Over the years, I have seen some of our clients’ employees use a wireless network connection even when there was an Ethernet connection right next to their desk. For these laptop users, the inconvenience of plugging a cable into their device was too much of a hassle. Ugh! With today’s technology, a wired connection will ALWAYS be faster than using wireless.
So how should you work at home? The same principle applies at home – if you can use a wired connection to your computer, then do it! Perhaps your home work area is near the Internet modem provided by Verizon or Comcast. If that’s the case, then you should absolutely plug a cable from your computer to the modem. The quality of your network connection will be better, particularly for applications like web meetings that require real-time interaction with others.
What if you must work in another room, away from your modem? Of course you can work wirelessly, I’d like to encourage you to consider if it’s possible to run an Ethernet cable from your modem to your work area. This should be very thoughtfully considered but that’s how things are wired at your office. Generally speaking, there is a network “drop” (the port on the wall) next to every desk, VoIP phone, network printers and wireless access points. All of these connections are run behind the wall or some other method to a central point in the company’s network room. Is it possible to run network connections to other rooms in your house?
When doing new construction, it’s very easy to install network drops as part of the wiring design and that work is often completed by an electrician. But you can still add network connections to an existing home! In the same way that a security system can be installed and the wires are hidden from plain sight, you can usually have Ethernet drops installed with no wires showing. This work is typically done by a cabling company and we can introduce you to several if helpful. If you do add network connections and can include ceiling installed ones for wireless access point(s), you will also have the best wireless coverage possible.
Of course you should use wireless access if no hard-wire connection is available, but wireless should primarily be used for convenience instead of primary. If you’re anywhere near your modem and can just plug in, that will absolutely provide you the best network experience. This is particularly important if working from home is going to become (or continue to be) a normal part of your work responsibilities. If you have any questions on getting an Ethernet cable, running network connections in your house or anything else home network related, let us know! We do not support homes or run cabling ourselves but will certainly point you in the right direction.