We get this question a lot. People call us asking us to run Cat6 Ethernet cable all over their homes. Why do they want to do this? Because their WiFi is sub par.
Adding Cat6 to every room in your house is expensive. Don’t get us wrong, we will be happy to do it but it can cost thousands of dollars. However, in most cases, we think you can get more bang for your buck by investing in a good WiFi6 mesh network.
Benefits of Ethernet
If your home is already wired for Ethernet (Cat5e or Cat6) then utilize the infrastructure where you can. After all, Ethernet is as fast as you can get. The connections are fantastic and you will almost always get rock solid speed tests.
Ethernet also helps reduce traffic loads on your WiFi network. For example, if your SmartTV can be hardwired to your router via Ethernet, then do it. All of that streaming video traffic will run through the wire and not over the WiFi network.
If you are building a new home, then make sure Ethernet runs to the main areas at a minimum: living room; den; kitchen; offices; movie theater; master bedroom; central area of each level. No need to run it to the kids rooms as they will never connect to the wall jack anyway.
WiFi6 is Almost as Good as Ethernet
While Ethernet will always be the best solution for reliability and speed, WiFi technology is constantly improving. WiFi6, the latest WiFi protocol, can reach incredible speeds. In fact, it can even be faster than Ethernet, especially if your Ethernet switches are older.
We have several customers who had homes build with Ethernet everywhere and now they don’t use any of it. It just sits there. Why? Because with a WiFi6 mesh setup, they get blazing fast speeds to every corner of the home, including the back yard. Admittedly, some of the mesh devices might be plugged into an Ethernet jack at the far end of a large home, but for most normal houses (2000 – 4000 SQFT) the Ethernet connections don’t get used anymore.