WiFi or Cable – that is the question

Hi Folks,

Wifi or Cable – and I already know the answer: “do not ever even think about connecting your homeassistant server to wifi, always use the cable”

But why? One argument I have seen here is: “because it is a server”

I sure understand if it is just picking one, I would pick the cable just because I believe it is better. Unfortunately in real life there are also other aspects which make this choice harder. All the other you can argue about but in the end of the list might be wife factor ….

So what do you consider as wifi? Might be a stupid question but I ask it anyway. I have two homeassistant instances one in countryside another one in town. I happened to pick TP-Link Deco M5 mesh network to both location – all together 10 units. I am basically pleased with them. Later on I realized this bad feature with them -> when you lose wan connection the LAN cable port in main Deco loses the Lan connection. So if internet goes down my homeassistant server loses the control for instance to wifi switch which takes care of heating …

In my countryside location my homeassistant server is not connected to main Deco. It is connected with the cable to a slave Deco unit which is connected with wifi to the main Deco. It does not lose lan when internet goes down and it still controls for example heating. So the question is – is that arrangement considered as wifi connection? It works very well. What happens if I switch that cable to wifi connection directly on my server (NUC)?

In town my server (NUC) is connected with the cable to the main Deco. Internet is very stable here, but still I would change it to wifi, if I knew it is not a disaster.

So I understand cable is more stable. But is it really so bad thing to connect the server to wifi directly. And if it is why – “because it is a server” is not answer I am looking for.

so what would be an answer that would be satisfying then?

This question is not easy to answer and there is no right or wrong here. just keep in mind:

  1. A cable is YOURS.
  2. WiFi is “OURS”.

What is meant with that? The wireless spectrum is shared with/among other devices. Not only WiFi, baby monitors, Bluetooth, Zigbee, microwaves, etc (2.4G). For 5G it could be better but same applies.

If you take a look at the OSI model (7 layers) and you take a cable vs WiFi. The Layer 3 takes care of problems on Layers 1 & 2. (the cable/WiFi/MAC layer).

But the problem is that the error level or possibility to happen on the WiFi medium is FAR MORE BIGGER than the cable one. Remember, the cable is YOURS, the WiFi is SHARED.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Thus it’s up to you to decide to use a cable or WiFi

Sidenote: there are a lot of other factors to take into account (joining Wifi, DHCP, etc., etc.)

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Thanks for a quick response!

So do I understand correctly that my countryside location is considered as wifi even connected with cable to the slave Deco unit. That arrangement has worked there around 8 months and I have not seen that been a problem …

And like I said in my situation, I lose totally the connection to lan when internet goes down. So which one is worse?

So what is your exact question? If it works for you (away from the big city with a lot of interference) than why bother?

Thanks! Exactly, that’s what I thought also but I was not sure …