difference between Wi-Fi and cellular internet

Difference Between Wi-Fi and Cellular Internet – Everything You Need to Know


You have two basic options to connect to the internet when using a mobile device: Wi-Fi and cellular data.

Indeed, Wi-Fi and cellular internet allow you to stream, browse, play games, and much more. But both are not the same concerning their technology, connectivity, convenience, security, and freedoms.

Cellular internet supplies you with connectivity wherever you go within the range of mobile towers. But it also has specific limitations that do not exist connecting with Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi internet provides you with more robust connectivity than cellular internet. However, it would help if you stayed within the range of the Wi-Fi router, which may never be more than 300 feet.

In other words, Wi-Fi is a practical internet option that allows heavy internet consumption without any limit while staying in a closed area.

And cellular internet offers you the freedom of simple internet consumption while moving anywhere in the city within a data cap.

Here, you’ll know the difference between Wi-Fi, cellular internet, and everything related.


1. Wi-Fi Connects to a Router, and Cellular Data Does Not

To understand the connectivity of Wi-Fi and cellular, you must know what cellular data or mobile data and Wi-Fi Data are?

Cellular data is the internet bandwidth allowed to you by your mobile service provider. The bandwidth comes in data bundles of 1GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, and more. Also, you must consume your data bundle within a specific period, such as one day, week, or month.

Wi-Fi data is the internet bandwidth provided by an internet router, which generally has no limit. You can use as much internet as you want without any cap.

Wi-Fi and cellular internet have different technologies to provide you with internet connectivity.

Cellular internet connects you with the mobile tower using 3G, VoLTe, or 5G coverage, and you don’t need any extra device for connectivity.

Wi-Fi provides you with internet by connecting your device to a router, which connects you with a landline internet service provider or wireless internet connection. Also, Wi-Fi uses radio waves to provide you with more vital internet connectivity.

2. How to Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist?

Your mobile provides you with the internet through Wi-Fi by default if both Wi-Fi and mobile data connections are available.

Yet, if your Wi-Fi signals are weak and you need to use mobile data, you must turn off Wi-Fi Assist. Also, you must turn on your mobile data.

Here are the steps.

  • Settings > Mobile Data > Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist

After that, your device will use only mobile data.

Remember, if you are outside your house and still have Wi-Fi connections, it’s better to turn off Wi-Fi assist.

Otherwise, your device will connect with poor free Wi-Fi connections and stops you from using high-speed mobile data.

3. How Do I Turn Off Wi-Fi on a Phone?

If you want to use mobile data specifically or don’t want to use a Wi-Fi connection for any reason, you can turn Wi-Fi off on your device.

Turning Wi-Fi off will also save you unnecessary notifications that may waste time and destroy your focus and concentration.

Here are the steps.

  • Settings > Network & internet > Internet > Turn Off Wi-Fi

Now, your device will not connect to Wi-Fi. Yet, if you still want to use the internet, turn on mobile data.

Remember, mobile data is always more expensive than Wi-Fi, and you cannot do heavy internet consumption.

Now, do you have an idea about what Wi-Fi and cellular

4. Where Do You Use Wi-Fi and Why?

Here are situations where it’s better you use Wi-Fi.

  • When you need to use a secure internet network connection
  • When you require a speedy internet connection for heavy internet consumption
  • You should Wi-Fi when you find a strong Wi-Fi signal
  • Use Wi-Fi when you are traveling outside of your country (International traveling)
  • You need to upload heavy data or stream a video
  • When you have a limited internet bandwidth on your mobile data

Here are details you should know about Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Coverage and Range

If you connect to Wi-Fi and still get slower internet, your Wi-Fi coverage is poor. Also, you must come within range of Wi-Fi for speedy internet.

Generally, Wi-Fi routers operating at 2.4 GHz cover 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors.

Older Wi-Fi routers operating at 5.0 GHz can cover 50 feet indoors and 100 feet outdoors.

Newer Wi-Fi routers of models 802.11 n and 802.11 ac operating at 2.4 to 5.0 GHz bands can cover distances over 200 feet indoors and 400 feet outdoors.

The strength of Wi-Fi signals weakens due to the type of building and structure of the building. If there are more obstacles, such as walls, windows, and stairs, reception can become lower as you go further away from the router.

You can also increase the range of your Wi-Fi router by using Wi-Fi extender devices.

Network Congestion

Network congestion is slowing down of internet due to too much traffic. It happens due to too many users on the Wi-Fi network or heavy internet consumption by the users.

You can identify network congestion by bandwidth issues, latency, jitter, packet retransmission, and packet collisions.

The leading causes of network congestion are unneeded traffic, misconfigured traffic, and critical traffic.

Generally, a home Wi-Fi router can handle around ten devices without congestion. And a public Wi-Fi router can take 30 to 250 machines.

Wi-Fi Speed

Wi-Fi speed depends upon the model and type of your router. Here’s a general overview.

  • 11g routers come with 54 Mbps theoretical speed, but you get around 5.5 Mbps actual speed
  • 11n routers come with 600 Mbps theoretical speed, but you get around 100 Mbps actual speed
  • 11ac routers come with 1300 Mbps theoretical speed, but you get around 200 Mbps actual speed
  • 11ax routers come with 10 Gbps theoretical speed, but you get around 2 Gbps actual speed

You get speedy internet near the Wi-Fi router, and Wi-Fi speed slows down when you move away from the router.

If you want good Wi-Fi speed throughout your house, you can use Wi-Fi extenders and Wi-Fi Mesh systems.

Amount of Data

Your data usage through Wi-Fi depends upon the internet service provider’s data cap.

You have no limitations if a Wi-Fi router connects with an internet provider that gives unlimited data.

On the other hand, if a Wi-Fi router connects with an internet provider with a data cap, you can use a limited amount of data.

Most public, business, and home internet providers have high data caps. As a result, you might never have to see any limitation on your data usage. Yet, you can limit Wi-Fi data usage using settings and control your Wi-Fi router.

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi:

Pros of WiFi:

  1. You can connect various devices using Wi-Fi, such as mobiles, laptops, tablets, PCs, cameras, and appliances.
  2. Wi-Fi provides you with faster internet connectivity.
  3. Wi-Fi internet is cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about data caps.
  4. You can save money while traveling internationally using Wi-Fi connections.
  5. Wi-Fi is always faster than cellular internet.
  6. Wi-Fi does not drain your battery as much as cellular internet does.

Cons of WiFi:

  1. You need a router
  2. Without a network, you cannot access Wi-Fi
  3. You have a limited range where Wi-Fi signals provide you with reception
  4. Your privacy is lower and at risk when you use Wi-Fi

Here’s a review of 22 Wi-Fi calling apps.


1. Where and When You Need Cellular Internet? (On the Go)

Wi-Fi allows you to connect to the internet using a router. Whereas your mobile data provides you with the internet anywhere.

So, if you are away from home and don’t have access to a public Wi-Fi internet connection, you must use cellular internet.

Use cellular internet when:

  • Slow public Wi-Fi is available
  • Insecure Wi-Fi connections are available
  • Your Wi-Fi connection is slow
  • You are traveling inside your home country
  • Your cellular data plan is unlimited

2. How Do I Turn On Cellular Data?

It’s better to turn on cellular data before going outside the house. So, you remain connected and find the required notifications and messages instantly.

Here are ways to turn on cellular data on Android.

  • Go to Quick Panel
  • Press the Mobile Data icon

The second way is below:

  • Go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Activate Mobile Data

Here’s how you can turn on cellular data on Apple iPhone.

  • Open Settings > Cellular > Turn on Cellular Data Switch

3. Why Would You Need Cellular Internet?

Yes, Wi-Fi is a practical and economical option for internet connectivity. But when you combine it with cellular internet, you have internet connectivity 24/7 and almost anywhere within urban, semi-urban, and most rural areas.

Yet, you may still get cellular internet reception in the remotest of areas due to the infrastructure of mobile service providers.

Here’s why you need cellular internet.

  • You increase your productivity and efficiency using cellular internet.
  • Cellular internet provides access to the digital world and makes you available for communication on the go.
  • You have the flexibility to move anywhere while still being able to perform your digital chores.
  • Cellular internet offers you new opportunities, such as online business on the go using digital apps, especially stock trading.
  • The transmission speed of cellular internet allows you to do simple internet consumption without delays and halts.
  • Cellular internet provides a secure connection because every packet transmission will be encrypted.

Mobile Data is Expensive

With Wi-Fi internet, you don’t have to worry about how much data you consume. However, it’s not the case with the cellular internet.

Worldwide, 1 GB of mobile data costs from $ 0.5 to $20. And if you are consuming data on your Wi-Fi connection, your mobile bill will create economic hardships. So, it becomes necessary to slash your bill by keeping your mobile data usage low.

On average, if you use social media, streaming, and causal browsing, you may consume around 12 GB monthly. Yet, if you do heavy internet consumption and downloading, you may consume over 30 GB monthly.

Mobile data is expensive due to the following reasons.

  • Mobile service providers have to pay spectrum licensing costs.
  • Infrastructure cost is high, and maintenance also requires recurring costs.
  • Mobile service providers have to pay technology patent royalties.
  • Cellular data technology requires regular updates, and mobile service providers must pay for it regularly.

Coverage Area

Mobile services providers deliver cellular data to your device using mobile towers.

A typical tower covers around 25 miles, theoretically. In reality, the coverage of a mobile building ranges from 0.5 to less than 25 miles. Such a decrease in coverage happens due to obstacles, unequal terrain, and hidden factors.

That’s why mobile service providers install many towers in a city to cover every area and improve mobile reception. As a result, cellular internet is available throughout cities with good reception.

However, when you go outside the city, signals become significantly weaker. Yet, you can still do simple internet consumption.

Network Congestion

Network congestion on cellular internet is the reduced quality of the internet service due to too many users on the network.

Sometimes, it can be a problem, and it hinders you from doing many activities on your mobile device, such as live streaming, downloading, uploading, and more.

Network congestion is a problem throughout mobile service providers during peak hours, between 7 to 11 P.M.

Speed of Cellphone Data

The mobile data speed depends upon the distance from the mobile tower, cellular internet technology, and the number of obstacles.

Experimentally, cellular internet has reached the data speed of 12.5 Mbps on a standard mobile device.

Also, 4G is faster than LTE, and 5 G is more rapid than 4G. LTE offers 100 Mbps, and 4G offers 1000 Mbps, theoretically.

In reality, you’ll find a range of connectivity, from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps, depending on your point of reception.

4G & 5G

4G and 5 G are cellular network connectivity technologies that enable data reception on your mobile devices.

It offers 1000 Mbps downloading speed, and 5G delivers 10 Gbps. 5G provides you with 100 times more speed than 4G.

Pros and Cons of Cellular Internet

Pros of Cellular Network:

  1. Wireless internet connectivity
  2. No router is required to make the internet connection
  3. You can connect almost anywhere
  4. Your privacy is protected

Cons of Cellular Network:

  • You can connect only using mobile devices
  • Cellular data plans are expensive
  • You have to manage your internet consumption
  • You have to buy a cellular data plan
  • Connectivity is available only within the range of mobile tower

Similarities and Differences Between Wi-Fi and Cellular Internet

Here’s the comparison:

  1. Cellular internet provides access using different wireless technologies through mobile towers. And Wi-Fi grants you internet access using radio waves through an internet router that connects with an internet service provider.
  2. Wi-Fi does not have a limit on your data consumption, but cellular internet has data plans that limit your internet consumption.
  3. Cellular internet connects you within the range of mobile service towers that span miles. And Wi-Fi connects you within the scope of a Wi-Fi router that is a maximum of 300 feet. (Yes, you can increase the Wi-Fi range using other devices.)
  4. Wi-Fi needs a router to connect you to the internet network. But cellular internet does not require a router.
  5. Cellular internet is stable and reliable. Also, speed does rarely change due to an increase in the number of users on the network. On the other hand, Wi-Fi’s speed decreases with an increase in the number of users on the web.
  6. The speed of cellular and Wi-Fi internet is almost the same nowadays due to improvements in cellular connectivity technologies.
  7. Cellular internet works on encrypted data. That’s why it is more secure than Wi-Fi networks.

Use Data or Wi-Fi for a Secure Connection?

Wi-Fi and mobile data are both practical options for internet connectivity, but when it comes to security, mobile data is better.

Mobile data protects you by an additional layer of security, encryption. Packet transmission from your device to the mobile tower is encrypted, and data theft is nearly impossible.

That’s why it’s better to use mobile data for sensitive information and activities rather than Wi-Fi internet.

To add a layer of security while connecting with a Wi-Fi connection, use security software and a firewall.

The Future is 5G

The next generation of telecommunication and connectivity is 5G. It’s 100 times faster than previous connectivity technologies and will transform every industry. Also, 5G has low latency, and it can handle the Internet of Things in real-time, and the transmission of heavy data is in fractions of a second.

Talk Home will launch 5G soon, and you’ll have a downloading speed of 10Gbps. It means everything will be superfast on the mobile device you have never experienced yet.

So, switch your SIM to Talk Home and enjoy excellent benefits and plans at the best rates, along with free EU roaming.

You may also like

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published.