Does an Ethernet splitter slow down speed?

5 min

This post summarises detailed information about ethernet splitter, their speed, and different FAQ to help you choose the best hardware.

Switches, hubs, and ethernet splitters are just some of the networking equipment that helps to expand a network. Small ethernet splitters are the most basic of these devices. Ethernet splitters are small network devices that split one Ethernet signal into two. They are cost-effective while being easier to use. These are also some of the simplest networking devices, as they don’t need a power source and don’t have specific buttons or status LEDs on their bodies. There are just three ethernet ports on this tiny gadget, two on one side and one on the other. A short ethernet cable with an RJ45 connection on one end and two ethernet ports on the other is included with some kinds.

Although splitters have been around for a long time in the networking world, many people still don’t know how to utilize them efficiently. Contrary to popular belief, ethernet splitters should always be purchased in pairs. Directly attaching one end of the splitter to the router and then connecting two devices to the splitter’s two ethernet ports on the other side will not work. There is a correct technique to set up ethernet splitters in a network to function correctly.

How to do a Basic Setup using Ethernet Splitter

Ethernet splitters are handy for connecting two devices located in different rooms from the primary signal source. In most situations, they assist in conserving wires and network wall outlets and provide dependable connections. Ethernet splitters are sold in pairs, as previously stated. One splitter combines two signals from a device (usually the router), while the other separates the signals into two channels, allowing two devices to communicate.

You have a router in Room A and two PCs in Room B, but each room has just one ethernet wall jack. In this scenario, you’ll need one splitter, two cables connected to the router, the other end of the wires connected to the splitter, and one end of the splitter connected to the wall jack in Room A. This is where the router’s two signals are combined into one. Next, connect the side with one port to Room B’s wall jack via the other splitter. The combined signal from Room A will now be split into two, giving you two ethernet ports for the two devices in Room B.

The advantage of the splitter is it can significantly reduce the number of wall ports and cables you may require for your setup. It helps you to avoid “cable hell” because it reduces your required ports/cable by a factor of 2.

sample diagram using ethernet splitter
sample diagram using ethernet splitter

Does an Ethernet splitter slow down speed?

Will my network connection become slow? This is one of the common questions that may arise in your mind. Well, the answer depends on the type of network you have. Ideally, splitters are of BASE-T standard, aka Fast Ethernet. And they support up to Mbps speed.

To answer, no, the splitters will not slow down the connection if utilized in a 100Mbps network. However, if your router can deliver 1Gbps and you put a splitter in the middle, the bandwidth will be limited to 100Mbps. The splitters did restrict the speed in this case, and the connection will be slower.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethernet Splitters

Ethernet splitters can be helpful in some situations, but they also have several disadvantages. For starters, each ethernet port can only give a maximum speed of 100Mbps. Due to this limitation, resources in a network capable of providing more than 100Mbps will not be properly optimized. Furthermore, because the number of devices you may connect to is limited to just two, ethernet splitters are not the most greatest option if you have more than two devices connected.

Furthermore, if your router has one remaining ethernet port, using the splitters would be impractical; some sacrifices must be made. Furthermore, even though they reduce the number of cables required to join two networks, the arrangement still requires two splitters to function.

Ethernet splitters, on the other hand, have a few advantages. They are much less expensive than conventional networking devices and do not require a complex setup. Unlike other network devices, they also don’t need any software or configuration. In residential networks with fewer devices connected, such as a maximum of two devices in one room, Ethernet splitters are an excellent choice. Ethernet splitters are the greatest option if you only need a 100Mbps connection and only have two devices to connect.

Ethernet splitters have been around for a long time, but as simple as they are, there isn’t much that can be done to improve them. They’re still based on the outdated Fast Ethernet standard, which may or may not be as relevant in today’s demand for higher speeds. Even if they have their advantages, they aren’t a realistic solution in most circumstances. With today’s technical advancements, the future of ethernet splitters remains bright. A genius may be able to raise it to a Gigabit Ethernet standard.

Now that you get some idea about Ethernet Splitters, here are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you split an Ethernet cable into two devices?

This is conceivable if you want to split an Ethernet wire across two devices. This will, however, necessitate the acquisition of an Ethernet cable sharing splitter kit. A splitter kit allows multiple devices to use the same Ethernet cable simultaneously. If you want to connect a PC and a laptop to the same cable or a PC and a game console, this is a good option.

An Ethernet cable will outperform any other sort of connection when it comes to connection speeds. When you require quick connectivity for activities like gaming, an Ethernet cable is always the best option.

It’s worth mentioning that you can’t connect two devices with a single Ethernet cable because they’re only designed for one, which is why you’ll need an Ethernet cable splitter. It attaches to an existing Ethernet wire and provides a connection between two devices.

How do I connect two devices to one Ethernet port?

Two devices can be connected to a single Ethernet port. However, as previously stated, you will require the usage of a cable-sharing kit. This is because each Ethernet connection is dedicated to a single device.

With an Ethernet cable sharing kit, you may connect many devices to a single Ethernet port, which is very handy for your home network. It’s beneficial if you’re throwing a LAN party and have a few Ethernet connections available.

It’s also worth mentioning that you could have more than one Ethernet port accessible. If this is the case, using one port for each device is always the best option. When this isn’t possible, a cable sharing kit or splitter is an excellent backup alternative.

What’s the difference between an Ethernet splitter and a switch?

An Ethernet splitter and a switch perform similar functions but are fundamentally distinct. An Ethernet splitter allows two independent connections to be made over the same Ethernet cable. It does, however, limit you to two connections. If you want to connect one additional device to the Ethernet connection, this is a good option. However, it is not compatible with any other devices.

If you want to connect many devices to a single Ethernet connection, you’ll need to buy an Ethernet switch. These are similar to Ethernet splitters, except they allow for connecting more than two devices. This is especially handy if you have a lot of devices to connect but only a few Ethernet ports, such as if you’re having a LAN party.

While they support stacking, it’s worth remembering that they’ll also require power. Another difference between them and a basic Ethernet splitter is that they do not require any electricity and may be attached directly to the Ethernet port.

Do I need an Ethernet switch or splitter?

The number of devices you want to connect will determine whether you need an Ethernet switch or a splitter. You can use an Ethernet splitter if you need to connect two devices and don’t want to utilize a power source.

On the other hand, an Ethernet switch is an ideal solution if you need to connect several devices. It allows you to connect several devices to a single Ethernet port, but it requires electricity.

I hope this guide helps you to get an idea about ethernet splitters and how to use them. You can buy them at any online store at low prices. However, if you need a speed of more than a hundred Mbps, you might need to set up wiring for your network. This post is part of our hardware guides.

Featured Photo by Jainath Ponnala on Unsplash


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