A study released yesterday by Epitiro reveals that consumers lose on average 30% of download speed and increased latency (10-20%) when using Wi-Fi connections at home when compared to wired ethernet connections.
The study looked at over 14,000 Wi-Fi connections in the UK, US, Spain and Italy and ran one million tests with 56% of the sample connecting over Wi-Fi and 44% over wired ethernet connection.
On-line game play, Voip services such as Skype and video streaming might be unsatisfactory and downloading large files will take longer over Wi-Fi compared to wired connections.
"Our data shows that connectivity over Wi-Fi degrades broadband performance considerably in typical circumstances." said JP Curley, CTO, Epitiro. "Consumers who are experiencing performance issues with Wi-Fi should take steps to improve their home environment or connect directly via wired ethernet."
A further issue is that many Wi-Fi routers share the same default communication channel which can cause interference in urban areas and lead to slower service. Selecting a different channel could help to improve services.
The physical location of the router in the home also has an impact as barriers such as wall, doors and furniture can lead to interference along with devices in the same frequency range such as cordless phones.
The study did find that web page download times are virtually the same over Wi-Fi or Wired connections as they are less susceptible to changes in line speed because of their relatively small size.
Despite the difference in speed, it seems that the ease of use Wi-Fi provides is more important to many consumers.
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