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Difference Between 3G and WiFi Network

3G vs WiFi Network

When it comes to browsing the internet on your mobile device, you have the option of connecting via the 3G network or the WiFi network. The main difference between 3G networks and WiFi networks is range. WiFi only covers a very small radius, typically in the tens of meters, which is good enough to cover a home or office. In contrast, 3G is a cellular network that is used to provide connectivity to mobile phones. Depending on where you are and the coverage of the network you are on, you can move hundreds of miles without even losing the connection. This is possible because, even though a typical cellular tower only covers a few kilometers, the network is capable of handing over communications from the mobile and a tower to the next.

Another difference between 3G and WiFi networks is in their speeds. Typically, WiFi provides a much faster connection speed than 3G. Because in most cases, there are only a few people using a WiFi network compared to a 3G network that is used by hundreds if not thousands of people in the locality. There is also the issue of how far the user is from the access point is. For WiFi the user is pretty close by compared to 3G where the user and the tower are very far apart and obstructed by buildings and trees.

Another major advantage of using WiFi over 3G is cost. Having a 3G plan is quite pricey, and you should get the pricier unlimited plan unless you like having surprises in your bill. WiFi is not necessarily free since you still do need to pay for the internet connection. But, most establishments that have an internet connection use them for other reasons. So in this sense, you can just pay one bill, instead of having two.

3G is currently the more reliable between the two as cellular networks are up close to 100% of the time. They are also not affected by power failures or cut connections as most cellular companies have provisions or backups for these situations. Since most homes and establishments rarely have redundancies, WiFi networks are susceptible to these events.

Summary:

  1. 3G networks have a much larger coverage than WiFi networks
  2. WiFi networks tend to be faster than 3G networks
  3. Connecting to WiFi networks is often free while 3G networks come at a fee
  4. 3G networks are more reliable than WiFi networks

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