Saturday, 25 October 2014

Which one is better, wired or wireless connection?

Devices have gone a long way. It is no longer the user that can command them, but by another device as well. Connectivity among devices have improved along the years, beginning with the humble wire, then infra red, bluetooth, wi-fi, NFC and other connections. These connections have their own weaknesses and strong points, and I would like to share my experiences with these connections according to the situation I find it very suitable for each.

Internet Connection


For Laptops/ Pc's


My PC is a windows XP. It doesn't have a built in Wi Fi receiver. So I have one installed. The connection to get internet is OK, but sometimes the Wi-Fi receiver has some issues. So I tend to uninstall and reinstall it which is tiring when you are doing it again and again. To permanently solve the problem, I bought a wired mini powerline ethernet adapter. It is plug and play, no password to set, and you are ready to go with simple push on the buttons.

Even my laptop has problems using Wi-Fi upstairs. The Wi-Fi station is downstairs. It seems connected (the icons at the tray bar for wi-fi and internet connections are all OK), but could not connect to theinternet. This usually cause by how far you are from the station, the obstacles that physically blocks the Wi-Fi signal and the congested Wi-Fi channel. I also observed that using registry cleaners can sometimes mess up with internet connections. With these possible causes, it causes some sweat to figure it out and some more sweat to fix it.

My one fix in this situation is the same wired powerline ethernet adaptor, with no sweat to fall!

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For Mobile


Mobiles do not have ethernet ports, so the real winner for me here is the Wireless-Fidelity connection.

Printers.


I prefer my printer connected to Wi-Fi rather than USB or other wired connectivity. One of the  reasons is the location of the printer. We kept it in the masters bedroom, because it can be abused by the kids when it is in easy access. The drivers can be messed up rendering you to reinstall it again whether you use it wired or wirelessly, the convenience of being able to print wherever you are is just very convenient.

Playing Music


At Home


If your music is on your computer or mobile device, you can stream this to your stereo with the following methods, as long as your device and stereo support it. Through Wi-Fi, bluetooth or wire 3.5mm connector. Not all stereos have wireless capabilities including mine. So I usually use apple TV to stream it over Wi-Fi connection. Bluetooth dongle is also fine when streaming other music not included in the iTunes library. But I find these connections complicated specially when you have multiple devices and accounts with other family members. To simplify this, I use the 3.5mm connection that can accommodate any devices, accounts and libraries without any problems.

In The Car


My car is an old model and do not have a native bluetooth connectivity.  But I do not deny that I have been using bluetooth connection to connect my music inside the car using a bluetooth FM transmitter. There's no problem with the connection but the setting up and playback is sometimes fiddly. The car radio is sensitive, that can be caused by already congested FM signals  including the bluetooth FM transmitter in the car. So getting a free frequency with less noise is not easy. Sometimes the transmitter can relay the sound of the car or can be affected by merely turning on the aircon or lights!

I am so pleased that the car has a 3.5mm port at the dashboard to use. This means just plug in the cable without any worries of interference or finding a better carrier frequency. The phone's battery will also stay longer as it doesn't use as much power as to using bluetooth connection.

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Playing Movies


I do not want to be disturbed when watching movies specially when I am at home. I just want to sit down the sofa and get lazy, only to getup when fetching a drink or "emptying" those drinks. So remote controls are essential. When the movie is contained in a laptop or apple mobile devices, I prefer using Wi-Fi connection  with apple TV to stream over the TV screen.  Rather than using a HDMI connector, connecting it wirelessly gives me the freedom and convenience of controlling it while walking around or stationary at the sofa.

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The answer then to this topic depends on what you are doing and your personality. If you are a techie person and loves to solve problems and experiment things, wireless is for you. And if you just like simple things that works without the sweat and do not mind being tangled with cables, then use the uncomplicated wired connection for you.

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