In computing terminology, the term "wired" is used to differentiate between wireless connections and those that involve cables. While wireless devices communicate over the air, a wired setup uses physical cables to transfer data between different devices and computer systems.
A wired network is a common type of wired configuration. Most wired networks use Ethernet cables to transfer data between connected PCs. In a small wired network, a single router may be used to connect all the computers. Larger networks often involve multiple routers or switches that connect to each other. One of these devices typically connects to a cable modem, T1 line, or other type of Internet connection that provides Internet access to all devices connected to the network.
Wired may refer to peripheral devices as well. Since many keyboards and mice are now wireless, "wired" is often used to describe input devices that connect to a USB port. Peripherals such as monitors and external hard drives also use cables, but they are rarely called wired devices since wireless options are generally not available.
While many peripherals are now wireless, some users still prefer wired devices, since they have a few benefits over their wireless counterparts. For example, an Ethernet connection is not prone to signal interference that can slow down Wi-Fi connections. Additionally, wired network connections are often faster than wireless ones, which allows for faster data transfer rates. Some users also prefer wired peripherals since their is no need to replace batteries on a regular basis. Gamers especially prefer wired keyboards and mice since they have lower latency and can be backlit, thanks to the power provided by the USB connection.
Updated: March 12, 2016