Why Is My Ethernet Slower Than WIFI?

By John Adebimitan

A slow connection is frustrating and is something no one will voluntarily sign up for. And so, it is concerning when your Ethernet is slower than WiFi. While both options come with their pros and cons.

Ethernet (LAN) connection is usually faster when all its components are working well. This is why it becomes an issue when the connection starts to lag unexpectedly. This article will provide possible reasons for this and how you can resolve them quickly. 

Why Is My Ethernet Slower Than WIFI On PC and Mobile?

Your Ethernet might be slower than WIFI on PC and mobile because of faulty wiring, outdated drivers, etc. But before you conclude that the Ethernet on your computer is slower than your WiFi, you have to test it on different devices. This test would ascertain what the problem is. To do that, we have some troubleshooting tips suggested below.

  • First, use your ethernet cable on a different PC if the internet connection is still slow. Then the issue is with the cable.
  • Try and check your cables. The cables that you are using could be defective or slow. To avoid cables that would cause your Network to lag, look out for and purchase cables that have Cat 5eVerified Cat 6, or higher printed on their cable jacket. Cat 5 cables and lower would cause your Network to be slow.
  • Plug the ethernet cable into a different port on your PC. That might improve the internet connection. 
  • Another method would be to update your network adapter drivers on your system. This step is done by going to the website of your network adapter and following instructions there to get your drivers replaced or updated. 

Why Is My Ethernet Slower Than WIFI On PS4 And PS5?

Ethernet speeds are faster than WiFi because LAN connections can efficiently run 1000 Mbps if it is correctly wired. And, in the case of WiFi, the speed varies and is not stable. Therefore, it is a cause for concern when your ethernet speed is slower than WiFi on PS4 and PS5. Some possible reasons for these are:

  1. Your adapter might be at odds with your ethernet connection. A recommended fix for that would be to restart your adapter. That is done by going to your Network settings. Click on Change Adapter Options and then choose your Ethernet connection to be disconnected. You can connect it back after some minutes. 
  2. Switch off all VPN connections. In some cases, VPNs slow down internet speeds. So, it might also be why your Ethernet is slow than WiFi.

To resolve the slow ethernet connection on your PS4 and PS5. Use shorter cables like the Cat6, clear unnecessary items on your hard drive to avoid lagging, and upgrade to a faster internet service.

How to Test If Ethernet Port Is Working

There are two methods used to check if your ethernet port is working. One is specific for Windows and the other for Macs. For Windows computers, do the following: 

  • Plug a blue cable into your network port.
  • Go ahead and check if there’s a green or orange light. If you see that, then it means your ethernet port is working. An orange light indicates that the speed of your Ethernet is at 100mbps. 

For MacBooks, the steps are slightly different 

  • Tap on the Apple menu and choose system preferences.
  • Pick the option that says Network.
  • A green indicator beside the Ethernet connection should show that the network port is working.

WIFI Vs Ethernet – Key Differences, Strengths, And Weaknesses of Each

WIFI and Ethernet both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, they also have areas where one functions better than the other. The critical differences between WiFi and Ethernet are listed below.

  1. WIFI uses radio waves for transmission, so it is subject to interference from microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, and cordless phones, to mention a few. However, these waves do not affect ethernet speed.
  2. WIFI uses half-duplex transmission, which means although both stations can send and receive, it cannot happen at once. On the other hand, Ethernet uses full-duplex, which means both sides can send and receive simultaneously.
  3. Ethernet speeds have always been higher and more stable than WiFi speeds. Although recently, WiFi 6 has been introduced to boost speeds associated with WiFi routers. However, we are yet to see if the theoretical predictions match the actual speed.
  4. When there are a lot of active devices sharing one wireless connection (WiFi), there’s negative feedback build-up that affects the bandwidth of the WiFi. However, that is not the case for LAN networks.

How To Make My WIFI Faster On Android And Laptops – Working Tips

To improve the speed of your WiFi and make it work faster on your android and laptops, you can do the following:

  • Check your wireless connection speeds on the speed test website to ascertain how fast your WiFi is. 
  • Purchase a mobile router and place it at distances close to the devices that are using the WiFi connection
  • Change your Android device settings to enable it to connect to the highest frequency band on your router. To do this, click on Settings >> Wifi >> Advanced. Go ahead to choose the WiFi frequency band and then tick the ‘5 GHz’ box.
  • Try disconnecting all the unused devices still attached to your WiFi, and then restart your router. 
  • Always update your router’s firmware. That would remove buggy behavior and build up security for your internet connection. Of course, you can enable automatic updates as well.

How To Hardwire A Computer To The Internet 

To hardwire a computer to the internet means switching from WIFI to using an ethernet connection, and it can be done by following these steps.

  • Locate the ethernet port on your computer. Newer models of laptops come with an ethernet port, but older models have a different ethernet/network card.
  • Try to buy a long cable to connect your router or modem to your computer. These cables should be the ones recommended for fast speed.
  • When you connect your cable to the ethernet port on your computer and the router/modem, a light will indicate that the port is functional. This light can be either orange or green. 
  • Check if the connection is active by going to the network settings on your computer. Then, when the configuration is done automatically, you can start using your LAN connection.

How to Tell If Your Network Card Is Bad

You can tell that your network card is bad when there are numerous hitches on a network previously running on an adequate speed level. To pinpoint the issue, tap on Start, right-click Computer and choose Properties

Following the instructions, select Device manager >> Network Adapters. When you check this and see a question mark (?) or an exclamation mark (!), your network card is faulty.If you have found out that there is a problem with your network card, then you would have to contact a technician for assistance.

How To Get Better Internet Connection On Xbox

When you want to improve the speed of the internet connection on your Xbox, you have to consider choosing a wired connection over a wireless one. LAN (Ethernet) networks have low latency and are very efficient for people using Xbox consoles. 

However, if you are experiencing a slow internet connection on your Xbox, here are a few things we recommend you do. 

  • Make a thorough check of your bandwidth and connection using this website. It checks download and upload speed and latency. 
  • Your router and Xbox should be in the same room with no interference between them and their connection to the internet. 
  • Check your wired connection by using a different cable or switching the cable to a new port. 
  • Do a power cycle reset on both your gaming console and hardware. The steps to do this are pretty straightforward:
  1. First, disconnect the power cable from the router or modem for 5 minutes.
  2. The next step is to restart your console, press down on the Xbox button for 10 seconds to switch it OFF, wait for a few seconds, then repeat the same step to switch it back on.
  3. Go ahead and connect your router back to the power cable and wait for the lights to indicate that the Network is active.
  4. Check your Network through settings. There should be an increase in its speed.

Read also: Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration? – Working Fixes

How Long Can an Ethernet Cable Be Before It Starts Lagging?

While the quality of an ethernet cable directly affects its speed, the length of the cable is also significant. But this only happens when it exceeds 328 ft or 100 m. 

So, for example, a Cat5 cable is mainly affected when it is more than 100 meters. That is because an increase in length causes the speed of the cable to be reduced by 10mbps. 

You might experience a lag for higher-quality cables if it is longer than 100 meters, but it will not be as pronounced as it is for low-quality cables.


Having an ethernet connection that is slower than WiFi is something to look into, and applying these steps should help you resolve the problem. If you’re a gamer, an ethernet connection is preferable because of its stability.

However, with both of them having varying benefits and disadvantages, it helps to do your research and pick the one that best suits your needs.

About The Author