USB ethernet and WiFi

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KennyKW, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. KennyKW macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I have both an USB ethernet and a WiFi network connection. I'd like to ask,

    1) which one is faster?
    2) can I use them both in parallel?
  2. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    USB to 100MBit or 1000MBit will be faster. You can theoretically out-do 100MBit with Wireless N, but my experience has shown me that even with wide-5GHz channels & good signal strength its actually slower. You'll also have significantly more packet loss, which can make latency much higher.

    You can have both connections active at the same time, but its not going to 'share' the bandwidth in the way you might think. I'm not sure which connection actually gets used when both are active on the same net, but I do my system doesn't lose connectivity when there's a redundant connection.
  3. cooky560 macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2011
    I've found ethernet is almost always faster, not to mention less vulnerable to dropping out. And if everything in your house is connected by ethernet you can disable your routers wifi function entirely and gain extra security to boot. All in all there are many benefits to ethernet.

    Just out of Interest, my network is cat6 compatible (1000mb/s) is my iMac capable of this speed? (I've never checked)
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Ethernet is going to be faster at least for transferring files around your home network. For Internet most likely your Internet itself will be the slow point so there won't be any noticeable difference.
  5. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    I would expect so unless you machine is more than a few years old. If you go into System Preferences, Network, advanced, Ethernet, you can temporarily select Configure:manually and see what options are under speed.

    There's probably easier ways, but not that I found in my 30 seconds of looking.
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Why are doing ethernet over USB?

    And "faster" doing what? Surfing the web? Or transferring tons of files?

    You could have a 100,000 MBps connection but it still wont make your 3 MBps DSL any faster.

    You only need Cat 5e for 1000/gigabit ethernet connections, regardless, all Intel and G5 iMacs are 1000bt. So your iMac is capable, but you will only see the speed when transferring files across a network.

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