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Wired network vs Wireless network-Difference between Wired and Wireless network types

This page compares Wired network vs wireless network and mentions difference between wired and wireless networks. We will understand comparison between these networks with respect to data communication.

Wired Network

As we know "wired" is the term refers to any physical medium consisting of cables. The cables can be copper wire, twisted pair or fiber optic. Wired network is used to carry different forms of electrical signals from one end to the other. Mostly in wired network one internet connection is being taken using T1 line, cable modem or using any other means. This connection is shared among multiple devices using wired network concept.

EXAMPLE #1: LAN (Local Area Network): This network consists of ethernet cards housed in PCs or laptops. These cards are connected using ethernet cables. The data flows between these cards. For small wired network router is used to connect few number of desktop or laptop computers. In order to increase the network coverage for more number of systems multiple switches and routers are used.
Refer Ethernet network basics➤ for more information.

Wireless Network

As we know "Wireless" is the term refers to medium made of electromagnetic waves (i.e. EM Waves) or infrared waves. All the wireless devices will have antenna or sensors. Typical wireless devices include cellular mobile, wireless sensors, TV remote, satellite disc receiver, laptops with WLAN card etc. Wireless network does not use wires for data or voice communication; it uses radio frequency waves as mentioned above. The other examples are fiber optic communication link and broadband ADSL etc.

1. Outdoor cellular technologies such as GSM, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE, Satellite etc.
2. Indoor wireless technologies such as Wireless LAN(or WiFi), Bluetooth, IrDA, Zigbee, Zwave etc.
Refer Wireless system block diagram➤ and Cellular wireless communication basics➤ for more information.

Following table mentions comparison between wired network and wireless network types.

Specifications Wired network Wireless network
Speed of operation Higher lower compare to wired networks, But advanced wireless technologies such as LTE, LTE-A and WLAN-11ad will make it possible to achieve speed par equivalent to wired network
System Bandwidth High Low, as Frequency Spectrum is very scarse resource
Cost Less as cables are not expensive More as wireless subscriber stations, wireless routers, wireless access points and adapters are expensive
Installation Wired network installation is cumbersome and it requires more time Wireless network installation is easy and it requires less time
Mobility Limited, as it operates in the area covered by connected systems with the wired network Not limited, as it operates in the entire wireless network coverage
Transmission medium copper wires, optical fiber cables, ethernet EM waves or radiowaves or infrared
Network coverage extension requires hubs and switches for network coverage limit extension More area is covered by wireless base stations which are connected to one another.
Applications LAN (Ethernet), MAN WLAN, WPAN(Zigbee, bluetooth), Infrared, Cellular(GSM,CDMA, LTE)
Channel Interference and signal power loss Interference is less as one wired network will not affect the other Interference is higher due to obstacles between wireless transmitter and receiver e.g. weather conditions, reflection from walls, etc.
QoS (Quality of Service) Better Poor due to high value of jitter and delay in connection setup
Reliability High compare to wireless counterpart, as manufactured cables have higher performance due to existence of wired technology since years. Reasonably high, This is due to failure of router will affect the entire network.

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