Pros and Cons of Wired vs. Wireless Video Game Networks

Which option is ideal for your gaming needs?

Person with headphones playing video games

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Nearly all modern video games feature some online functionality whether it be multiplayer modes, scoreboards, or downloadable content. To access this content, you need either a wired or wireless internet connection, but which is the better option for online gaming? The answer depends on your budget and personal preferences.

Information in this article applies broadly to video game consoles and PC gaming.

Play Video Games on a Wired Network

Although most homes have wireless internet networks, wireless networks aren't as reliable as traditional wired setups. Therefore, if you're used to playing MMO games that require a persistent connection, then plugging your PC or console into your modem with an Ethernet cable is the best way to go.

What We Like
  • Faster and more reliable connection.

  • Cheaper than high-speed wireless.

  • No need to set up a router.

What We Don't Like
  • Cables restrict mobility and flexibility.

  • More cables means more clutter.

  • Wiring the whole house can get complicated and expensive.

Play Video Games on a Wireless Network

Wireless internet connections make online gaming more convenient, but they come at a cost.

What We Like
  • Play games online from anywhere inside or outside the home.

  • Fewer cables mean less clutter.

What We Don't Like
  • Unreliable connections can cause lag and game interruptions.

  • High speed wireless plans are expensive in some areas.

Wired vs. Wireless Gaming: Which Is Right for You?

If you regularly play online games over a Wi-Fi connection, you may be able to improve your experience by connecting the console or PC directly to the modem. If you only periodically use online features in games, then a wireless connection should usually suffice. When downloading large game files, switch to a wired connection to prevent interruptions.