The Disadvantages of Wireless Internet

There are still (5) good reasons to stay hard-wired

Wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, is a connection to an international information resource. That alone is scary, and when you factor in the complete discarding of wires, it's even more frightening for the security-minded. No longer is your computer or your connection as simple as a wire plugging into the back of your machine. Unlike the days of dial-up, that link is now open, and it can sometimes leave a user vulnerable to theft or even break and enter.

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**Caption: Many consider Wi-Fi to be less secure than a wired connection

Now, we don't mean to say that a shady character in black balaclava is waiting outside your window, about to climb in just because you've recently made a wireless internet connection. It simply doesn't work like that. However, unprotected Wi-Fi networks [Basic Tips for Protecting Your Wireless]– those without a strong password- invite anyone within range of your access point (or router) from latching onto (or stealing) your connection. What's more, those with a knack for the hack can actually break into your hard drive and access valuable files and folders. It may not be quite as scary as a cat burglar crawling through your living room, nabbing priceless vases and golden candelabras, but it's still a bit chilling.

Here are some reasons to consider sticking with a standard (wired) network:

Popcorn can interrupt a sexy instant messaging session.

  • Seriously, Wi-Fi can actually pop in and out as a result of other home devices that use similar frequencies. That means electronics like a microwave or 2.4 GHz cordless phone can interfere with you finding out what Debbie Sue is (or isn't) wearing right now.

**Caption: Wireless phones can actually interfere with wireless internet

Safety first!

  • Although your wired network still requires a good firewall, you won't need to worry about a neighbor stealing your internet (unless he or she have a really long Ethernet cord). In addition, there are ways that a hacker can break even relatively strong passwords. Security experts actually recommend something that's about 25+ letters long. That's pretty ridiculous, and unlikely to be put into action by most users.

Default is definitely dangerous.

  • Most Wi-Fi access points default to unsecured connections, meaning most amateurs who haven't read this guide will be vulnerable right at this very moment.

WEP might make you weep.

  • Even the standard encryption service, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) [Wired Equivalent Privacy ]can be easily cracked by a hacker who knows what they're doing. It doesn't really matter if you've set up WEP perfectly; the hackers are generally a step ahead in this regard. However, times are 'a changing, so check out our section on protecting your Wi-Fi.

Sucks (power).

  • Wireless networks use a lot more power than your old wired connection, meaning that battery could soon be deader than a doornail (if a doornail ever lives). In addition, the extensive use of power can also lead to heat issues.