With 5G services rolling out nationwide, you’re sure to have seen advertisements all over boasting blazingly fast internet. But you might wonder why you’d need 5G if you already have fast WiFi. To better understand each technology, here’s our guide to how 5G and WiFi differ.
What It Is
5G is the fifth-generation mobile telecommunication service that delivers multi-Gbps internet speeds and speedy response time.
Designed to work seamlessly with wired internet, WiFi, or Wireless Fidelity is a technology that uses short-distance radio waves to transmit internet data.
How They Work
Mobile technology relies on spectrum bands below 6Ghz to broadcast telecommunication. After buying these bands at auction, carriers develop a network of base stations to serve multiple clients within a wide geographical area. To use these services, we, in turn, have to pay carriers a subscription fee.
On the other hand, WiFi functions on a freely accessible, unlicensed spectrum of 2.5Ghz and 5Ghz. A WiFi router converts your ISP’s wired internet into radio waves allowing you to connect multiple devices to the internet wirelessly.
Depending on your location and carrier, 5G services give you access to an average of 50Mbps and up to an incredible 10Gbps internet speed with low latency.
WiFi speeds depend on various factors that include your internet type, plan, router, and obstacles like walls in between the router and devices. The fastest WiFi currently available tops out at about 2Gbps.
Ideal for internet on the go, 5G has broader coverage. While 5G infrastructure is still developing, you may have limited access if you move out of the geographical coverage area.
In the case of WiFi, you would need to be within the range of the WiFi router to access the internet.
Being a new technology, you will need to invest in a 5G-enabled device to take advantage of 5G services. The latest handsets offer connectivity on both 5G and WiFi.
To use WiFi, you require to purchase a specific router or consider renting one from your ISP.
Despite the differences listed above, you could gain from both. As technology advances, high-speed home broadband that uses a combination of WiFi and 5G will become a reality.