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Wifi Vs Cellular Data for Internet Connectivity; Which One to Prefer!!

Surfing the internet for various purposes is possible using WiFi or cellular data. Anyone can access the internet through mobile phones and laptops once it is connected to WiFi or Cellular/Mobile data. Among those two options, people prefer Wifi as it will save your mobile balance. But when there’s no WiFi signal around you, people are left with cellular data option to surf the internet. Both WiFi and mobile data provide internet access but it varies on terms like speed, cost, and availability.

Do Checkout: Mobile Data pack and its importance.

Cellular Data; an alternative to WiFi

Wifi being a wireless technology allows us to connect to the internet using mobile, laptop devices. But you can only use Wifi at fixed locations and only within its range. Whereas the cellular network helps to get an internet connection in a much larger area, with your mobile or special devices. Though you have access to wifi at home or workplace or some fixed locations, you have to rely on cellular data during traveling. So, Cellular data is an alternative to the Wifi internet when it is not available.

Having said that, there are still some people who always use Cellular data for their internet connectivity at all times, anywhere they go. So they also do not bother to install a Wifi connection at home. This is particularly for those people who only need a personal internet connection with no one to share with.

Both Wifi and cellular network provide internet connectivity solutions but they have some differences. So, let’s compare the Wifi and Cellular data in terms of their uses and availability.

Wifi or Mobile Data: What do you prefer?

You should prefer Wifi or Cellular data connection for the internet as per following factors.

Availability:

Talking about WiFi, there’s certainly a range with which a wifi router can provide its signal. Whereas you may find different Wifi networks in different locations (like Home/Office, Restaurants, Airports, Free Public WiFi, etc). So, you can access internet services using the particular Wifi network at several locations. Continuous coverage of the same Wifi network for the whole city or large area is still not available here in Nepal.

But the Cellular/Mobile network is available for a large area. You can access to 3G/4G data network which has continuous coverage in built-up areas. The mobile network signal may not be good in some areas where the data connectivity is not stable. Similarly, if you go to some rural areas, you may have to rely on the slow 2G data for the internet, which is not suitable for any multimedia surfing or Social media usage or video calls.

->However, the mobile data pack depends upon the mobile balance and the cellular network. You can surf the internet until and unless the network is good and have enough data pack or mobile balance. Even during the electricity cut off, you can use the mobile data with enough mobile balance or data volume. Whereas for WiFi at home, you must have an continuous electrical power supply.

Free WiFi around you:

As most of the people install WiFi internet at their home, there are chances that you can find Free WiFi when you are visiting their place. These days because of the inclination towards work from home, the installation of WiFi internet service at the home has increased.

While traveling, you either need to search for other WiFi networks or go for mobile data. Most people prefer to search for free WiFi around them if they have to use the internet for long period. Whereas others use mobile data from the moment they go outside. The choice depends on the person. It is not only inside home or office, you can even find free Public Wifi like the Express Wifi of Worldlink at outdoor locations (like Restaurants, Airports, Tourist places, etc). You must feel lucky when those locations bless you with free wifi internet.

Speed:

The internet speed of WiFi depends upon the router, subscription speed, and the number of devices connected to the particular network. Sometimes the fluctuation of internet speed depends upon the speed limitations set on the router. You can subscribe to the higher connection speed range (Mbps) as per the need of the users in that location.

However, cellular data’s internet speed depends upon the availability of mobile network technologies like 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and the device’s UE category too. But mostly mobile data speed does not surpass the max speed with the UE category. Practically if a mobile data network is available, the speed of the mobile internet depends on the mobile network signal, location (with no of users connected to the same tower). Better the signal strength, better and reliable will be the mobile data connection whereas the speed degrades with more no of users in the same area. Do read: How to solve data not working problem in Ntc, Ncell, Smart?

Faster Wifi speed applies unless you get a multi-band and Multiple antenna based 4G or 5G mobile network. Even though most of the time WiFi seems faster than mobile data but the fluctuation in WiFi speed may provide the worst experience at times. So, Internet Service providers sometimes fail to provide good quality speed. At such times, mobile data speed is found to be faster than WiFi Speed.

Recommended read: How to improve Internet speed of your Home Wifi?

Affordability:

If you need the internet connection 24/7 for streaming video, audio, and surf the internet frequently then cellular data seems very expensive in comparison to WiFi. As you need to pay by the data volume in mobile data, it does not suit all of your multimedia streaming. But for a Wifi connection, you need to pay for a monthly subscription (and that too shared among multiple users). Even though some Fair Usage Policy (FUP) applies in the internet connection, it does not bother you for more than 90% of the users.

Due to the expensive cost of mobile data, people use data packs (comes a little cheap than Pay as you Go, PayG) when they are outside and have to use social network sites like Facebook and check email. If you are going for high consumption and a longer time, you prefer WiFi or go for a cheaper one. Depending upon one’s need, choosing the best for you will definitely help you from starving financially.

Privacy & Reliability:

Though free Public Wifi or other’s Wifi saves a lot of cost to you, sharing of WiFi increases the risk of security. Your data usage or content might be exposed to others using the same Wifi network. The vulnerability of data being hacked is high when the devices are sharing the same WiFi network. So, the choice is yours either you choose to use other’s Wifi password or go for mobile data.

Since the WiFi networks are mostly connected to the preferred location with a wired connection, it seems more reliable than a cellular/mobile network. There is a high chance of signal distortion due to disturbance from physical objects and Radiofrequency interference. So, cellular data may not be stable always, making Wifi internet more reliable.

Do Checkout: Internet connection sharing is prevalent in Nepal.

To sum up, the use of WiFi or mobile data mostly depends upon the user’s needs and preferences. But for high consumption and the internet connection for several devices, wifi is a better option. However, if you surf the internet to check Facebook and emails, mobile data might be a good option for you. So, the choice is yours better to choose wisely with the amount you can afford and the time you spent online.

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