What is Ethernet?

Wednesday, 7th November 2018

When researching the best connection options for your business the term “Ethernet” will have undoubtedly come up. We have discussed what Ethernet is as well as the business benefits of it compared to Wi-Fi.

What is Ethernet?

In order to understand the business benefits of Ethernet it is important to understand what it actually is.

Pronounced “E-thernet” is a traditional technology that is used as an alternative to Wi-Fi. It is a popular connection that is most commonly used in wired local area networks (LANs) such as offices. It is a standard way to connect computers to the internet via a wired connection. Ethernet wasn’t always called Ethernet, in actual fact it was originally referred to as Alto Aloha Network.

You may be familiar with Ethernet cables, as they are quite distinctive. They are long cables that have a square plug on each end and are often referred to as RJ-45 cables. They resemble a phone cable but are larger and slightly thicker with more wires. Ethernet is still the standard for wired networking but it has been replaced in many areas by wireless networks, commonly known as Wi-Fi.

Connecting your office to the internet via Ethernet is notoriously simple as you simply plug the cable into the router and into your computer, usually in the LAN or WAN ports. It is then a case of going to your network and internet settings and just ensuring it is connected.

Business Benefits of Ethernet

As Ethernet is slightly more costly than Wi-Fi and is, of course, not wireless, it begs the question of whether in a world full of wireless connections is there really still a need for Ethernet? These benefits and the vast availability of Ethernet ports on most new routers suggest that the answer to that is yes.

Although Ethernet may not be the most common way to keep your office connected it offers a number of key features that make it a solid choice for business owners. One of the main benefits of Ethernet is the uninterrupted, dedicated internet connection it offers. The dedicated link means that there is no contention for speed so you generally receive faster connection speeds.

In addition, Ethernet is a business focused product that offers uninterrupted connection speeds that are protected by strong service level agreements (SLAs). The dedicated connection offers increased stability and security as it is less vulnerable to disruptions. This makes it extremely effective for VoIP calls.

Like anything, Ethernet is not without its faults. As with any cabled connection there is a limit to how far computers can be from the office router due to the length of the cable. In turn, this leads to a loss of mobility that you get with Wi-Fi. Then, of course, it is not a given that all devices come with Ethernet ports. So, if you are considering connecting your office(s) via Ethernet it may be a good idea to check that your router and devices are compatible first.

The choice between Ethernet and Wi-Fi can be a difficult one. Ethernet is arguably faster but because it requires more cabling you are limited in where you can put your computers in relation to your router. Whereas Wi-Fi offers a slower connection but has the convenience of being able to be used within a further range of the router. The choice is, ultimately, speed vs convenience.


Want to find out how our telephony solutions can help you increase your productivity and reduce your costs? Or are you just looking for some friendly, impartial advice on the best tools to make communicating a breeze? We can help! Contact us today via our live chat, call 0333 3603 423, or email enquiries.uk@enreach.com.

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