Ethernet Is Slower Than Wi-Fi? 7 Troubleshooting Tips For You

wifi router vs ethernet cable

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Solutions To Try

  • A simple restart of both your devices (like smart TV and computer) and modem/router can resolve lagging issues by rebooting the system and refreshing the network connection.
  • Outdated software on devices and routers can slow down Ethernet speeds. Regularly check and install updates for your smart TV, computer, and router to maintain optimal performance and security.
  • Faulty Ethernet ports or damaged cables can hinder connection speeds. Clean ports, try different ports on the router, and inspect cables for damage.

In this guide, I will unravel the mystery of why your Ethernet connection might be underperforming compared to Wi-Fi and provide straightforward solutions to boost your wired network’s speed.

If you’ve been puzzled by slower-than-expected Ethernet speeds, let’s explore practical fixes together to get your connection running at its full potential.

Let’s begin.

Ethernet Should Be Faster Than Wi-Fi

ethernet cables plugged into router

Most Ethernet cables boast a transfer speed of 10Gbps and higher

On the other hand, Wi-Fi speeds can theoretically only reach a maximum of 6.9Gbps. However, in reality, its speed rarely surpasses 1Gbps

Test your internet speed by heading to websites like FAST or Speed Test.

Additionally, since Wi-Fi is wireless, it tends to be more prone to interference and signal loss than its wired counterpart, Ethernet. This is especially true if the signal is further weakened by distance and signal-blocking obstructions, such as concrete and metal objects that absorb the signal. 

Meanwhile, since Ethernet connections travel through wires, they tend to foster more stable connections since the signal is secure and won’t weaken over long distances. 

How to Troubleshoot When Ethernet Is Slower Than Wi-Fi?

So, now that you understand why Wi-Fi is inherently slower than Ethernet, it’s time to investigate why your Ethernet signal may be slower than Wi-Fi. Although uncommon, Ethernet is also prone to lagging if there are any software or hardware discrepancies. 

1. Restart Your Device and Modem/Router

Your device and modem/router may be lagging if they’ve been left on and in constant use for an extended period. So, it’s best to restart it to give the software an opportunity to reboot. 

Let’s learn how to restart your router, computer, and smart TV. 

Smart TV

Step 1: Ensure your TV is turned on before unplugging its power cable. 

Step 2: Wait 30 seconds or more. 

Step 3: Plug the TV into power and turn it on once more. 

a person plugs TV into wall outlet



Step 1: Launch the Start menu. 

Step 2: Head to the Power option. 

Step 3: Click on Restart


Step 1: Open the Apple menu. 

Step 2: Scroll down and click on Restart


Step 1: Turn your modem/router off if it has a power button. 

Step 2: Unplug its power cable. 

Step 3: Wait for at least 20 seconds. 

Step 4: Connect the power cable to the wall outlet. 

Step 5: If possible, turn the router on with its power button. 

pressing the power button on a router

Note: Many routers feature a Reset pinhole, which can be activated by sticking a pointy object into it. This pinhole will hard reset your router, resetting its network configuration, SSID, and password. So, do not activate this pinhole unless you are prepared to set up your router from scratch. 

2. Update Your Devices

Your smart TV, computer, and/or router may have some pending updates slowing down their signals. Installing updates on your devices will also ensure they’re running the latest firmware/software versions and security protocols.

Smart TV 

Let’s learn how to update a Samsung, Sony, TCL, and LG smart TV. 


Step 1: Go to Menu

Step 2: Head to Settings

Step 3: Click on Support

Step 4: Open Software Update

Step 5: Click Update Now


Step 1: Hit your remote’s Quick Settings button, marked with a gear icon. 

Step 2: Go to Settings

Step 3: Click on System

Step 4: Navigate to About

Step 5: Head to System software update

Step 6: Navigate to the right of the screen and click Software update.  

Watch the video below on how to update a Sony TV

How To: Update your Sony Android TV


Step 1: Launch the Settings menu on the Home page

Step 2: Navigate to More Settings

Step 3: Go to Device Preferences

Step 4: Head to About

Step 5: Click on System Update

Step 6: Then, click on Network Update, followed by OK


Step 1: Launch the Settings

Step 2: Head to All Settings

Step 3: Open Support

Step 4: Go to Software Update

Step 5: Click on Check for Updates

Step 6: If available, click Download and Install

Watch the video below on how to update a LG TV

Software Update *New LG Smart TV - WebOS6


To ensure your computer is up-to-date, you must check for and install any driver and software updates. 

Follow the instructions to update a Windows 10 and 11 PC, and a macOS computer. 

Windows 10 PC

Software Update: 

Step 1: Head to the Start menu, marked by a Windows icon. 

Step 2: Go to Settings

Step 3: Open Update and Security

Step 4: Click on Windows Update

Step 5: Click on Check for Updates

Driver Update: 

Step 1: On the Windows Update page, click on View optional updates

Step 2: Go to Driver Updates

Step 3: Click on each driver to update it. 

Step 4: Click on Download and Install

Windows 11 PC

Software Update: 

Step 1: Navigate to Start

Start 2: Head to Settings

Step 3: Go to Windows Update

Step 4: Head to Check for Updates

Driver Update: 

Step 1: Under Windows Update, click on Advanced Options

Step 2: Head to Optional Updates

Step 3: Go to Driver Updates

Step 4: Select all of the drivers. 

Step 5: Click Download and Install


Step 1: In the top-left corner of your screen, launch the Apple menu. 

Step 2: Go to System Preferences

Step 3: Head to Software Update

Step 4: Click Update Now if there are any new updates to install. 

If your Mac has different settings, check out the article Update macOS on Mac for alternate instructions.

Watch the video below on how to update macOS

How to update macOS on your Mac | Apple Support


Did you know that routers/modems need to be updated too? It’s true! 

To update your router’s firmware or software, you will need to access its web management page by inputting its IP address into a browser’s URL bar. 

While this process isn’t difficult, it is slightly more involved than updating a smart TV or computer. 

Luckily, HP’s article How to Update Router Firmware clearly outlines all of the necessary instructions for most popular router brands.  

If you’re a visual learner, you can also learn how to update your router by watching the video below. 

Wireless Router Setup - Upgrade Router Firmware

3. Scan Your PC for Viruses

Viruses and malware can affect your network settings, causing significant delays in the signal’s speed. Additionally, the malware could be gathering your personal information, like credit card details and passwords, putting your cyber security at risk. 

You may also notice that your computer is running a lot slower than usual since the virus is negatively affecting its software. 

Luckily, Windows PCs have a built-in Windows Security scan feature, which detects and removes any malicious code. 

This process is the same for both Windows 10 and 11 PCs. 

Step 1: Click the Windows icon to open the Start menu. 

Step 2: Select the search bar and type “Windows Security” into it. Then, press the Enter key to search for it. 

Step 3: Click on Windows Security from the search results. 

Step 4: Go to Virus and threat protection

Step 5: Go to Scan Options

Step 6: Click on Full Scan

Step 7: Select Scan Now

For more information about Windows Security, what it is, and how to use it, check out the article Stay protected with Windows Security

4. Check Your Applications

Certain apps like VPNs, and third-party anti-viruses and diagnostic tools can interfere with your network settings and slow your internet connection. 

This is particularly true for VPNs since they reroute your data through a server before it arrives to your device. 

So, to ensure you’re getting the fastest signal possible, it’s best to temporarily disable them or remove them completely. 

Follow the instructions below to uninstall an app on Windows and macOS


Step 1: Go to Start

Step 2: Click on All apps

Step 3: Find the app you want to remove. 

Step 4: Once you’ve found the app, right-click on it to reveal a pop-up menu. 

Step 5: Click on Uninstall from this pop-up menu. 


Step 1: Launch the Finder app. 

Step 2: Navigate to Applications

Step 3: Hold and drag the app you want to delete to the Trash. If prompted, enter your computer’s login password. 

Step 4: Empty the Trash by clicking on with two fingers on your trackpad. Then, select Empty Bin

5. Try Using Another Ethernet Port or Cable

Your router’s Ethernet port may be faulty, resulting in a weak connection. So, unplug your Ethernet cable and check its port for any dust or debris. If the port is dirty, unplug your router from power before cleaning it with compressed air. Then, plug the Ethernet cable back into it. 

man plugging ethernet cable into router

If nothing changes, try plugging the Ethernet cable into another one of your router’s Ethernet ports to see if that helps. 

Ethernet cables must be in good condition to ensure a speedy connection. So, check if your cable is worn, torn, or bent. If you have any pets or small children, be mindful of placing the cable within their reach, since they may have pulled or chewed on it. 

Also, inspect the cable’s connector, ensuring none of its pins are missing. 

If possible, try using another cable if you have a spare lying around your home. Many internet providers include an Ethernet cable in the router’s packaging, so check there before trying to order one online. 

Your Ethernet cable may be incompatible with your router. So, it’s a good idea to purchase an upgrade and see if that makes a difference. 

Make sure you’re using at least a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable  as these will foster the fastest connections.  

6. Factory Reset Your Devices

Something may be wrong with your device’s settings. This could be a result of an app you’ve installed or any settings you’ve adjusted. 

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to factory reset your device if none of the above solutions have resolved your connectivity problems. 

Bear in mind that factory resetting your device will delete all of its files and apps. So, ensure you’ve backed up all of your files on the Cloud or have copied them to a hard drive. 

Follow the steps listed below to factory reset your smart TV or computer. 

Smart TV 

Let’s learn how to factory reset a smart TV from Samsung, Sony, TCL, and LG


Step 1: Go to the Settings

Step 2: Open Support

Step 3: Go to Self Diagnosis

Step 4: Select Reset

Note: If prompted for a passcode, enter the default PIN: 0000


Step 1: Hit the Quick Settings button, which looks like a gear, on your remote. 

Step 2: On-screen, navigate to the gear icon to launch the Settings

Step 3: Go to System and then About. Alternatively, you may need to select Device Preferences

Step 4: Head to Reset

Step 5: Click on Factory data reset

Step 6: Select Erase everything

Step 7: When a confirmation message appears on-screen, click Yes

Watch the video below on how to factory reset a Sony TV

How to Restart or Factory Reset your Sony Android TV™ or Google TV™


Step 1: Click your remote’s Settings button. 

Step 2: Go to More Settings

Step 3: Launch Device Preferences

Step 4: Click on Reset

Step 5: Go to Factory Data Reset

Step 6: Click on Erase Everything

Step 7: Then, your TV will ask for a PIN. If you’ve set your own PIN, type it into the pop-up window now. Otherwise, enter the default PIN: 1234 

Step 8: Select OK

Watch the video below on how to Factory Reset the TCL TV

How to Full Reset TCL Smart Android TV – Restore Default Settings on TCL 32 Inch TV


Step 1: Press the Smart button, marked by an icon of a house. 

Step 2: Launch the Settings by selecting the cog icon. 

Step 3: Navigate to General

Step 4: Select Reset to Initial Settings.


Let’s learn how to factory reset a Windows 10, Windows 11, and macOS computer. 

Windows 10

Step 1: Open Start

Step 2: Click on Settings

Step 3: Head to Update and Security

Step 4: Open Recovery

Step 5: Click on Get Started under Reset this PC

Windows 11

Step 1: Launch the Start window. 

Step 2: Open Settings

Step 3: Go to System

Step 4: Click on Recovery

Step 5: Select Reset PC

Step 6: Then, click on Reset PC once more. 

macOS (Monterey)

Step 1: Click on the Apple menu. 

Step 2: Open System Preferences

Step 3: Then, click on Erase All Content and Settings

If this option isn’t available on your Mac or if you’re currently using macOS Ventura, check out Erase your Mac and reset it to factory settings for a complete guide on factory resetting your Mac. 

7. Contact Your ISP or the Router’s Manufacturer

You’ve tried all of the above solutions and have even factory reset your computer, but your internet connection is still slow.

What should you try next? 

It’s time to contact your ISP and inform them of your ongoing connectivity problems. There could be something wrong with your router/modem and it may be in need of replacement. 

Depending on your provider and warranty policy, your ISP may replace your router for free. Otherwise, you may have to pay for any upgrades out of pocket. 

Good luck!

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