Wi-Fi or Cable for new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by blackglass, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. blackglass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    #1
    Hi guys, I've taken the plunge on a 27" iMac but haven't got it yet :(
    I'm not too computer savvy so here is a question for all you experts.

    I've read in the that the new iMac 27" has faster wifi but how will it compare to using an ethernet cable? The TP-Link modem router will be within 1 metre of the iMac and I'd like to continue with the 'all in one' idea and get rid of as many cables as possible but NOT at the expense of speed.

    Unfortunately (where I live) my download speeds are only between 2.0 and 4.0 mbps and not likely to improve any time soon so I don't want to compromise performance for a cleaner looking desk.

    Thanks
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    Always use wired Ethernet over WiFi when possible.
     
  3. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
  4. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #4
    Definitely use ethernet, it'll be a lot faster than Wi-fi.
     
  5. blackglass thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2014
  6. jg321 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    If all you're using it for is 4Mbps internet, you could have the slowest Wifi possible and not notice a difference. Hard wiring is not going to gain you anything here, unless you have another device on your local network that you need to communicate with.

    Try Wifi first. If it's problematic, then cable. I have 10Mbps internet and mine's on age old 2.4Ghz 56Mbps Wifi and maxes out the internet connection, as that is the bottleneck.
     
  7. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I use TP-Link wherever I can, not just for speed but reliability. Just a note that it's not full-proof, it depends on the house wiring (generally OK) and also the socket connection and in particular not being plugged into an extension lead.

    I agree with @jg321 - your broadband speed is so slow the WiFi/Ethernet question isn't so significant and I would just try the WiFi first and see how it goes.
     
  8. BA Baracus macrumors member

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    You only need to use an ethernet cable if you are transferring masses amount of data on a regular basis and things need to be done at the fastest possible speed.

    Surfing the net and associated activity will just be as snappy with an airport express - I doubt you would even notice a difference using an old wifi point that was using B/G technology only.

    Go for wireless.
     
  9. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #9
    If you have more than one computer on the same home network, streaming device or a NAS, and are looking to exchange data etc, I would recommend to hard wire the network. for all other situation, when all you need is a basic internet access, the wifi connection should be fine.
    Like others have already said; try it using one type of connection first and it if does not work, use the other type.
     
  10. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #10
    That's not necessarily true. If you happen to be using AirPlay with other devices, you can increase the performance of your internal wifi network a lot by putting all the devices with ethernet ports onto ethernet. WiFi can also give you some issues, even on a slow internet connection, if there are a lot of other hotspots nearby (like in areas where a lot of your neighbors have wifi).
     
  11. jg321 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2012
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    UK
    #11
    Indeed. Which is why I said "if all you're using it for is internet".


    Indeed, which is why I said "try Wifi first, and if it gives you issues...".
     
  12. scaredpoet, Jul 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #12
    I'l say this, then: when buying a stationary, 27" iMac that will be less than 1 meter from the internet gateway, as the OP has stated it will be, then there is little point - well, none, actually - in cheaping out on a $3 cable in the hopes that one will never do more with their home network than only talk to the internet gateway, and hope that they will never have performance issues over WiFi.

    The assurance of good performance over Ethernet is way, way better than further congesting WiFi channels needlessly to bridge less than a meter of distance, and hoping that its performance will stay good enough.

    Wifi in this case makes about as much sense as buying a Pono music player, and then using bluetooth headphones to listen to music from it. Sure, it might not give you "problems," but you've missed the point completely.
     
  13. jg321 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2012
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    UK
    #13
    I agree Ethernet is likely to be more reliable, and as the router is very close, it would be trivial to connect via Ethernet.

    However, the OP has expressed an interest in not using an Ethernet cable and was asking if there would be an issue with speed. We've answered that there is unlikely to be an issue with speed, or indeed stability at those proximities, even with the lowest wireless standards. We've also suggested that if there is an issue, hardwiring would be the best option.

    You suggesting he turns his Wifi off on the router as well then, to stop congesting those channels? How about those other Wifi devices they may or may not have?
     
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #14
    We can say that it's unlikely there will be problems, but cannot guarantee it. The better course of action is to use the cable.

    But since we're both not gonna let up until one of us admits the other is right, I'll just go ahead and do it: you're right, jg, the OP should TOTALLY use wireless in this case, it makes PERFECT sense. In fact, let's both e-mail Tim Cook right now and ask him to remove ethernet in the next iteration of iMacs. It's an ugly looking port that has no use and should be eliminated! :)

    As you said, he's ONLY talking to the gateway, nothing else. But I've already admitted you're totally right, so turning off Wifi, when he needs Wifi would just be silly!
     

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