While having wireless access to your broadband at home allows for a significant amount of freedom to roam about the place, this comes at a price.
Running your internet connection through a wireless connection will slow you down by an average of 30%, according to a new study by network measurement firm Epitiro. One million tests were carried out for the study, covering 14,000 wi-fi connections in the UK, US, Spain and Italy.
While this is a significant drop, the same research also shows that people don’t really mind – they would rather be free to take their laptops around their homes even if this means a slower connection.
“People are voting with their feet and trading speed for the benefits of mobility,” Iain Wood of Epitiro told BBC News. He added that most people don’t really notice this drop in quality because their web tasks are not that complicated: “Most of us do e-mailing and web surfing and for these things there is precious little difference between the 50Mb/s services and an 8Mb/s service.”
But as we are increasingly getting into the habit of more data-hungry tasks, such as downloading video or streaming TV content, we will start to notice the difference. It might be worth keeping an old-fashioned cable handy for such tasks.