Cellular Data vs. Wifi: What’s the Difference?

May 6, 2022 Internet

While there are differences between WiFi vs. cellular data, they both allow users to access the internet wirelessly. Some phone devices only allow users to access a WiFi through a local network, while other phones have 3G, 4G or 5G cellular data access. These options allow users to access content, whether it be to download files or apps, watch videos online, or provide a secure way to work outside the office.

So what exactly is the difference between Wifi and data? A data-enabled device enables you to access the internet on the go, while WiFi has a limited range. There are benefits and advantages to both WiFi and cellular data, but it is essential to understand the difference between WiFi and cellular data to use them effectively. Here is everything you need to know about WiFi vs. cellular data.

What Is Mobile Data?

Mobile data allows users to get the internet on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. The device must have a wireless cellular connection. Your cell phone plan must come with a mobile data plan for you to be able to access the internet. Mobile data plans vary widely. Some plans allow you to access unlimited, high-speed internet. Other plans cap your data usage and come with slower speeds.

When you access email, mobile applications, or webpages on your phone, the device receives and transmits data from the internet. If you are not connected to a WiFi connection, your device will get internet through your cellular provider. Your data usage is measured separately from your voice calls and texts. It is often necessary to have an unlimited data plan, or you will have a significant monthly bill.

What Does Cellular Mean?

A cellular network is a communication network that allows users to send and receive data wirelessly. These networks are linked with end nodes that are not wired, allowing for flexibility. The network is dispersed through areas known as cells. Each cell is worked through a base transceiver station. These base stations provide the network of cells with data coverage that users can use to send and receive data.

WIFI vs. Cellular Data

When it comes to accessing the internet, both Wi-Fi and cellular data offer a means of connecting, but there is a key difference between the two. Wi-Fi operates within a limited range, and cellular data does not have a limited range. To use WiFi for internet access, you connect your smartphone or tablet to the internet using a wireless router. A router is a wired device that connects to a home or office wall. Thus, you can only access the internet when close to the router.

On the other hand, when comparing data vs. WiFi, cellular data enables you to connect to WiFi when you are home or use your provider’s network to access the internet while on the go. But this leads to the question: do you use data on Wifi? Connecting your data-enabled device to a WiFi connection while in the range of a router can help you converse data from your plan. You can configure your device to automatically connect to your home or business WIFi when you are in range. 

Further, many public places have connections that guests can connect to for free, which means Wifi vs. cellular data can complement each other. So, should you leave Wifi on on your phone? And does using WiFi use data? Because WiFi data is unlimited, if you turn it on, it can help you save your mobile data. This makes having WiFi on helpful unless you’re trying to save your battery. Also, if the mobile signal is weaker in an area, a nearby WiFi network will provide faster connectivity.

Get Affordable Cellular Data with enTouch Wireless

Are you looking for an affordable provider that offers plans with cellular data? Look no further than enTouch Wireless. We are the country’s top provider of free government phone service. We also offer affordable cellular data plans. Contact us today to see if you qualify for our unlimited talk, text, and data plan*.
*Unlimited talk, text, and data plan* subject to Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligibility and varies by location. See entouchwireless.com/affordable-connectivity-program for terms.

Source: https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/mobile-data