Wired Internet Connection Slower Than Wireless: How to Fix?

This is how to fix your wired Internet connection that is slower than wireless.

Is your wired Internet connection slower than your wireless?

Learn how to fix your wired Internet connection with this article.

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How To Fix Wired Internet Connection Slower Than Wireless?

Wired Internet Connection Slower Than Wireless

Our Internet connection is something we can’t do without. Whether we use it for work or entertainment, we need it daily. It’s an important part of our lives.

It just so happens that sometimes we experience a problem with the connection. It can be a slow Internet connection issue, a weak Wi-Fi signal, or something wrong with the modem.

When we opted for our ISP (Internet Service Provider), we didn’t think these things would happen. Finding a great package with good internet service is difficult. Most ISPs promise their services are the best in the market.

And, even if we do get the best and most expensive service on the market, there’s no promise that there won’t be any issues with the connection.

We know that a wireless connection can be unstable for many reasons. A wired connection, on the other hand, should typically be much more stable and faster. 

It’s often recommended to switch to a wired connection if you’re having issues with your speed or network stability.

But, occasionally, you’ll find that even an Ethernet connection can be laggy, even slower than your Wi-Fi. 

So, what are the differences between a wireless connection and a wired connection? 

Why do we experience issues with both?

Wired Connection vs. Wi-Fi

As the name suggests, a wired connection needs a cable. We mainly use ethernet cables to connect our laptops, computers, smart TVs, and other electrical devices to the Internet. We mainly use Ethernet in local area networks (LAN).

Home networks are convenient. When we have a couple of desktop computers or smart TVs in the house, we can connect them to the Internet using ethernet cables.

Hand placing cable on television LAN socket.

Make no mistake, we can connect these devices to the Wi-Fi network using some additional hardware. However, most smart TVs come with built-in drivers that easily connect to the wireless network.

The question is, why do we still use a wired connection when we have access to Wi-Fi?

Advantages of Wired Intermediary

It’s just a fact that the Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi. However, we can perform most of the tasks equally over both Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

The Ethernet can easily support VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls. In contrast, Wi-Fi can be a little sketchy in this domain.

The two main advantages of an ethernet cable connection are latency and speed

Latency is the reaction time between a command and action based on that command. With an ethernet cable, the latency is quite low.

The transmission speed of an ethernet cable is much higher than Wi-Fi. So, data travels faster from the sender to the recipient and vice versa.

Ultimately, we require an ethernet connection if we have a desktop computer or multiple computers at home or running a server (a computer that provides services online or offline).

Nothing beats an Ethernet connection to a server. It’s just plain faster and more reliable than a wireless connection.

Advantages of Wi-Fi

There are a lot of benefits to using Wi-Fi. Running a server over Wi-Fi is not one of them. However, we cannot connect to the Internet on our smartphones or any other mobile device using an ethernet cable.

Concept of connection using different digital devices.

So, Wi-Fi is a necessity. Luckily, most modems and routers come with integrated hardware that supports both wired and wireless connections.

The advantages of Wi-Fi are:

  • Easy use: No need to connect using a cable. Just type in the password for the wireless network you’re connecting to, and that’s it. You have internet access.
  • Lower expenses: There’s no need for additional wiring. All the devices at home or at an office can connect using the Wi-Fi network.
  • Increased productivity: Accessing the Internet from any point of the house or building makes it much easier to multitask.
  • Unrestricted mobility: There’s no need to sit at your desk at all times. You can move around and remain online.

Wi-Fi is obviously more convenient than a wired connection for many reasons. But, a wired connection is more reliable than a wireless one. 

So, why do we get a slow internet connection sometimes?

Why is the internet connection slow?

When we’re doing something important, at least to us, there’s nothing more annoying than a slow internet connection.

Now, there can be several reasons for slow Internet, but the most common ones include:

Overloaded ISP Network

This can happen when many devices connect to the same network simultaneously. For example, there are four computers in a house, and all four family members are using them to surf the web. 

Now imagine that there are 50 houses just like this one, and they’re all using the same ISP. 

It’s bound to be a problem if the ISP doesn’t have the regional infrastructure and hardware to support these households.

Weak Wi-Fi Signal

Almost every solid object in our homes can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal. Sometimes, the signal’s frequency can’t go through a wall, or we might use a microwave, and it interferes.

Sometimes, the problem is that the router is not in the right spot or can’t support longer ranges. In these circumstances, we need to add a range extender.

Heavy Traffic on Our Home Network

Home alone with nobody to interfere with the connection is great. But, when the entire family comes back from the trip, they took without you and hopped online. Oh, no! Netflix started buffering in the middle of the video.

Imagine the water pressure at home when one person is using the tap. It goes smoothly and fast, but when two or three people use it, it’s a mess. 

There’s barely any pressure at all. That’s because there’s too much data traffic in the home network.

Huge Latency

We know for sure that the latency is high when we are on a video call or playing games online. It’s just lagging.

Imagine accidentally tipping over a glass of water. We broke the glass on the floor.

Our reflexes are good enough to catch it, we can already see ourselves catching it, but our hand reaches its destination when the deed is done. This is how lag works.

Outdated Services

When we encounter a slow internet connection, the reason might be that our router or modem is outdated. It can also mean that our smartphone or laptop requires an update or even an upgrade.

Sometimes, the problem is too many programs running in the background. These can siphon processing power making everything slower, the Internet included.

ISP Blocking

When the ISP is responsible for the slow connection, it’s either because we have reached a data cap (the limit for fast internet speeds) or we’re doing something wrong on the Internet.

The data cap is the amount of data that we can consume using regular internet speeds. After that, transmission speeds severely drop. 

The other part is something like “torrenting” an illegal file. If there’s no proxy or VPN (Virtual Private Network) in place, the provider will surely try to disrupt what we’re doing.

How to Fix a Slow Wired Connection?

We understand that an ethernet cable connection is much more reliable than a Wi-Fi connection. So, what can we do when the wired connection becomes slower than the Wi-Fi?

To determine what the problem is, we need to test a couple of things. First off, we need to test the internet speed on multiple devices. We can’t base a conclusion on one sample.

If our laptop is not getting enough speed, it doesn’t mean that another one won’t. It might be a device-related issue. Test the speed using one of the internet speed tests on multiple laptops.

Woman using multiple laptop screens.

If the speed is insufficient on all the devices, then we need to check for other reasons. We should switch the port on the router or the modem. Sometimes, a switch can boost speed.

Now, if that wasn’t the issue, it can be something with the cable. So, the only logical thing to do is to use a different cable and see if that works better. The old cable might be broken or losing contact somewhere.

Also, if it’s a very lengthy cable, our laptop can lose internet speed.

Sometimes it’s just our network driver not working properly. In that case, we need to disable it and enable it to get it to work.

To do this, go to the Start menu Settings Network & Internet > Ethernet > Change adapter options.

When we get there, a window will pop up, and we’ll see all available connections. Right-click on the “Ethernet” connection and “disable“. After that, click on “enable,” and that should fix the problem.

Another way to fix a slow internet connection is to update the drivers. The procedure is a little different.

Just go to the search bar next to the Windows icon, type in “Device manager,” and click on it.

Once the “Device Manager” window opens, go to “Network adapters” and expand it. Right-click on the LAN adapter. Usually, it’s under the name “Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller.” After that, click on “update drivers.”

Finally, we can always troubleshoot a connection problem. The only thing necessary to do would be to right-click on the “LAN” icon in the bottom right corner and click on “diagnose.”

Windows 10 has an automated system that will help you resolve a software issue easily.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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