Ethernet

Should I wire my house with ethernet?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1728

Vip from Monument, CO

Vip wants to know if he should wire his home with ethernet cable while he has the walls open. Leo says ABSOLUTELY. And use Cat6 while you're at it to future proof it. Hardwired is always preferable to WiFi and it'll be faster, have far fewer dropouts, and no congestion. Leo just did it himself. We're lifting a lot more data now with WiFi and IoT smart devices. There's a lot of congestion. 

If you have a challenging wifi environment and can't afford to wire your home, Leo advises going with a Mesh router: eero, Netgear's Ubiquity, even Asus has gone mesh.

Improve Your WiFi Placement With This Article & Video

While working from home, we'll all need better WiFi if we want to move our laptops around from desk to couch and back. For improving your WiFi reception, try moving the router higher up to a shelf/wall so that people (bags of water) do not impede the signals while they're sitting or walking around. Also, try a mesh router to extend the WiFi out with a fast backchannel. While ethernet is often the best option to connect, there are indeed ways to plan your device/router placements in a more optimal way. Check out this article by Leo's friend Jim Salter:

How Can I Improve My WiFi Reception?

WiFi

Episode 1685

Dan from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Dan has his TV set up with WiFi about 150' away from his WiFi. How can he improve the connection? Leo says the walls may cause interference. Ben could try setting his WiFi router higher up. But the better option, if possible, is to wire the TV directly to the modem. A mesh router will also help, since it can create a mesh of connectivity, with a separate backchannel. Each Satellite is connected by ethernet. It'll improve it, but it will still deal with interference. He can rewire the home with ethernet. That'll fix things. Also, powerline networking may work as well.

Can I Hardwire My Android Phone to a Router?

Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Episode 1638

David from Frederick, MD

David lives in a poor cellular area and wants to connect his phone to his home internet. But he wants to do it wired. Leo says that WiFi is pretty fast these days and that's the way to do it. He could conceivably get a USB/Ethernet dongle and plug it directly into a router. Then it depends on the phone. Samsung has a DEX adapter. Amazon sells an iOS to an Ethernet adapter with a lightning connector. It would have to be Ethernet to USB-C and the device would have to have a driver to understand it. Most phones don't expect users to do that, so there are no drivers to support it.

Why Can't I Connect My iMacs via Ethernet?

Ethernet

Episode 1616

Tom from Santa Barbara, CA

Tom has four iMacs and each one is getting an error when connecting to ethernet, and can't connect to the Internet because of a "self-assigned address." But he can connect via WiFi. Leo says to go to the Network system preference pane and make sure that Ethernet is dragged to the top. Also, make sure it's using DHCP in the settings. One thing that may be causing the error is that the computer doesn't see the ethernet cable when booting up, and then gives the self-assigned address. It could also be the router itself.

Why does my video stream stutter sometimes?

Ethernet Cable

Episode 1501

Louis from Santa Ana, CA

Louis is watching baseball games streaming online and sometimes the feed stalls. Leo says that's called buffering, and sometimes a packet drops and the feed will wait to see if it shows up out of order. Then it will insert it and move on. Sometimes, though, it just gives up and continues. There are some causes of this, including congestion from a wireless connection. But Louis can get a dual band router and use the 5Ghz band, or just connect to the router with an ethernet connection. The stream will be more reliable that way.

Would a mesh router work well with multiple ethernet connections?

Plume Wi-Fi

Episode 1500

Matt from Rochester, MN

Matt is building a new house and has run cat 5 ethernet around the house. But should he also use a mesh router? Leo says he uses Eero at home, but here is one mesh system that's great specifically for Matt's situation: Plume. Plume sells tiny little access points that plug into the wall with an ethernet port. It's still part of a larger mesh network, but it creates very localized access from the ethernet.