Differences Between Broadband and Wifi

You will often hear the terms broadband, WiFi and even mobile broadband are used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between these. Broadband and WiFi are not the same things, though they are frequently confused. So what are the differences between broadband and wifi?

There are several significant differences between broadband and WiFi, for this article we take a look at what they both are and why they are usually confused.

Let us start by briefly looking at what each of these technologies is.

Broadband is a type of internet connection that is always on and fast, while WiFi is a wireless networking technology that allows devices to connect to the internet. Broadband can be used with or without WiFi. However, you will always need some sort of internet connection to use WiFi.

What is a Broadband Connection?

Broadband and WiFi are usually confused because they are both terms used when you want to access the internet. With most of us connecting to the internet via a device, we will typically do this via WiFi.

The confusion usually begins here. While you are connecting your device to Wifi. Access to the internet is still supplied through your broadband connection.

So what is broadband? Broadband is a term used to describe high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than what you would get with a dial-up connection back in the day. A broadband connection allows you to do things like stream video, download music, and surf the internet at high speeds.

How does broadband work? 

Broadband works by using copper wire, fibre optic cable or 5G to carry data from your computer to your ISP (internet service provider). This data is then sent and received over the internet at high speeds.

What is WiFi? 

WiFi, short for wireless fidelity, is a type of wireless connection that allows you to connect to the internet without having to plug in any cables. Unlike a wired connection like an ethernet (network) cable, WiFi uses radio waves to transmit data from your computer to an access point or router and then onto the internet.

How Does Wifi Work?

We have produced a more in-depth article on how WiFi works. At its core, Wifi is a radio wave technology that uses specific frequencies to transmit data over short distances. 

These waves are transmitted by routers, which act as gateways between connected devices and the wider internet. When a device connects to a router, it creates something called an “authentication handshake,” which determines how data will be sent and received by both devices.

So what’s the difference between broadband and WiFi? 

Broadband provides is the connection to your home to the wider internet, and will be through an internet service provider (ISP) such as BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media etc. While WiFi is the technology used to connect your device(s) to your internet connection through your broadband router.

Wifi has become the preferred way to connect your devices as it provides a fast wireless option that allows you to connect to the internet without being physically connected via cable. 

Mobile Broadband – What is the Difference?

Again WiFi and mobile broadband are two different technologies for delivering internet access to your devices. With WiFi, this relies on a local network connection, and ultimately a connection to the internet. While mobile broadband uses mobile networks to transmit data. 

The key difference between WiFi and mobile broadband is how they transmit data. With WiFi, your device connects directly to a wireless router or hotspot to send and receive information. In contrast, mobile broadband utilizes cellular networks like LTE, 3G, and 4G to connect your device to the internet.

Depending on your needs and budget, one of these technologies may be a better fit for you than the other.

If you need fast and reliable internet access for your devices, then mobile broadband may be the best option for you. However, if you primarily use the internet at home or in an office setting where there is a stable local network connection available, then WiFi may be a better choice. Ultimately, the right technology will depend on your unique needs and budget preferences.

Is broadband the same as WiFi – Conclusion

Hopefully, you will now have a better understanding of what broadband and WiFi is. Ultimately that broadband and WiFi are not the same things. 

The two technologies are often confused because they are both terms used when people access the internet. However, they are not interchangeable.

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