Difference between Broadband and Wi-Fi

You may use the internet effortlessly, but the terminology and technology involved behind it can be a little complex to understand. In the past, people were only able to access the internet via dial-ups and modems. Fortunately, technological advancements have enabled us to access high-speed internet, upload, and download heavy files. All thanks to broadband.

However, most people have a misconception that broadband and Wi-Fi are the same, but in reality, they are two different things. The speed and reliability of your internet connection depend on your internet service provider. Whereas your Wi-Fi router is responsible for the strength of your Wi-Fi signals.

But what exactly is the difference between broadband and Wi-Fi? This blog is a complete guide to help you understand everything you must know to correctly differentiate between the two. So, let’s dig in.

What Is Broadband Internet?

Broadband is basically a term, commonly used in the field of electronic engineering. Mostly, people refer to broadband as the high-speed signal that is delivered through phone lines, cable lines, radio signals, and optical fiber. In simple terms, it is wide bandwidth data transmission.

Suppose that the data flowing between the two devices is the internet. So, broadband explains the pathway on which data moves.  The data uses multiple types of roads to travel from one place to another like fixed wireless, fiber optic, DSL, cable, satellite networks, etc. Each connection type has its own pros and cons.

Almost all internet connections fall into the category of broadband connections, most are wired while others are wireless. The speed with which it transfers data determines its internet speeds. The upload and download speeds of DSL and cable are quite similar. Satellite and fixed wireless are a bit slower, while fiber-optic is the fastest of all with the capability to deliver symmetrical upload and download speeds. One of the best names in high-speed cable broadband is of Mediacom, AT&T has more variety in its network infrastructure with DSL, fiber-optic, and fixed wireless. HughesNet. is one of the largest satellite broadband providers in the U.S.

How Does Broadband Work?

It does not matter if you have a fiber-optic or copper connection, your broadband connection flows all the way from your front door to the cables connecting their path to multiple parts of the internet. 

In simple terms, several wires running to your home router help you connect to broadband. You can plug an Ethernet cable into your computer and router and connect to the internet. It established a hard-wired network that delivers a stable and fast connection.

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What Is Wi-Fi?

When people talk about Wi-Fi, they usually refer to wireless internet providers or internet access in offices and homes. In both cases, Wi-Fi is a process of sending and receiving information via radio waves. With Wi-Fi, you do not have to connect an Ethernet cable for every device to connect to a network. It allows your devices to directly access broadband internet.

This is the main feature that distinguishes broadband and Wi-Fi. You need to know that these are not mutually exclusive methods to access the internet. You can use Wi-Fi to take the benefit of broadband internet.

If you are wondering how your device communicates with multiple devices in the same network, then do not think above and beyond. It is your home router that uses a short-range wireless connection to establish a link between different devices.

In simple words, your Wi-Fi makes it possible for you to enjoy the internet on multiple-devices that your internet service provider supplies to your home and workplace without any physical cable.

How Does Wi-Fi Work?

The Ethernet cable that establishes a connection between your computer and router is useless when it comes to modern age laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This is because these devices do not have external ports, and you need Wi-Fi technology to access the internet.

Your broadband functions wirelessly and transmits data to and fro without any physical connection between your router and Wi-Fi enabled devices. After reaching your router, the data runs back down all the way from your front door through wires to the fiber cabinet outside and then via cables to the provider’s network infrastructure.

Bottom Line

We hope that this blog helps you in differentiating between the two easily confused terms “broadband” and “Wi-Fi”. Once you understand the difference between these two, you may find it easy to learn how your internet functions. This will help you choose the best ISP from the hundreds flocking the market, who will best meet your internet needs as per your budget. Spectrum, AT&T, Mediacom, Cox, and CenturyLink are some of the highly reliable ISPs in the U.S. Each delivering a different range of speeds and benefits as per their broadband connection.

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