In Defense of Ethernet

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Bwog is a champion of the people. We save cats from trees, we give you free food, we defend the lowliest, saddest, most seemingly indefensible parts of our fair campus. We’ve tackled WienFamiglias, and the Freshman Fifteen. In response to a recent CUIT push for wireless to replace ethernet, Zoe Camp takes on the haters and gives you a reason to fight for the wire.

There’s something magical about the lovely clicking sound that lets you know your ethernet cable is hooked up to your computer. Wireless signals may come and go and be as speedy as Mail Services, but that click? It’s golden. It says, “I’ve got you connected, pal – at least until your knee nudges me out or you trip over me or something.”

While it’s laudable that the University wants to bring things into the 21st century and get rid of unnecessary technology that just wastes space (does anyone really use the room phone instead of their own?), getting rid of the ethernet jack is a whole different matter. Ethernet allows for a secure connection when wind gusts and other nasty stuff make wireless service spotty. The cable is like that one friend who may not be super cool or technologically savvy, but who still has your back if all your friends are busy or wasted and you just want to play Parcheesi and eat Cheez-its. He’ll never let you down.

Now, that’s not to say that this friend doesn’t have his flaws. Just like that one friend might have a nasty habit of forgetting to put on deodorant, the ethernet cable has a nasty habit of falling out of the jack – in fact, you could get CAVAed off a drinking game where you take a shot every time the cable slips out. Cords create death-zones where they lie, and nobody wants to trip in the middle of the night en route to the bathroom. While ethernet cords are certainly reliable, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of wireless internet – no fumbling and cords keep you between you and your beloved Bwog.

Is ethernet really worth ditching altogether? We may depend on wireless in our day-to-day routine, whether checking Facebook in class or lounging in bed watching Megavideo. But for times when you’re tired of waiting for the connection to come back, or the time it takes to load Courseworks seems to exceed the time it takes for you to do your homework, it’s nice to have that lovably dopey but oh-so-dependable pal around – your friendly neighborhood ethernet cable.

Lovable cable via Wikimedia.

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  1. Anonymous  

    what, the wireless in my room is horrible. i am mad in defense of ethernet.

    i mean, that, or stealing my floormates' wifi. that works too.

  2. I'd be lying  

    if I said it didn't bother me that Bwog doesn't know the difference between \lie\ and \lay.\

    Good article, though.

  3. Anonymous  

    The wifi in McBain is twice as fast as the ethernet according to speedtest.net, and I've never had connection troubles on my mac.

    The reason I want ethernet is so that I can hook up my own router.

  4. Power User  

    I've actually hacked my desk to allow me to fit my laptop inside my keyboard. I keep it there in clamshell mode and connect it to an external monitor and keyboard/mouse. Without ethernet connected, there's no way the Wifi would provide adequate signal. Anyone else run into the same problem?

  5. Speedtests  

    Wireless - 90+ Mbps down
    Ethernet - ~20 Mbps down

    so yeah.

  6. good thing

    barnard loves us enough to give us fast and working wireless

  7. also wtf

    my reCaptcha security code was just some letters to the (-1) power

  8. This article is  

    just silly. You aren't 'losing' ethernet, you're mainly gaining wireless. You can still be the idiotic nostalgic one who plugs in or only use it if and when wireless fails.
    The wireless they installed is awesome, I've never had speed issues with it ever.

  9. McNulty  

    the only thing that redeems this article is that one of the tags is a quote from The Wire.

    a man must have a code.

  10. Mike  

    This post is fucking stupid. Weather isn't going to affect the wireless if the routers are sitting in the hallway outside your dorm. The routers (read: those big octopus-looking things on the walls) are hooked up to the same "ethernet" that the jacks in our rooms are connected to. We're not going to "ditch" wireless. The cable has already been run in every building, and disabling the jacks or removing them would just undo work that has been done. Only Columbia students would invent something this ridiculous (and totally unlikely) just to have something to bitch about. Come on, Bwog. Ethernet isn't going anywhere, and you don't know jack about technology. We love you anyway, but let's call a spade a spade here.

  11. Firesheep

    I can't wait until the SEAS kids starts lifting session information from the unsecure Facebook connections that are shared over a single wireless connection.

  12. Anonymous  

    wind gusts affecting wi-fi? what do you think they will blow your internets out of reach? mindless!

  13. Anonymous  

    concerning barnard wireless -

    the availability in academic buildings (i.e. milbank) is variable because each academic department has control over whether or not wireless is provided in a given room or floor.

    in residential buildings, coverage is universal (save for the unfortunate souls in 110 and cg who are at the mercy of time warner) and the most common problem is with individual computers having incorrect settings; not the network itself.

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