Although the current trend is definitely towards wireless networks, mainly because they are often more convenient for users, wired networks can be superior when it comes to issues such as network security and faster upload/download speeds.

Increasingly, the needs of modern homes and many work spaces are for greater and more versatile internet coverage than just having a single PC, or group of PCs wired up to a router with ethernet cables.

Wireless networks enable multiple devices to use the same internet connection remotely, as well as share files and other resources.

They also allow mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and ipods to move around within the network area freely and still maintain a connection to the internet and the network.

There are also disadvantages to wireless networks, however, especially when you compare them with wired networks, which generally maintain a faster internet speed and are more secure. Below, I have listed all of the above points, plus the other main advantages and disadvantages of a wireless network vs wired network.

Summary of The Advantages and Disadvantages

Activity/Category Wireless Network Wired Network
Freedom of movement for users Users can access network from anywhere within range. Users location limited by need to use cable and/or connect to a port.
Sharing Files Easier with wireless network as you do not need to be cabled to network, though transfer speeds may be slower. Generally less convenient as you have to be cabled in, but transfer speeds often faster.
Cables Far less complicated, disruptive, and untidy cabling needed. Lots of cables and ports needed which can be a headache.
Business For businesses dealing with public, customers like and often expect wireless, so wireless can increase income. Wired networks are not convenient for public use, but sometimes acceptable for a traditional office.
Connection speeds Usually slower than wired. Usually faster than wireless.
Security Less secure than wired. Both bandwidth and information can sometimes be accessed. More secure than wireless.
Set up Upgrading to a wireless network can be difficult and expensive. Can also be difficult and expensive to set up