Why Your Ethernet Is Slower Than Wi-Fi? (11 Easy Fixes)

Are you tired of dealing with a sluggish internet connection? If you answered yes, you must be familiar with all aspects of it. Ethernet is a long-standing technology that dates back to the late 1800s.

You may be wondering why your ethernet is slower than Wi-Fi? We can use Ethernet to create a wired connection between two or more devices.

It is a method of communicating between various devices that will eventually result in the formation of a large local area network (LAN). As a wired connection, LAN provides connectivity to a small area, such as your home, office, or building.

This connection was originally built using a coaxial cable system, but newer developments emphasize the use of a twisted pair of cables. Ethernet’s standard communication protocol is implemented in the form of software and hardware devices.

Ethernet Slower than Wi-Fi: How to Fix
Ethernet Slower than Wi-Fi: How to Fix


Well, the name explains it all. WiFi, a wireless connection that uses radio waves to improve connectivity, served as an alternative to ethernet.

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It means that, unlike Ethernet, it offers users a broad range of connectivity. Ethernet and WiFi both have advantages and disadvantages depending on a variety of factors such as disruption, latency, interference, and so on.

1. The Rate and Speed of Data Transfer

First and foremost, let’s discuss ethernet’s data transfer rate and speed. Ethernet’s initial data transfer rate was 2.94 megabits per second, compared to the most recent rate of 400 gigabits per second. On the other hand, the latest version of Wi-Fi has a data transfer rate of 600-9608 megabits per second.

2. Reliability

Ethernet provides consistent speed and is more reliable than WiFi because WiFi signals encounter physical obstacles in the form of environmental factors such as walls and buildings, among other things.

These impediments either block or degrade Wi-Fi signals, making them less reliable. Because of its wired connections, Ethernet is faster than WiFi, and WiFi signals are disrupted, resulting in slow processing.

3. Latency

Latency must be considered in addition to connection speed and quality. Latency causes traffic to be delayed to the device. The latency of WiFi is higher than that of Ethernet.

4. Security

Another important consideration is security. A secure encryption method must be used when transferring sensitive data over a WiFi connection. WEP is the least secure method, whereas WPA2-PSK is the most dependable and secure method.

5. Accessibility

WiFi is simple to use and has a simpler installation process, whereas Ethernet has a more complicated installation process that makes it difficult to use.

Alternative Video: Why Is Wi-Fi Slower Than Ethernet?

Why Is Wi-Fi Slower Than Ethernet?



While WiFi has many advantages, it does have some limitations that result in data down processing. The slower connection is caused by a variety of factors such as distance, cable infrastructure, and so on.

1. Conduct A Thorough Examination

Your top priority should be to conduct thorough testing to determine whether or not the problem exists. Eliminate all possibilities, starting with the easiest to eliminate. While connected to WiFi, run a speed test. Make a note of the test results somewhere.

Run the same speed test while connected to the internet via ethernet. Make sure the WiFi on the device you’re testing on is turned off, and that all devices connected to the WiFi network are disconnected.

Run the same tests on a variety of PCs and laptops. It’s a good idea to run this test so we can be more thorough in determining why your ethernet was slower and if it was limited to a single computer of yours.

2. Switch Ports

Change the ports you’re using is a simple thing you can try. There are multiple ports on the router, so connect to all of them and see if the internet speeds up. If your computer has multiple ethernet ports, use them all.

Ethernet Slower than Wi-Fi
Ethernet Slower than Wi-Fi

3. Switch To A Different Cable

Attempt a different cable. Unfortunately, old cables are incompatible with today’s internet speeds, so if you know your ethernet cable is getting on in years, it’s time to replace it. Check that it is long enough to reach where you intend to place your computer.

Length is important, and having a cable that is too long is preferable to having one that is too short. Shorter cables flex a lot and are subjected to a lot of stress during regular use, making them easily damaged. Look for Cat6 and Cat8 cables, which are the most widely used standards today and can reach extremely high speeds.

4. Updating Network Drivers

Keeping your network drivers up to date is critical because they allow your computer to communicate with the router. Old drivers may have problems delivering high speeds, so updating them is a good idea.

A driver mismatch can also result in a Dynamic Range Window Violation, which can cause your Internet to slow down. To update your Network Adapter drivers in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Hold down the Windows Key and the R key at the same time.
  2. In the Run box that appears, type “devmgmt.msc” without quotation marks.
  3. Look for a section titled Network adapters in the Device Manager window that appears.
  4. Expand it, right-click on each entry, and then select “Update Driver.”
  5. Go through the driver update process for each network adapter driver.

To check for network driver updates on Mac:

  1. In the top right corner of your screen, click the Apple logo.
  2. Choose “Software Update.”
  3. Apple will automatically detect and install any driver updates that are required.

5. Check Network Connection Settings

Checking the router configuration is the next step in troubleshooting slow internet. To accomplish this, first:

  1. In the address bar of a web browser, type “” without the quotes.
  2. Log in to the router using the credentials you’ve configured. If you haven’t already done so, look for a label with the username and password on the router itself.
  3. To undo any unintentional changes to the router settings, reset the router from the settings page.
  4. However, you will have to go through the router activation process again.
Ethernet Vs. Wi-Fi: Which Is The Better Choice?
Ethernet Vs. Wi-Fi: Which Is The Better Choice?

6. Disable and Enable Your Network Card

You can try disabling and re-enabling your network card if you’re using Windows. To accomplish this, reopen device manager and:

  • Right-click on all Network Adapters entries and select “Disable Device.”
  • Enable the entries by right-clicking on them again.

Check if your speeds have improved by running a speed test.

7. Electromagnetic Interference

Interference can affect more than just WiFi, believe it or not. Ethernet is also affected, albeit to a lesser extent. Sources of interference, such as microwave ovens or fluorescent lights, can disrupt a connection.

Try to position the router so that interference from these sources is as minimal as possible. Remove your cable and router from at least 10 feet of these sources.

8. Malware Scanning

Viruses can consume your valuable bandwidth to deliver their malicious payload correctly. In the case of some viruses, their entire purpose may be to clog your internet connection and cause you to experience slower speeds.

Run a free Malwarebytes or AVG antivirus scan. If you’re using Windows and don’t want to install any additional software, ask Windows Defender to run a scan for you.

95 percent of the time, Windows Defender is adequate, and you won’t need to pay a premium for antivirus software. Of course, this is only applicable if you use the internet safely.

9. VPN Services Should Be Disabled

VPNs, due to the way they operate, can slow down internet speeds. They switch between servers around the world to deliver region-locked content while protecting your privacy. Disable any VPNs you were using and re-run the speed test to see if the VPN was the cause of the slowdown.

10. ISP Issues

ISP problems are fairly common, and the only thing you can do is wait. Call them to find out what the problem is and when a fix will be available. This is great because the ISP knows where you are and how widespread the problem is. You can use WiFi while you wait, so it won’t be too much of a hassle.

Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: Which Do You Need?
Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: Which Do You Need?


Ethernet, as a wired connection, will deliver consistent speeds, and while you don’t have to worry if your WiFi signal suddenly becomes weak, if your ethernet is slower than WiFi, it is a cause for concern.

This would have been a non-issue if your WiFi speeds were good, and the reason why that wasn’t the case can be traced back to the stock router provided by your ISP. Unfortunately, they are at the bottom of the router food chain and lack any useful features.

Meanwhile, a good mesh WiFi system can distribute your WiFi signal throughout your home, eliminating those pesky dead zones. Because they are mesh systems, they are excellent at home automation tasks and compatible with many smart home devices and systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is ethernet so much slower than WiFi?

Many Wi-Fi protocols have maximum speeds that are slower than common ethernet connections. Even when speeds are higher, interference, distance, and signal strength all significantly impact transfer speeds, resulting in slower transfer speeds.

Why is my internet faster on WiFi than ethernet?

If you have problems with your ethernet connection, such as cable damage or an outdated NIC driver, your WiFi speed may be faster than ethernet. Your internet speed will be reduced if your ethernet equipment is of poor quality. So, while ethernet is usually faster, WiFi can sometimes outperform it.

Why is my internet so slow even with ethernet?

If you use the wrong type of Ethernet cable or if it is damaged, it may slow down your connection. For example, a CAT 5 cable should not be used for an internet connection that is faster than 100 Mbps. A faulty Ethernet switch box, as well as a faulty cable, will slow your connection.

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I'm a tech writer and editor. I love technology. I'm excited about networking and streaming. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to use technology. I believe technology can be a force for good in the world, and I strive to use it in my work.

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