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,135
I am i the same situation as the OP, but chose ethernet over wifi. I live in an apartment with a ton of interference (pretty much everyone is on 5ghz, 1gbps internet). I would much rather have a constant 100mbps than one that ranges from 50-300.
 

Radeon85

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2012
381
328
South Wales, UK
I have never used the Ethernet port on my ATV 2,3 and now 4. Wireless works just fine and Ethernet is really not needed these days even on computers. It's not as if you are playing competitive multi-player gaming where every millisecond counts, you're streaming videos that don't require much bandwidth for christ sake.

I have no issues though maxing out my 210Mbps down and 12 up using the Netgear R8000, whether it's the ATV 4, 6S Plus or Air 2 anywhere in the house.
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
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Purpose is to stream 4-6mbps h.264 streams.
Why do you seem to think >100mbps is necessary for a 4mbps stream...
True. I suppose I just like things to be as fast as possible. When I switched from 4 Mbps DSL to 150 Mbps cable, movies loaded much faster into the buffer. They increased the performance of wireless with AC so I figured ethernet should also get a speed increase.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
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When I renovated my apartment I put an ethernet port in every room but the bathroom.
I can see 16 different wireless networks in my apartment and the number is going to increase over time.
Ethernet is the way to go, I have a fast and reliable connection all the time. I hope they'll continue to put an ethernet port on ATV and maybe support Gigabit ethernet next time
 

iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
46
13
EU
Personally I see this is a non issue. I'm not aware of any commercial streams that encode more than 30 Mbps. In fact BT here in the UK has just released their new 4K UHD channel which is meant to be the highest resolution out there and it's around 30Mbps. Even Netflix and Amazon use around half that bit rate for their UHD streams.
 
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iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
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EU
I should add I agree with a poster above around latency which is a bigger issue. 100Mbps Ethernet is generally better on this front compared to 802.1ac, especially in built up areas with high wifi saturation.

My recommendation is always to use Ethernet over wifi for video apps.
 

jsalicru

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2004
112
5
Austin, TX
I too, was surprised that they only included a non-gigabit ethernet port. I have the same problem. 910 down but I can't take advantage of it. Also, in the why would you want this if you don't have a fast internet connection category.... if you are streaming a video from your iTunes server on your LAN...

Also, wireless is getting more and more crowded. Other wifi networks in your area for one, but also now with home automation the 2.4 channels are getting bombarded.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
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I too, was surprised that they only included a non-gigabit ethernet port. I have the same problem. 910 down but I can't take advantage of it. Also, in the why would you want this if you don't have a fast internet connection category.... if you are streaming a video from your iTunes server on your LAN...

Also, wireless is getting more and more crowded. Other wifi networks in your area for one, but also now with home automation the 2.4 channels are getting bombarded.
Regardless of where your streaming the media from the 10/100 Ethernet port will not be a bottle neck.
 

iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
46
13
EU
I would be
I too, was surprised that they only included a non-gigabit ethernet port. I have the same problem. 910 down but I can't take advantage of it. Also, in the why would you want this if you don't have a fast internet connection category.... if you are streaming a video from your iTunes server on your LAN...

Also, wireless is getting more and more crowded. Other wifi networks in your area for one, but also now with home automation the 2.4 channels are getting bombarded.
extremely
I too, was surprised that they only included a non-gigabit ethernet port. I have the same problem. 910 down but I can't take advantage of it. Also, in the why would you want this if you don't have a fast internet connection category.... if you are streaming a video from your iTunes server on your LAN...

Also, wireless is getting more and more crowded. Other wifi networks in your area for one, but also now with home automation the 2.4 channels are getting bombarded.
I very much doubt you have content which would exceed the 100 Mbps port. I've not looked at the latest stats, but last time I checked even Bluray was limited to 40mbps.
 

normanfox

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2014
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don't wait for ATV 5 because of gigabit Ethernet. Apple could get rid of Ethernet in the next ATV
 

iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
46
13
EU
don't wait for ATV 5 because of gigabit Ethernet. Apple could get rid of Ethernet in the next ATV
Ethernet is not about to be killed off yet. It very much has a future, especially in the AV field. I would therefore expect to see it in the next iteration of the ATV product. In fact I would go so far as to suggest I would not buy an ATV5 without ethernet as I am in a wifi saturated area with all the issues that issue brings.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2002
1,927
96
San Diego, CA
Probably doesn't need gigabit ethernet since your are very, VERY unlikely to get greater than 100Mbit feeds from any of the video content providers. There is no way that Netflix or HBO or Hulu or Apple could provide video content at that rate, just try to imagine what would happen if at any given moment millions of Apple TV users tried to stream content at rates greater than 100Mbps.

The only potential value might be for streaming local content from iTunes or a home-based server but even then what type of content would require more than 100Mbps?

As for the wireless versus ethernet issue, from an overall performance aspect I'd much prefer wired ethernet even if it is "only" 100Mbps.
 

garirry

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2013
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Canada is my city
I think Apple should have future-proofed it, but to be fair, 100Mbps is more than enough to stream 1080p video (do they stream them at 60fps? I think they do) without hiccup. You're not downloading any big files so it barely matters. Even if it did 4K it wouldn't hurt. I even think my 30Mbps connection can handle 4K videos.
 

zinned

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2015
102
22
Regardless of where your streaming the media from the 10/100 Ethernet port will not be a bottle neck.
Oh, really?

100 Mbps is in equal to a transfer rate of about 10 MB/s, in reality you won't get those rate but more like 8-9 MB/s. One can easily top that with a video within Home Sharing.
 
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iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
46
13
EU
Oh, really?

100 Mbps is in equal to a transfer rate of about 10 MB/s, in reality you won't get those rate but more like 8-9 MB/s. One can easily top that with a video within Home Sharing.
I suggest you test with a decent BD sourced file and you for yourself can see the port can easily handle this.

Again remember that Bluray is currently limited to 40Mbps. The Ethernet port on the ATV4 is more than capable of handling that.
 

zinned

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2015
102
22
Even if we put the transfer rates aside, it's still a strange fact that Apple put the 100BASE-T in the ATV4 instead of the 1000BASE-T. As I said in post #6, it must be harder for Apple to find a big supply of 100BASE-T connectors than 1000BASE-T, also more expensive.
 

iphonetravel

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
46
13
EU
Even if we put the transfer rates aside, it's still a strange fact that Apple put the 100BASE-T in the ATV4 instead of the 1000BASE-T. As I said in post #6, it must be harder for Apple to find a big supply of 100BASE-T connectors than 1000BASE-T, also more expensive.
I disagree. 10/100 is more common than you think and very cheap. For example, even the Fire TV 2 and Roku 4 has a 10/100 port. I'm really struggling to understand why so many of you think this is an issue when in reality it is a non-issue.

Bluray maxes out at 40Mbps. Even a specialised streamed channel using UHD and 60fps is only likely to be pushing 30Mbps (e.g. BT's new BT UHD Sport channel here in the UK).
 
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