What is the difference between mobile broadband and WiFi?
Mobile broadband is similar but, as the name suggests, it’s connected to a mobile network and sends data through 3G, 4G or 5G services, just like your phone. You can access the web using a dongle, a pocket WiFi device or a data-only SIM card.
Usually you’ll only be able to access average speeds, and most mobile broadband packages come with a limit to how much you can download, but it can be a cost-effective option for light internet users wanting to check emails on the move.
What is WiFi?
WiFi is a way for your broadband connection to be distributed to your devices (like laptops, smart devices or games consoles) wirelessly.
The cable we mentioned earlier that comes into your home and is plugged into a wireless router. This little box provides all your devices with internet access without needing to be plugged in manually.
Your laptop, mobile or tablet will pick up the broadband through this WiFi, using radio waves, allowing you to move around your home and stay connected.
Which broadband option is best for me?
While the speed you can get depends on where you live, it’s worth thinking about what kind of user you are and what speed you need...
You like to check your emails, flick through Facebook and order shopping online. You may stream the occasional TV show or film too. A broadband speed up to 100Mbps should be enough for this.
You’re online for at least 5-6 hours a day, and enjoy back-to-back Netflix binges and gaming tournaments. You may also have a smart speaker or other smart technology requiring a constant internet connection too. We’d suggest a broadband speed of between 100Mbps to 200Mbps for these sorts of activities.
Always online during peak times, as well as downloading a new series at night? You can’t afford to be held back by buffering and are always chasing the next must-see 4K movie. You might also need to support a home office and need a fast, reliable connection for video calling. We'd suggest looking for something for something around 300Mbps.
You’re digitally demanding with multiple devices being used at once, and do not have time to wait around for slow transfers or uploads. Your home is crammed full of smart speakers and virtual assistants, and you work from home. For a home filled with this many devices, to keep it future-proof, we'd recommend a broadband speed of 500Mbps or faster.