For years now, the terms Internet and WiFi have been used interchangeably. It may come as a surprise but both these often-confused terms mean two different things. Most of us often use the short form, WiFi for our home broadband connection. You wouldn’t say what’s with our Spectrum Internet, instead, you would just say what’s wrong with our WiFi! And while you are on the go, having free WiFi is taken as having free internet.
While there’s no harm using these terms for your convenience, it would be helpful knowing the actual difference between the internet and WiFi. This blog will enlighten you about the following:
- Troubleshooting problems at home.
- Connection-related confusions.
- Purchasing the proper equipment for the network you have.
- Understanding the risks related to using free WiFi networks.
- Types of internet connections for more clarity.
- Dealing with Internet security threats.
Let’s dig deeper!
Understanding the Internet
For those who don’t know, the internet was invented by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn. The internet is an intangible, invisible cloud consisting of the content existing on the World Wide Web. It is called WAN (Wide Area Network). The content of the internet is endless. Some instances are search engines like Google, social media platforms, text/photo/video messages sent via various apps, even your photos that you hope are never seen.
Different types of devices are used to connect to the internet. For instance:
- Security Cameras.
- Gaming consoles.
And the list goes on. Using these devices, users can access the existing content. They are also able to add content.
Understanding the WiFi
It is a LAN (Local Area Network). The term was first coined by the WiFi Alliance. It broadly refers to various wireless networks, which let devices connect and access the internet. If you are wondering, what WiFi Alliance is then here is a bit of info. Back in 1999, some visionary companies gathered for a non-profit, global association. The aim was to drive pristine user experience of using the brand new technology of wireless networking.
By the year 2000, the term WiFi® was adopted as a proper name for this technical work. The official name they took was WiFi Alliance.
Here is another fun fact. The common notion is that WiFi essentially stands for wireless. This is not true. It is just a casual term that is taken as a synonym of wireless.
Internet Vs WiFi
The internet is a massive, intangible, and invisible entity. And WiFi acts as the source that gets you to the internet. The internet is globally spanned and consists of all the files, people, and devices connected, wireless or wired.
WiFi is a little more localized. For instance, you have a WiFi network at home. Or, you can connect to your local area wireless network such as a restaurant’s.
You can only control your WiFi. You choose to be connected or disconnected from it. Whereas when it comes to the internet, you cannot change, control, and manipulate it.
You can alter usage control, change passwords, and make changes to the access points and range of the wireless network. Yes, you can upgrade and update your router and modem for a better connection. You can boost up your bandwidth speeds and that’s about it when it comes to your options. While the internet refers to all the web traffic and content existing on the World Wide Web and people connected via their WiFi (wireless) or hardwired connections from anywhere across the globe can access it.
Metaphorically speaking, the internet like the world with all the destinations to choose from. While wireless is like the transportation that takes us from our given location to the final destination.
Different Types of Internet Connections
Let’s take a quick look at various types of Internet connection to understand the concept better.
Also known as satellite broadband, this is a wired internet connection. But instead of a cable, you will essentially need a home network to connect to your satellite internet dish. The dish then starts communicating with the satellite for the provision of internet access. Satellite internet is a little slower than the wired internet connection. However, it is a considerable and economical option for remote rural areas where there’s no availability of DSL, cable, or fiber internet services.
Also known as, residential broadband, this type of internet connection needs a physical cable. It can either be a DSL (telephone line, a cable line, or a fiber optic line. This type of connection is affordable, fast, and most popular. The hardwired connection usually come with very high or no data caps
Offered by phone carriers, this type of internet connection is comparatively expensive.it comes with monthly data caps. This type of internet is quite popular with smartphones and tabs. Your smartphone can also become a mini WiFi router by using the hot spot feature. So, if your Spectrum Home WiFi is acting up, you can use your mobile hotspot for any urgent online tasks.