Most phones and tablets (and some new computers) have the ability to toggle between a WiFi network or a cellular data network. But which one is better?
Unlike Wi-Fi home internet that connects to a router indoors, cellular internet connects to towers that provide cellular data networks. If home Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t available, your 4G or 5G cellular internet can be convenient.
Although cellular internet can have its advantages, overall, Wi-Fi home internet is better. Let’s dive in and explore the benefits of home Wi-Fi internet.
Believe it or not, cellular internet is more secure than a Wi-Fi hotspot. You see, mobile providers automatically encrypt all the information that passes through their cellular network. Wi-Fi hotspots are open to anyone and often fail to protect your privacy.
But you can control how secure your connection is and make it even stronger when you have a Wi-Fi router at home.
Your Wi-Fi home internet router wirelessly connects to your devices. That’s why it’s important to take steps to encrypt your data and never share your passwords.
Better privacy protects you, especially when you share sensitive information like:
- Credit cards
- Social security number
- Phone numbers
The truth is, there are millions of cybercriminals working hard to steal your information. However, data encryption makes it impossible for them to read it.
Instead, the bad guys receive a jumbled mess of letters and numbers that make no sense.
A secure connection protected by encryption ensures that you can enjoy the convenience of online banking, online shopping, remote work, and communicating with friends and family without worry.
No Wires Required
Wireless internet is an affordable wireless connection that fills most basic needs without being attached to the wall. Unlike the old dial up or cable internet, home Wi-Fi and cellular internet don’t need a wire connected to your device.
Let’s take a look at how each one connects.
Wi-Fi Home Internet
Home Wi-Fi has a thick wire connecting to your home, usually buried or hanging high above your rooftop. Technicians will drill through your wall to attach a big wire to a router on the inside of your home.
All devices, computers, laptops, and even your gaming consoles are compatible with home Wi-Fi internet. This fact gives it a huge advantage.
Desktop computers and some gaming consoles may require a Wi-Fi network adapter or Wi-Fi antenna to pick up the connection. However, these are relatively inexpensive. You can find many of them for under $20 or buy refurbished ones at a discount.
On the other hand, cellular internet connects to a tower in your city or town through electromagnetic waves in the air.
The only restriction you face is the type of device you can use it with. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have access to cellular data via a special SIM card.
But many desktop computers and laptops aren’t compatible.
It may be possible to connect most laptops and older desktop computers to a cellular data network in one of two ways:
1. Tether the connection through a USB cord
2. Create a temporary local hotspot through your connected device
Currently, some desktop computers come equipped with an eSIM card. If your PC has one, you can easily set up the eSIM with Windows 10 or Windows 11 to accept cellular data as an internet connection. The benefit of having an eSIM on your desktop is that it can be set up to accept any cellular internet, regardless of who your provider is.
Dependable High-Speed Internet
With cellular networks, you may have the freedom to access the internet anywhere in the range of a cellular tower, but that doesn’t mean you can drive across town and still have the same reliable connection.
One of the major downfalls of cellular internet is consistency and speed. Although you have the freedom to travel around, you will run into a “dead zone,” especially indoors and in rural areas.
If you manage to get a signal in these places, the speed of your connection will suffer dramatically. You might sit there for minutes waiting for a page to load, if it loads at all! And if you are trying to stream, voice chat, or video chat, you can experience serious technical difficulties.
In total contrast, Wi-Fi home internet is fast and dependable.
Once your internet carrier is set up in your home, you can enjoy high-speed internet any way you want to. Access your browser, stream video or music, check your social media, and even make calls through software like:
Your connection will be uninterrupted and smooth because there is very little between you and your router.
No Data Overage Fees
One huge risk involved with using cellular internet services is data usage. Limited data plans have data caps and high overage fees that can run up your monthly bill.
But Wi-Fi home internet plans offer unlimited data and no overage fees.
That’s why it’s important to always consider how much data you need before committing to an internet provider.
Are You Eligible for Discounted Internet Through the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Do you or someone you live with receive government aid?
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
If so, you can receive discounted or free Wi-Fi home internet plans through the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program was designed to help people with low incomes receive reliable internet access for school, work, and personal use.
If you need a low-cost internet solution with little to no money down, MetConnect may be able to help! Check out our options and subscribe!
We assist individuals who are veterans, disabled, or low-income to sign up for plans with no data caps and no annual contracts. If you’re eligible, we can help you get connected to an internet service you can trust today!