Ethernet slower than wifi? How to Solve this Annoying Problem

Kimberlee WattElectronic Care, Resources

Normally, if you want to get a faster, stronger, and more stable internet connection, you might plug your device straight into the source to use your ethernet connection. However, sometimes this doesn’t help you in the way that you want it to. Instead of it making your connection faster, it could end up being slower than the WiFi connection you were using before. This shouldn’t happen, so you need to figure out why it’s happening and fix it. Some troubleshooting is necessary if you want to find the source of the problem, which requires some time to try out a few things. Your slow ethernet could be caused by a number of problems.

Make Sure You Test Correctly

First off, if you are testing the speed of your connection, rather than just trying to guess whether ethernet or WiFi is faster, you need to make sure that you do it properly. If you’re not doing the tests correctly, you might be getting results saying that your ethernet connection is slower than your WiFi when that’s not really true. When you test your ethernet connection, make sure that you turn the WiFi off for more accurate results. Of course, if you’re not performing any proper tests, you should be doing them.

So, without further ado, please continue to the next section to see the most accurate ways to correctly test your ethernet and WiFi connections.

Test on Another PC or Laptop

laptop ethernet slower than wifi

If you have another laptop, desktop computer, or other device that you can use to test your ethernet connection, it’s a good idea to do so. Sometimes it’s not the ethernet itself that’s the problem, but the device that you’re using to access it. You might find that a particularly slow computer makes it difficult for you to use your ethernet connection at the speed you were hoping for. A slow computer can even give the impression that your internet connection is slow when it’s really the PC’s fault.

Switch to a Different Port

One simple thing that can help you if everything seems to be going too slow is switching to a different port. The port you plug your cable into on your modem or router can make a difference, and it’s always best to rule out simple possibilities before trying anything more time-consuming or expensive. A simple switch could improve the speed of your ethernet connection, and it will only take you about two seconds to do it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make any difference, though. There are other options to explore, and plenty of them are still fairly easy solutions.

Try a Different Cable

If it’s not the port that’s making your ethernet connection slow, the cable you’re using might be causing issues. The cable might be broken or the length of it could be affecting how fast the connection is. If you’re using an old or cheap cable, try buying or borrowing a new one to see if it’s causing problems. It’s worth investing in quality cables of all kinds because they are often tougher and deliver better performance than cheap ones, which can sometimes even be dangerous if they are poorly made.

Check Your Network Card

Sometimes it might be your network or ethernet card that is posing a problem. Some people find that if they disable their ethernet card and then re-enable it, they suddenly get better speed from their ethernet. It might be that replacing your network card is the best way to go if it seems that there is a hardware problem. You might feel like this is something that you’re not capable of doing yourself, in which case you can have someone else do it for you. This is often safer if you’re not very tech or computer-savvy.

Update Drivers

If your ethernet connection is slower than your WiFi connection, one of the other culprits might be the drivers for your network adapter card. You might need to update the drivers to ensure they are working properly or perhaps remove and replace them. How you do this will depend on the device that you’re using. You will probably need to go to the network adapter manufacturer’s website to find the driver or drivers that you need. However, it usually doesn’t take long to update drivers, so you can quickly figure out if it’s the solution to your problem.

Check Network Connection Settings

There could be an issue with your network connection settings that is leading to the problem that you’re facing. Your network settings can allow you to check that everything is set up correctly and that nothing is getting in the way or trying to do something that it shouldn’t. If you know what your network settings should be, you might be able to spot the problem right away. Sometimes it might be that the settings have changed, potentially because of a virus, and you need to change the settings back to their automatic values. Running a scan with your antivirus software helps to pluck out anything malicious that could have changed your settings.

Use Tools to Diagnose the Problem

If you’re not sure how to detect any problems, there are usually tools that you can use to diagnose the issue. On a Windows computer, you will find an option for troubleshooting networks and internet, which will allow you to check your network adapter and allow the computer to do the work of seeing if there is an easily fixable issue. If you can’t work out what the problem is, it can help to temporarily turn off your security software so that you can troubleshoot again. Other devices having troubleshooting options too, including other computers and games consoles (Xbox, Playstations, etc). Other tools that you might use include internet speed checkers, which can give you a more accurate look at just how fast your ethernet and your WiFi are both going.

It can be frustrating if your ethernet is slower than your WiFi because connecting to your ethernet should give you a stronger connection. If you find that you have to deal with this problem, a bit of troubleshooting will help find the cause.