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Dorm: Router Or Ethernet Calbe?


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#1 noahcopeland

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:12 PM

Okay, so I live a university dorm. Single room. So far, I had been bumming off my friend's router several doors down to get a internet connection. It's a little slow cause his room is far away. I wanted to get my own connection so it will be faster.

 

Our rooms have Ethernet jacks on the wall. So, I bought an Ethernet cable and plugged it from the wall jack into my laptop. Boom. I got internet. Yay!

 

But my question is, if all I had to do was get a cable, why does everyone else (like my friend) have a router? What's the point? Is it better than plugging straight in? Should I get a router? 

 

Thanks,

Noah.



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#2 Animal

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:31 PM

Because with a router you could use your other Internet connected type devices. For example a wi-fi enabled tablet or phone, A smart blu-ray player or TV. Your preferred gaming console of choice. These could all be used either wired to the available ports on your router or used wirelessly if you have a wi-fi enabled router. Otherwise only one device at a time to the wall outlet you're using now.

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#3 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:34 PM

You will almost always get better internet performance out of a cable (ethernet) connection than by using a wireless one. This is because you have smaller transmission losses by cable than by wireless. This is why if you ever get into a dispute about quality of service with your ISP, you will be asked to connect by cable to carry out their checks !

 

Wireless routers have their advantages. They make sharing a single connection very easy and they allow much greater freedom of location. There are some five or six internet capable devices in my house - not all of which are in use at any one time - and a router allows us to connect them as and when required without having to re-route cables.

 

Once upon a time, I lived in similar accomodation to you so I imagine your room is fairly small and with one desktop or working area - ideal for using a cable connection. You can't move very far and still be in the room ! The fact that I had a typewriter at the time is irrelevant.

 

If you use your laptop primarily within the confines of your room, cable is great. If you want to take your laptop to the social spaces or picnic outside and still want connectivity, wireless is more convenient. But as the Animal has just said - one cable connection = one device.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#4 smax013

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

As noted by the others, the primary reason to have a router is to be able to connect multiple devices to the Internet, some of which can be WiFi devices assuming it is a WiFi router.

The other reason is that a router will act as a firewall for any device that connects to that router to connect to the Internet. This provides some protection of other devices that might be on that "local" network in your dorm.




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