Is 4 G Mobile Internet Service Better than WiFi?

Is 4 G Mobile Internet Service Better than WiFi?

Article by Laura Williamson

If you currently rely on WiFi for wireless access to the Internet at home or on the go, you may be wondering what the big deal is about the new fourth generation wireless Internet technology. Is 4G or WiMAX network service really better than WiFi, and if so, what are its advantages?

Tech experts are using all sorts of interesting analogies to describe comparisons between WiFi and WiMAX. Some say, there’s no point in comparing them at all, or it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both have their strengths and weaknesses as individual technologies, but there’s little point in comparing two very different types of technology.

The problem with this analogy is that it doesn’t seem to make sense to the average consumer. Both technologies involve wireless Internet access, so how can it be they’re like two entirely different types of fruit?

In order to understand the differences between WiFi and WiMAX to make a reasonable comparison, it helps to look at capabilities. What can you actually do with each type of Internet connection, and what are their limitations?

If you’ve been using WiFi, you know it allows you to go online anywhere within range of a hotspot. You may have a wireless router at home that allows all family members to access the Internet on a wireless connection anywhere in the home. Reliability and speed seem fine. The same is true when you head out to the local coffee shop or go to work where you rely on a WiFi connection to go online.

WiMAX mobile wireless Internet can allow you to do everything you do with WiFi for the most part, but with additional capabilities. When you’ve signed up for fourth gen Internet service and you have a mobile modem, you can access the Internet anywhere within your huge network range.

4G networks cover large geographical areas, not just one home, one office or one coffee shop. You can go online in the park, on the bus, at home and at work. You aren’t limited to the small range afforded by a hotspot, and your Internet connection will be super fast.

Does this mean WiMAX is “better” than WiFi? Not necessarily, primarily because 4G coverage isn’t available in all locations at this time. If you travel to an area that’s out of network range, you’ll probably be relying on a WiFi hotspot for Internet access just like you do today.

One way to explain the difference between WiFi and WiMAX that makes sense for many people is to consider cordless telephones versus mobile phones. WiFi is like the cordless phone that works fine provided you’re within a limited range. WiMAX is more like the mobile phone that works in most locations within a very large network range.

In certain situations, WiMAX may be “better” in that it provides Internet users with much greater mobility. However, it isn’t available everywhere yet, and if you’re not really interested in going online anywhere, anytime, it probably won’t provide much of an advantage over WiFi.

About the Author

Clear Internet provides simple and affordable plans for home internet, mobile internet and VoIP. Clear Wimax goes where you want to go.

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