• Although both WiFi and 4G/5G internet allow you to connect your mobile devices online, there’s still a slight difference in how these two work. 
  • Although both WiFi and 4G/5G internet allow you to connect your mobile devices online, there’s still a slight difference in how these two work. 
  • A 4G/5G connection gets its signals from mobile phone towers to your device. For a device to connect to 4G/5G, it needs to be a part of a mobile phone account.

Although both WiFi and 4G/5G internet allow you to connect your mobile devices online, there’s still a slight difference in how these two work. 

 

WiFi is the radio signal transmitted from your router to your computer, smartphone, and other devices like smart TVs, speakers, and fridges. On the other hand, a 4G/5G connection gets its signals from mobile phone towers to your device. For a device to connect to 4G/5G, it needs to be a part of a mobile phone account. Thus, it is often referred to as ‘mobile internet’ and can work even while travelling.

 

As we enter the era of 5G, which promises faster speed and on-the-go connectivity, the big question is should you still hang on to your WiFi plan? Let’s take a look at the differences between the two in this quick guide and how they can end up working together to improve your wireless network.

In this guide, you will find:



The Evolution of Wifi

 

WiFi was first introduced to consumers in 1997 when The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) formed the 802.11 committee, which is tasked to develop standards for wireless local area networks (WLANs). 

 

The IEEE802.11 established the basic specification for WiFi in June 1997, which allows two megabytes per second of data transfer wirelessly between devices. In 1999, WiFi was made available for home use.

 

The first mobile phone with Internet connectivity was the Nokia 9000 Communicator. It was launched in Finland in 1996. However, internet access was still limited then as operators charge very high prices for such service. In 1999, NTT DoCoMo launched i-Mode in Japan, which is considered the birth of mobile phone Internet services.

 

The first wireless Internet access became available in 1991 as part of the second generation (2G) of mobile phone technology. Higher speeds became available from 2001 to 2006 as part of the third (3G) and fourth (4G) generations.

 

“G” stands for Generation. The birth of 3G technology paved the way for fast internet connectivity through smartphone devices.  But it was 4G that boosted mobile internet capability to soar higher.  With 4G, users can now download apps and games, and streaming videos in HD became a seamless experience. 

 

5G is the latest mobile internet technology where users can expect faster speed and high reliability with low latency.  As 4G LTE is only capable of using low-frequency bands, operating up to 6GHz, 5G can handle radio bands between 30GHz and 300GHz.  

 

Operating at high frequency, there is a vast increase in speed and support for massive data transfers.  On top of that, these radio frequencies will not be crowded, freeing 5G from bandwidth. 

 

Unlike 4G and 5G, WiFi is connected to a broadband network modem via router and may be connected to any device within the location. Depending on the location, a 4G/5G connection is faster compared to WiFi. But the good news is that WiFi towers are being built to cover bigger locations and may soon replace fibre optics and other types of internet connections.

 

4G vs 5G

 

Let’s look at the difference between 4G and 5G.

 

SPEED - In terms of speed, 5G can be 20 times faster than 4G.  4G has a peak speed of 1GB per second, whereas 5G can achieve up to 20GB per second. 

 

BANDWIDTH – Since the 4G network is already crowded, you will find yourself competing for bandwidth which slows the network.  However, 5G can handle up to a million devices per square kilometre.  So you won’t have to worry about dropped connections or slowdown of your network.

 

So yes, 5G is indeed an upgraded version of 4G, and if your mobile device is compatible, you might want to think about switching to 5G and enjoy the perks already.



WiFi vs 5G

 

So the question remains, should you just stick to 5G and discontinue using your home WiFi? Will 5G replace WiFi? The quick answer is no. In fact, you may want to have both. In everyday life, most of us rely on a Wi-Fi network at home or in the office — or in coffee shops — and mobile networks when we step out the front door and move out of range of the router. 

 

Most likely, the two technologies will likely coexist for some time as network rollouts progress and the development of IT infrastructures. In rural areas, 5G may help address many of the pain points of WiFi deployments.

 

WiFi will always be put in competition with 5G. But it seems like we’ll end up needing both technologies to achieve optimal connectivity and capability. No doubt, 5G provides convenience in many situations. However, WiFi is still reliable, especially for home connectivity.

 

Like mobile internet, home WiFi technology is still being developed and updated. The new WiFi 6 standard offers faster speed and is designed to cater to the growing number of internet-connected wireless devices in an average home. Theoretically, maximum WiFi 6 speeds top out at around 9.6Gbps. 

Looking for a Reliable Home WiFi Connection?

 

We’ve reviewed and analysed hundreds of home WiFi plans from different providers to help you find the best internet service for your needs. So call us today for a quick consultation or use our comparison tool!