Connection Priority - Ethernet or WiFi?

jfish Posts: 1  Freshman Member
edited August 2018 in Smart Home Product
Hello and thanks for reading.  My housemates and I are having a debate over which connection has priority, if all else is equal, a direct ethernet connection with a CAT 5e cable approx 100' away from the ZyXel C1100z DSL router, or N band wifi over about a 45 ' distance. While I am completely confident that there is no router connection bias when all settings are set at factory/ISP default, they are unconvinced and even had another ISP come out to see what the connection issues were and the tech said it was because of the ethernet connection had "priority" because it is hard wired.  Of course google searches pulled up countless articles saying there is no bias, with Tom's Hardware Shack being very clear about it and unless it is set in the router settings to allow a priority...usually an application or game, but I wanted to hear about this router specifically and definitively.

So, there is my question and thanks for the help. 


All Replies

  • Mijzelf
    Mijzelf Posts: 2,605  Guru Member
    First Anniversary 10 Comments Friend Collector First Answer
    My 2¢:

    When you are talking about a router, there is no priority difference. It has an ethernet connection to both the AP and some wired client. How would it know the difference? Conceptually an AP is just a special case of a switch. (Or better, hub, by the nature of wifi)
    But I guess you mean a combined router/AP (and even /dsl modem). In that case the router part could prioritize wired above wireless, as it has inside information. Yet I don't think it will. In all router/AP devices I have studied, the wifi is bridged with the ethernet, so the inside information is dropped before the router part can handle the data.
    Yet the client connected by cable will get a higher throughput through the uplink than a wifi client (assuming the uplink is limiting), not because of prioritizing, but just because the cable is more efficient (Lower ping times, full duplex), and so it will have more 'air time'.

    At the client side the situation is totally different. If the client has more than one route to reach to a certain IP address, for instance a wired and a wireless connection, and when everything else is equal, it will use the connection with the lowest metric (cost). Normally the metric of a wifi connection is higher than a wired connection, and a GSM connection is even higher.
    You can see the metric in the routing table.

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