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Kick your WiFi dependency for a standard connection 

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WiFi, a convenience that most everyone is guilty of over using. I won't go full-nerd and detail every difference between WiFi and a hard-wired connection, but I will suggest not relying on WiFi connections more than necessary. The convenience of WiFi is a major selling point, but there's more to consider when choosing your everyday connection.

For anyone who may not know, WiFi is over the air Internet connections that allow capable devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly, like in your local café or in your home. Connection speeds can come fairly close to hard-wired connections, with high end equipment and with little to no interference from neighboring signals. Sounds wonderful so far, right? What we haven't considered is security.

WiFi does offer some modicum of security but it's easy circumvent, and once someone gains access to your computer or home network of computers it can spell disaster for you and your personal data.
Sadly, information on how to do this is readily available, and with a couple inexpensive items anyone can force their way into most wireless connections and make a profit on stolen data.

As if that's not enough, signal interference from your neighbors, appliances, etc. reduce WiFi connection speeds, sometimes knocking you off your connection completely. What good is having the fastest WiFi if you're left without a connection anyway? It's a huge problem for those relying on Wifi to stream movies and other entertainment media on their devices — the more electronic gadgets in your home, the more problems you can run into. Latency can be just as frustrating in a busy household, causing more loading bars and spinning sundials while your WiFi waits to begin moving data from your last connection.

With a hard-wired connection, on the other hand, you won't typically find issues with signal interference. Not only that, these standard connections always provide the fastest connection speeds you can get — as long as your equipment is up to date — and the latency to a much lesser degree. But equally important is that hacking a standard connection is a lot more difficult. You can use software like a firewall to increase your security as well.

Really, the biggest gripe against hard-wired internet connections is that its less convenient — it takes extra work and wires are messy. These are valid complaints, but keep in mind that if you want a comparatively fast connection speeds with a wireless set up, you really have to keep your computer equipment at the cutting edge, which isn't cheap. I argue that money would be better spent on a professional wiring installation for your standard connection. I had my basement-level office wired all the way from my upstairs so I could set up in the comfort of my getaway zone.

WiFi isn't going anywhere, but, as the saying goes, everything in moderation. If you're sitting at a café with cup of joe and catching up on President Trump's Twitter feed or the day's news news, WiFi is really great — check up on stock prices and hop on YouTube for a new viral video while you're at it. Your email could go either way, depending on the content of the messages you're sending and receiving. WiFi may be OK for more benign correspondences, but a secure connection for your email would be more ideal, even those can be intercepted.

The Internet has become a part of many people's everyday lives, and WiFi affords us to connect anywhere there's a signal. Enjoy this technology in modest ways — when it comes to speed and security, standard connections are where you want to be anyways.

Brian Koch is an avid techie who's worked in the tech field for dozens of years with Compaq/HP, his own pc business Techpertise, outdoor photography, and more. He has lived with his wife Stacy in Colorado for over 16 years. E-mail questions, comments, suggestions to Brian: info@techpertise.com and follow him on Twitter @Techpertise.


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