Wi-Fi vs cable... any advantages?

I have an 8-Meg cable connection right now in my apartment, of which I really only get 4 down and 0.5 up. My neighbor and I were talking the other night, and he offered to let me use his Wi-Fi connection, which I can pick up at 80% strength, but still slower than the 4 Megs I get from Comcast.

If I didn't use Comcast for my phone service, I would cancel and just use his Wi-Fi network... but as it stands, I suppose my question is: Are there any advantages to running both a Wi-Fi & cable connection? Or would these two connections compete with each other? Can I make each connection serve a different purpose (i.e. update through my cable connection and play World of Warcraft over the Wi-Fi at the same time)? Just a thought.

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I think you are mis-stating or mis-understanding something here. WiFi is a *Local* wireless network and to have internet connectivity (as opposed to workgroup or machine to machine connectivity) there must be some sort of internet service feeding the WiFi router (or "residential gateway"). Your neighbor probably has either DSL or Cable for broadband connectivity. If you use his WiFi for connectivity, you would be sharing his bandwidth and likely violating his TOS (though if your neighbor knows about you sharing, it's not likely that anything will ever come of this)/

A WiFi router simply connects via ethernet (wired) connection to your Cable or DSL modem and typically provides several ethernet (wired) ports and a WiFi signal. These can definitely be used simultaneously and there should be no bottleneck at all with 802.11G connections (54Mbps to carry 4Mbps) No competition really, since your LAN has plenty of bandwidth to carry both Workgroup and internet traffic.


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Actually that sounds really slow for a 8 meg connection. It should be more around 6 meg or higher.

My neighbor and I were talking the

It would still be a violation of the neighbors TOS with his isp. especially if he is on cable.

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" snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" hath wroth:

There's something wrong with your unspecified equipment. All of my cable modem benchmarks are running at maximum speed (and faster), except when the system gets really busy. In short bursts, I've seen

15Mbits/sec. If you're getting 4Mbit/sec download, there's something wrong. See the test results for Comcast at:

Hmmm... big spike at 3.7Mbits/sec. Those are probably 802.11b wireless connections. The speed isn't being limited by the cable modem connection, it's limited by the 4.5Mbit/sec maximum you can cram through an 802.11b connection. Anything faster requires 802.11g.

It's also possible to purchase a router with a bad case of thruput constipation. See table at:

The routers near the bottom just can't pass the traffic fast enough for a cable modem.

So, what hardware do you have (makers and model numbers) and how are you measuring it?

Half the speed, half the price. I don't see the problem.

You might want to read the Comcast TOS (terms of service).

There's probably an unenforceable clause in there about not sharing connections.

That depends on what is at the other end of the Wi-Fi connection. If it's another cable modem on the same system, you won't improve reliability. If you want more speed, there's no way to "bond" two different IP's into a single IP connection. You can get a load balancing router to that you can automagically use either connection, but the speeds don't add up.

It would be an either/or proposition. You can't just plug everything into an ethernet switch and expect things to magically work. See load balancing routers for an explanation:

Not easily. You would need to specify a different gateway IP for each connection and then explicitely define the route (source routing) to each server using static routes. It can be done, but whether you want to go through the ordeal is a bit much. A load balancing router will do that for you. If one connection is clogged with traffic, it will move any new traffic to the other connection.

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Jeff Liebermann

I would agree. My "8Mbps" service downloads at 14Mbps, uploads somewhere between 300-500Kbps. How did you decide that you had 8Mbps service? I signed on at 3Mbps, and later I noticed that the web site said 5, now 8, with an option for 15. My downloads have always been higher than the advertised speed.

The download could easily be constrained by something else.

Some routers just won't go any faster, or some protocols won't go any faster, or some download sites limit bandwidth on a particular connection.

I see higher throughput with two or three ftp sessions on the same PC than I do with a single ftp session on that one PC. Two PCs downloading simultaneously see about the same throughput as one PC with multiple downloads.

You should try multiple downloads simultaneously, maybe on separate PCs. You could connect directly to the cable modem, if you are normally using a router.

What cable ISP do you have? What locality? What router are you using?

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