Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Wi-Fi and Broadband

The term wireless and broadband has been used synonymously in a world of evolving Internet technologies. Wireless access has evolved rapidly over the last few decades. Today, it’s the dominant medium for network connectivity due to the proliferation of portable personal devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Internet access has become a standard feature on most of the mobile devices which eradicated the need for bulky wired network interfaces. But there’s multiple ways to connect to the Internet. Broadband is the most popular and widely used medium to connect to the Internet because of its high speed access. Wi-Fi is an alternative to network cables which has become the dominant technology for high-speed in-home networking. Wi-Fi is one of many ways to use broadband without using wires.

 

What is Broadband?

Broadband is the commonly used term that is synonymous with high-speed Internet access. The term broadband has different meanings. However, the more accurate meaning of broadband is wider and less specific. It means a high-speed, always-on connection. The meaning of high-speed, however, changes with time. While CATV is still an option for providing broadband services to homes, the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology and service, widely offered by telecom service providers, is the most widely used broadband service at present. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uses the terms broadband and high-speed more or less interchangeably. Cable TV, for example, plays an important role in delivering broadband services, which in turn redefining the popular perception of home entertainment. Broadband is simply a bandwidth-rich connection to the public Internet.

 

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a technology that broadcasts over a few hundred meters range and offers high-speed Internet access without using wires. Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. It is a marketing term for the 802.11b wireless Ethernet specification originally designed to provide high-speed access to large offices or business campus environments. It has now been expanded for use in LANs and is the most widely used home wireless LAN technology. In simple terms, Wi-Fi is a medium that carries Internet to your mobile devices without the need for physical cables. Wi-Fi is the only wireless standard now being used for short-range wireless networks, such as those found at airports, cafes, hotels, universities, coffee shops, conference centers, and restaurants. Obviously, the best thing about wireless networking is mobility.

 

Difference between Wi-Fi vs Broadband

  1. Terminology of Wi-Fi and Broadband

– The term broadband refers to an always-on bandwidth-rich connection that is synonymous with high-speed Internet access. It’s a medium for people to access the Internet and transfer data. The meaning of high-speed, however, changes with time. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. Wi-Fi is a medium that carries Internet to your mobile devices without the need for physical cables. The term Wi-Fi is often used as a shortcut to refer to your home broadband connection, while broadband can be both wired or wireless.

  1. Medium 

– Both the terms refer to two major groups of communication media. While CATV is still an option for providing broadband services to homes, the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology and service, widely offered by telecom service providers, is the most widely used broadband service at present. Wi-Fi is the de-facto standard for wireless networking that uses radio waves to send data rather than using a physical medium such as cables. Wi-Fi uses an infrastructure mode, in which several mobile devices can communicate through a wireless router or central access point.

  1. Technology 

– There are four common forms of broadband internet connection from where you typically receive your Internet service: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable, Fiber-optic, and Satellite. DSL is the least popular wireline transmission technology; Cable refers to the same co-axial cable used by the local cable TV provider; Fiber-optic is one of the reliable broadband services that provides a much faster Internet connection; and Satellite means broadband connection via communication satellites. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi alliance which is a wireless connection in itself. There are four major types of Wi-Fi technologies out there: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n.

  1. Range

 – Wi-Fi is not Internet in itself; in fact, it is a technology that relies on an actual Internet connection and it uses standardized means to identify users and give them access to the Internet via Wi-Fi. The range of a Wi-Fi signal of any given access points varies from devices to devices and the location they are used in. A typical indoor wireless router setup has a range of 50 meters or less. Broadband carries data using a wide range of broadband technologies using a broad range of frequencies, allowing more information to be transmitted at a time.

Wi-Fi vs. Broadband: Comparison Chart

 

Summary of Wi-Fi verses Broadband

Broadband is the most popular and widely used medium to connect to the Internet because of its high speed access, whereas Wi-Fi is just one of many ways to use broadband without using wires. Wi-Fi is an alternative to network cables which has become the dominant technology for high-speed in-home networking. Wi-Fi is not Internet in itself; in fact, it is a technology that relies on an actual Internet connection and it uses standardized means to identify users and give them access to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Broadband is simply a bandwidth-rich connection to the public Internet.

 

Sagar Khillar

Sagar Khillar is a prolific content/article/blog writer working as a Senior Content Developer/Writer in a reputed client services firm based in India. He has that urge to research on versatile topics and develop high-quality content to make it the best read. Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.

Outside his professional life, Sagar loves to connect with people from different cultures and origin. You can say he is curious by nature. He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said."

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://www.eastcorkjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Capture-copy-4.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://fontys.edu/upload_mm/e/0/e/d1edbef7-d6ee-4922-8836-c3af7b24465e_4758555b-4a29-48ce-8901-0f13634f2b84_Wifi-signaal-versterken-3_596x596.png

[2]Wells, Quentin. Guide to Digital Home Technology Integration. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage, 2008. Print

[3]Bing, Benny. Broadband Wireless Multimedia Networks. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print

[4]Chlamtac, Imrich, et al. Broadband Services: Business Models and Technologies for Community Networks. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Print

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