Can wireless ever be faster than Ethernet?

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by hoochxy, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. hoochxy

    hoochxy Guest

    All other things being equal, can a wireless connection ever be faster/
    better than an Ethernet connection?
    hoochxy, Nov 21, 2007
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  2. hoochxy

    Eeyore Guest

    Can't think how. So No basically. Bear in mind that ethernet is 'gigabit' now.

    Eeyore, Nov 21, 2007
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  3. hoochxy

    Graham J Guest


    Modern Ethernet is a full-duplex point-to-point link between the workstation
    and the network switch. Almost everything these days offers 100Mbits/sec,
    and Gigabit is common. 10Gbit may well be available.

    The limiting factor as far as the network is concerned is the bandwidth of
    the network switch. An entry-level HP switch such as the 2600 range, see: offers
    around 10 GigaPackets/sec - more sophisticated products provide more.

    By contrast wireless uses the radio channel as a shared medium. The analogy
    in the workd of ethernet via cable is the old 10Base5 or 10Base2 co-ax cable
    which operated at 10Mbits/sec half duplex. This is a "collision domain"
    where all clients contend for use of the communication medium. But in the
    cable example the collision avoidance mechanism operates at the sub-packet
    level, whereas in the wireless environment the collision avoidance mechanism
    operates at the packet level. Thus a wireless client exchanges protocol
    packets to request use of the medium before transmitting any payload data

    So even though wireless may be specified to operate at 54 Mbits/sec, it
    achieves nothing like half the throughput of 100Mbit/sec cabled ethernet -
    typically much less, probably around 10 Mbits/sec

    The issue of "Better" is quite different. If you need to connect a computer
    the other side of an inconvenient physical barrier (road, railway, river, or
    the like) then wireless could well be better than wired ethernet ...
    Graham J, Nov 21, 2007
  4. There are specilised devices capable of transmitting data at high speeds
    wirlessly - eg. the microwave dishes that link most of the mobile phone
    basestations together, and in-fact most of the country before a lot of
    the fibre was installed....

    I worked for a company recently (Orthogon, now a part of Motorola) who
    designed and made high speed point to point wireless links - they could
    transmit at 300Mb/sec and had Gb interfaces. However they were not
    exactly aimed at the "domestic" market! (But I understand there are
    100's or thousands of these units in developing countries being used to
    create their telecoms 'backbone' as they're so much cheaper to install
    than digging the roads up to lay cable/fibre!)

    Not faster than "Ethernet" which today is in the Gb range, even at the
    domestic level, but improvements are being made all the time, so who
    knows what speeds they'll have next year...

    Gordon Henderson, Nov 21, 2007
  5. hoochxy

    Mortimer Guest

    Only in the flippant sense that a good 54 Mbps wireless connection may
    achieve a higher speed than an old 10 Mbps Ethernet connection.

    But if you compare the highest that each technology can achieve, Ethernet is
    always ahead of wireless:

    100 Mbs Ethernet was available when 11 or 54 Mbps wireless was the best that
    could be achieved.

    1000 Mbps (1Gbps) Ethernet is now available (though few domestic PCs and
    routers support it yet) and the highest wireless AFAIK is 108 Mbps, from
    proprietary solutions such as Netgear's GT router, and using the Wireless-N
    open standard I don't think the speed will be much greater.
    Mortimer, Nov 21, 2007

  6. Modern wireless connections at 54 Mbits/sec are faster that the original
    cable ethernet speeds of 10 Mbits/sec so it depends on what you mean by 'All
    other things being equal'. As to better it depends on what value you place
    on the convenience of not having to use a cable.

    Quite likely either form of connection will be faster than an ADSL broadband
    Michael Chare, Nov 21, 2007
  7. Not really.

    There is more bandwidth 'in' a short bit of cable than in the allowed RF
    The Natural Philosopher, Nov 21, 2007
  8. Theres about 50 off them on a tower up the road, one of teh mani lnks in
    the microwave data network. Feeds OUR telephone exchanges too.

    Its the stock way to get signals to mobile phone towers as well.

    And islands..The channel islands have undersea fibre now, but they
    didn't always.

    However this stiff is up in the 35GHZ region IIRC, on tight beams. A
    completely dfferent animal to 2GHZ or whatever it is on a cocoa tin or
    bit of bendy whip.

    Backbone microwave links are probably faster than gigabit ethernet, but
    not faster than gigabit fibre.

    Lst time I looked fibre was easily 8Gbps..probably more now.
    The Natural Philosopher, Nov 21, 2007
  9. The Orthogon/Motorola stuff is 5.8/5.4 GHz ... They were looking at
    other bands too, but squeezing 300Mb/sec in the 5.8Ghz band was quite

    A lot of the licensed point to point stuff is "only" 6-8GHz too, but
    it's been a while since I've been close to any of it ...

    Gordon Henderson, Nov 21, 2007
  10. hoochxy

    Paul Cupis Guest

    10Gb and 40Gb are also available now IIRC with with the specs for 100Gb
    being discussed.
    Paul Cupis, Nov 21, 2007
  11. hoochxy

    dennis@home Guest

    Does fiber count as wireless?
    dennis@home, Nov 21, 2007
  12. Course it can. If you have a 10Mb switch in circuit but a 54Mb wireless,
    guess which will be quicker.
    You need to actually buy supporting hardware to get this. Try running
    gigabit ethernet with an otc domestic router, for instance.
    Mark McIntyre, Nov 22, 2007
  13. hoochxy

    Bob Eager Guest

    OTC gigabit switch from PC World these days...!
    Bob Eager, Nov 22, 2007
  14. LMAO ;-)

    Nice one.
    The Natural Philosopher, Nov 22, 2007
  15. hoochxy

    Eeyore Guest

    Eeyore, Nov 22, 2007
  16. Yes, and my PC came with builtin gigabit network card. So what? I don't
    recall seeing a gigabit ADSL modem yet...
    Mark McIntyre, Nov 22, 2007
  17. I assume you're talking to yourself ?
    Mark McIntyre, Nov 22, 2007
  18. hoochxy

    Eeyore Guest

    Eeyore, Nov 22, 2007
  19. hoochxy

    Eeyore Guest

    You're truly a very stupid, arrogant and unpleasant piece of slime.
    Eeyore, Nov 22, 2007
  20. hoochxy

    Bob Eager Guest

    I don't really see the relevance. You don't need gigabit for a modem,
    but it's useful on the network.
    Bob Eager, Nov 22, 2007
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