Using wireless WIFI or wired ethernet for JackTrip?

What is your experience using wireless internet (WIFI) for JackTrip? Please share! Let us know your location and ISP, and quality of the sound, latency, and connection stability.

Personally, I only trust a wired ethernet connection, have had extreme difficulty using wireless internet (WIFI).

In sessions with others using WIFI, their audio can sound wildly different from the original and often undesirable. The connection is usually pretty strong and fast, but with the latency fluctuations (jitter) inherent in WIFI, a strong fast connection is moot, as there can still be dropouts and unintended changes in the timbre and tempo.

One day, perhaps WIFI will be better for JackTrip and be as good as ethernet. But not today!

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My feeling is that wired is best, but wifi is typically good enough for some use cases such as meetings, music lessons, podcasts, etc.

IMHO the biggest issue with wifi is that it varies SO much. It depends on things like:

  • the access point you are using
  • the interface you have in your computer
  • how far away you are from the access point
  • how many other people are using it
  • how many other wireless signals are nearby (interference)

I use it often myself, because I’m a networking specialist and have been able to invest into a state-of-the-art wireless network at my home. But very few people are able to do that today.

And even when you can, it’s still not as good as ethernet:

  • You will have higher latency, at least 5ms but can often be much higher
  • You will have high jitter and dropouts (static, glitches, etc), sometimes for multiple seconds at a time

Loss concealment in JackTrip does wonders for the latter, but this has to be enabled on both ends to realize the full benefits. Currently we’re only enabling it on studios because the client side support is flaky; however, I believe this will be solved in 1.9.0 (coming soon).

The only way to get the best latency is plugging in. This isn’t going to change any time soon; however, wifi will get better over time. The latest standards (6e, 7 and beyond) are making huge strides, so in 5-10+ years, as people upgrade their computers and wifi access points to new ones that adopt them, both latency and jitter will continue to improve. Eventually I believe the gap will be so narrow that it will not make a big difference for most people.