Cable or WiFi: What is better to connect your Smart TV to the Internet?

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smart tv with ethernet or wifi

We buy a new Smart TV, it comes home, we open the box, carefully remove it, place it on the cabinet, and begin the process of connecting the cables. First the DTT antenna, then the HDMI cable of the console, then the power cable and… how do we connect it to the Internet? Here begins the dilemma that will make us have to choose between the wired connection using an ethernet network cable or the wireless connection using WiFi technology. Although it may seem like a simple decision, the truth is we must keep several things in mind, first of all.

Smart TVs are already the connected multimedia center of the home and, for this, they need a quality Internet connection. This connection will be key to offering good performance in applications such as Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video … but also in any other connected service that the television offers us. To give us an idea, Netflix in 4K needs 25 Mbps per second to run, YouTube in 4K will run at 20Mbps and Amazon Prime Video at 5Mbps will be able to play HD content.

Advantages and disadvantages of connecting TV via WiFi

Before entering to assess the pros and cons of wireless technology, we must know the WiFi standard with which our Smart TV is equipped. The normal thing is that we have WiFi 4 or WiFi 5, being reserved the new WiFi 6 to the most modern and high-end models. The theoretical speed of these modalities is 300 Mbps, 1.3 Gbps and 9.6 Gbps, although in practice we will have much less speed.

wifi 6 names

Speed ​​and stability

The speed offered by a WiFi network is seen tremendously influenced by various factors. In the first place, the aforementioned of the WiFi standard, both the one we have in the router and the one that is capable of supporting television. It will be useless to have a brand new state-of-the-art wireless router if our television does not support that technology.

Another aspect that influences the speed we receive from the wireless network resides in the location of the router. If it is very far away, if there are many obstacles in between, such as walls, if there are electrical appliances “polluting” the frequency spectrum … and so on for a long list of reasons that make it not the most stable type of connection in the world.

WiFi networks also depend on WiFi channels. In the case of being in a community with many neighbors, this connection may not perform as well as it should due to the saturation of the channels. Today’s routers are able to choose the best channel, but this does not always work perfectly.


The latest standards such as WPA3 offer many improvements at the security level, but cases of vulnerabilities that allow attacking these networks. Wireless networks suffer from these problems and, without going any further, the study published in May 2021 under the name of “Fragment and Forge: Breaking Wi-Fi Through Frame Aggregation and Fragmentation” shows that vulnerabilities that affect from WEP to WPA3.

Cable or WiFi: What is better to connect your Smart TV to the Internet? 1


Despite all the above, WiFi is much more convenient. It is enough to check that the signal reaches the device in question and proceed to the connection by entering the password that we have defined (or that we have defined by default in the router). No need to wire your house or figure out how to get a cable from the router to the TV. In some cases, due to range issues, we may need a WiFi repeater to boost the signal, but this investment will also be useful for mobile phones and other portable devices.

Advantages and disadvantages of using the network cable

Now that we know what we gain and lose using a WiFi wireless connection, we have to see what a network cable connected directly to the router offers us. In this case, we must have the television close enough to the router, choose to wire the house with ethernet cable or invest in a PLC system that carries the connection from one side of our home to the other through the use of the electrical network.

Speed ​​and stability

The cable always guarantees the maximum speed that the device is capable of “receiving” depending on its network card. The big problem with Smart TVs is that they have Fast Ethernet ports that support a maximum of 100 Mbps speed. This means that, although we have contracted 300 or 600 Mbps, television you will not be able to use more than 100 Mbps. Luckily, Gigabit Ethernet is being incorporated in the most current and cutting-edge models to avoid these types of drawbacks.


Beyond that speed problem due to the type of ports that manufacturers choose, cable is the most stable connection since it is not affected by as many factors as WiFi. It must be taken into account that the maximum range of these connections of about 100 meters, something that should not be inconvenient in a conventional home.


The security of an ethernet cable is the maximum possible since, unless the information from the router or the Smart TV is “accessed” while it travels through the cable, it’s (almost) impossible to hack. If we prioritize security above all else, the cable will be our ally and we will leave the WiFi for cases in which we have no other option, such as mobile phones.


If WiFi was the paradigm of comfort, cable can pose many more challenges for us. In case of having the router at the same point as the Smart TV, connecting by cable will have no mystery. However, if we have the router in one room and the television in another, we will already have to opt for other types of solutions that we have already briefly discussed.

ethernet Link Aggregation

The first would be to wire the house with network cable, taking this from one room to the other. This is not complicated if we have some basic notions of facilities, being able to take advantage of the existing ones at home for television. The second option is use a PLC placing a plug in the room where we have the router and the other next to the Smart TV.

However, connecting cable TV is much faster than doing it over WiFi. In general, simply connect the cable and everything will be configured automatically. In the case of the wireless connection, we will have to search for the WiFi network and enter the password, a tedious process with the remote control in case of having a long password.

Conclusion, which one to choose?

Reading all of the above, my conclusion is that you should always opt for cable when possible. However, it is also true that, in certain circumstances, WiFi can offer us great performance. If we only have cable available and it works fine, we won’t do anything. If we do not have cable and the WiFi is good, we will not make any decisions either.

But what if I have both options? Well, the best thing is to do a Speed ​​test of both technologies to check their performance. If the television is limited to Fast Ethernet, a quality WiFi connection may perform somewhat better. However, my personal recommendation is that, whenever we have the possibility, we connect the Smart TV by cable (applicable to all types of devices).

How to connect a Samsung Smart TV via cable or WiFi

If we want to connect a TV of Samsung we will access:

  1. Setting
  2. general
  3. Net
  4. Open network settings
  5. Wireless
  6. Select the preferred wireless network and enter the password

Connect Samsung

To connect by cable we will go to:

  1. Setting
  2. general
  3. Net
  4. Open network settings
  5. Cable

The manufacturer notes that “Your TV’s wired network connection is automatically configured when you connect it to a network that supports DHCP. The TV will try to connect to the network. A confirmation message will appear once the connection is established ”.

How to connect an LG Smart TV by cable or WiFi

The manufacturer offers us these instructions to connect your televisions to the Internet with webOS:

  1. Access the Settings menu of your TV.
  2. Enter the Network section. Here, among others, we can choose two options: by cable or by Wi-Fi.
  3. For cable, connect one end of the network cable to your internet router and the other to the network connection on the back of the TV (LAN or Ethernet). The device will automatically try to connect to the Internet and will show you the status of the connection with some icons.
  4. In the case of WiFi, the TV will automatically search for nearby Wi-Fi networks and will show you a list of those detected.
    1. Select our network
    2. We will enter the password and click on Connect.

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How to connect a Sony Smart TV via cable or WiFi

The instructions it indicates Sony to connect your TVs over the Internet are:

  1. Connect an Ethernet cable from the router to the local area network (LAN) jack on the back of the product.
  2. Press the HOME button on the remote control.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Network in the Network & Accessories category.
  5. Select Network Settings.
  6. Select Easy.
  7. Select Wired LAN and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.

In the case of wanting a WiFi connection, the instructions provided by the manufacturer are:

  1. Press the HOME button on the remote control.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Network.
  4. Select Network setup.
  5. Select Set up network connection or Wireless Setup.
  6. Select the connection method.
    1. When connecting automatically with the WPS button on your wireless router (or access point) Select Easy, Auto or WPS (push button).
    2. When connecting manually after selecting a network from the list of scanned wireless networks. Select Expert, Custom, or Scan.
  7. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.

How to connect a Xiaomi Smart TV by cable or WiFi

When using Android TV As an operating system, we can configure the WiFi connection at the time of the initial configuration. It will be enough to do the process with Google Assistant logging in with our Google account. In this way, the WiFi password is automatically shared. In case you want to do it a posteriori, we will follow these steps:

  1. Main menu
  2. Settings wheel top right
  3. Network and Internet

Cable or WiFi: What is better to connect your Smart TV to the Internet? 3

If you want a wired connection, simply connect the network cable and the television with Android TV will use this mode by default.

The post Cable or WiFi: What is better to connect your Smart TV to the Internet? appeared first on ADSLZone.