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Which is better, a wired or wireless network? Which is better? That depends on your situation and your priorities.

Wired Home Networking
A wired home network uses Ethernet cable to connect the computers to the network router. Wired home networks are less expensive, faster, and more secure than wireless networks. However, the same Ethernet cable that provides these advantages, is also its biggest disadvantage. All computers on a wired network must be connected by Ethernet cable. Running Ethernet cables between rooms or floors can be a significant challenge.

Wireless Home Networking
A wireless home network provides the flexibility to connect your computers to the network using wireless network adapter devices. Data is sent and received using radio waves that eliminate the need for Ethernet cables. You can connect to the network from anywhere within range of the wireless router. Wireless home networks trade speed and some loss of security for greater flexibility and ease of use.

Combining Wired and Wireless Components
You can also combine wired and wireless components in your home network.

  • If you have one or more computers very close to your router, you can purchase Network Interface Cards (NICs) for these computers and connect to the router using Ethernet cable. Since NICs are less expensive than wireless network adapters, you can save money and still have a faster, more secure connection to the router.

  • You can then connect your laptop computer or the computers in other rooms using wireless network adapters to provide the flexibility of wireless networking.
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