9 Reasons Why Your Ethernet Is Slower Than Your WiFi

Ethernet and WiFi are two modes to connect to the internet, and desktops demand an external WiFi adaptor to connect wirelessly. Wireless signals are weaker than wired ones, which is why ethernet cables are preferred by many desktop users. Although ethernet connection is supposed to be faster than WiFi, some users face the opposite problem. In this post, we’ll explore the different reasons why this can be happening to some users.

Possible reasons why your ethernet may be slower than your WiFi:

Below are some of the main reasons why your ethernet may be slower than your WiFi connection.

Defective Cable

A defective cable is one of the most common root causes of a slow ethernet connection. If you’re using an ethernet cable that’s damaged, it can cause your connection to be slower than normal. Check your cable for any visible damage, such as fraying or kinks, and replace it if necessary.

Ethernet cables tend to break down near the connector. Moreover, expect a breakpoint near the pins inside the connector when the pins are no longer in contact with the wires’ metal. This can happen if you pull the cable recklessly.

Router Issues

A router can also be the cause of both WiFi and ethernet issues. If your WiFi works properly while keeping your LAN sluggish, check for any fault in the router. You can also try using a different router to see if LAN remains sluggish. If the LAN works properly on a different router, please change the existing one as it is defective.

It’s important to also note that using a different router won’t be easy since you’ll have to install it and make it work according to your ISP’s protocol. You might need professional help from your ISP if you suspect a faulty router.

Your ethernet port may be damaged

The ethernet port is a commonly overlooked culprit for a slow ethernet connection. If you are connecting your computer to the modem via ethernet and the speed is still slower than what you get on WiFi, there is a possibility that the ethernet port on your computer is damaged. In such cases, you can use a USB to ethernet adapter to connect to the internet.

Ethernet ports on your computer can get damaged due to several ways including:

-Liquid damage

-Unnecessary force applied to the port

-Frequent removal and insertion of the ethernet cable

If you think that the ethernet port on your computer is damaged, it’s best to seek professional help.

PC Settings

PC settings, by default, are set for high performance. However, some newbies end up tweaking LAN settings when exploring things on their computers. Moreover, some apps quietly tweak LAN settings without letting the user know, resulting in slow LAN while keeping the WiFi network connection fast. On your Windows PC, go to the network connections and delete the ethernet. Then plug in the LAN cable again, so Windows reinstall Ethernet automatically with the default settings.

You can go to the network hardware setting, open the properties of your Ethernet and navigate to TCP/IPv4 and TCP/IPv6 settings. Ensure that they’re check marked, indicating that the Ethernet uses IPv4 and IPv6 protocols for a smooth internet connection.

Old Depreciated Hardware

Depreciated hardware such as a LAN card can result in a slow Ethernet. If your LAN card is a decade old or even older, consider replacing it. Also, visually check for any burns or swollen capacitors, which directly affect LAN performance. LAN cards are quite affordable so consider replacing them if it’s depreciated or really old. The pins on the card tend to wear out, resulting in decreased conductivity and data transfer speed.

Incompatible/Depreciated Network Drivers

Keeping drivers not up to date will result in malfunctioning Ethernet despite having the best hardware money can buy. Always use the Windows Update program to search, download, and install the best network drivers suited for your hardware. Alternatively, visit the official website of your PC’s motherboard maker and download and install the latest network drivers. Some motherboard makers offer easy-to-use software to automatically detect and install the latest drivers for the installed hardware. Alternatively, open Device Manager on a Windows PC, find Network Adapters, right-click LAN card, and click Update Drivers.

Virus Or Malware

Viruses or any other infectious programs can slow down network speed. There can be several reasons behind that. For instance, spyware may keep sending your private data to the hackers, hence consuming data secretly. Or adware might be downloading random ads on your computer, hence slowing down your Ethernet. Always use a reliable and paid anti-virus program for top-notch safety.

VPN/ Proxy Servers

VPN and proxy servers are known to slow down the internet. If you’ve set up a VPN to work on your Ethernet, please disable it. VPN forces all the packets sent/received by your device to go through an additional server, so they get masked, making them undetectable by your ISP. Similarly, data flowing between the server and your computer through a proxy server will slow down your Ethernet since the route of the flow of data increases, causing a slow Ethernet.

Issues From The ISP

Users can expect slow Ethernet if there’s something wrong on their ISP’s end. While problems on their end are temporary, you can still expect reasonable downtime.

Slow DNS

Domain Name Server is similar to an IP address issued by your ISP. Every ISP has a dedicated DNS with varying internet speeds. It’s quite possible that your Ethernet and WiFi are pointed to separate DNS servers where Ethernet might be pointed to a slower one. Ensure that your Ethernet and WiFi are pointed to a reliable DNS as some DNS servers have high downtime. Alternatives include Google DNS and Cloudflare DNS, where some test reports suggest Cloudflare DNS be a better alternative. Users might stay confined to the DNS servers issued by their ISP to be on the safe side, as changing DNS servers is an advanced user task. 

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