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What's the Difference Between WiFi and Fixed Wireless Connections?

Fixed wireless internet covers 51% of the United States. While fixed wireless internet shares some similarities to WiFi in its usage it achieves the result with different technology.

If you’re wondering what’s the difference between WiFi and fixed wireless internet read this guide and we will break down everything you need to know.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is a technology that transmits data from your router to your devices such as your laptop, mobile phone, TV, and tablet. WiFi without internet service at your home won’t do anything. 

Your WiFi signal is local, which means it's under your control.

Usually, a WiFi is set up around a home or a business. WiFi uses your internet service from an ISP to connect your devices to the internet. Be cautious when choosing a WiFi connection and only connect to a WiFi that you know and trust.

Is WiFi The Same as The Internet?

There is a lot of confusion around the WiFi and the internet. Most people connect to the internet via WiFi so they come to equate WiFi with the internet. Internet service has to be in place before WiFi for your WiFi connection to work.

A WiFi router is connected directly to your internet source. It then takes that internet connection and allows devices to access it wirelessly by using the WiFi signal. In addition to cable internet service, there is also wireless internet service but wireless internet service isn’t the same thing as WiFi.

What is Fixed Wireless?

Internet that is delivered via radio signals to a specific senor is known as a fixed point wireless internet. This is the best source of home internet for rural areas because it is delivered wirelessly unlike cable internet service.

If your part of the country does not have access to fiber running to your community you may be left with limited options for internet service.

A good choice for rural internet access is a fixed wireless internet. After you connect to the fixed point internet you will receive the same if not better service as other providers.

You can have fixed wireless internet service and WiFi working together. Both technologies used at the same time create our home network that provides internet connectivity for your home or business.

A fixed wireless internet connection requires a nearby transmission tower and a fixed line of sight to that tower. With fixed wireless internet, specific areas have coverage.

Technology must be installed to receive data through the near-line of sign wirelessly instead of running internet cables but this process is relatively simple. Many rural areas do not have the money to invest in internet infrastructure such as cables and fixed wireless internet gives these rural areas an advantage.

Fixed wireless internet can be installed virtually anywhere there is a tower available. If you live in a rural area often fixed wireless internet or satellite internet are your only two options. Out of the two fixed wireless internet is a much more reliable choice.

Fixed wireless is a great choice for rural communities across Essex County Ontario.

How Does Fixed Wireless Work?

Customers who use fixed wireless internet are stationary. This allows a fixed wireless connection to focus in on one location like a magnifying glass making a beam of the internet that can be stronger than an omnidirectional; broadcast such as AM or FM radio.

Directional connections rival DSL and cable and are on the lower end of the radio spectrum. They broadcast over higher-frequency microwave and extremely high-frequency bands, or EHF bands. This increases the signal strength achieving gigabit speeds that are comparable to fiber internet connections when properly implemented.

Access to EHF frequencies has led giant tech companies like Facebook and Google to make investments into developing their own fixed wireless internet technologies and networks. Some startups are planning to actively compete with major internet service providers that currently provide wireless internet technology and fixed wireless.

Which is Safer?

WiFi has been criticized for its many security issues. There are a few things you can do to make your WiFi connection safer but in general, it is best to avoid WiFi altogether if you can.

WiFi can be used with fixed-point wireless but fixed point wireless does not need WiFi to connect to the internet.

Fixed Wireless Internet Performance

Just like broadband internet services the speed and plans of fixed wireless internet service vary between fixed wireless providers. In general, a residential fixed wireless plan is comparable to DSL cable internet in terms of speed. It averages somewhere between 5 to 25 Mbps.

Use your fixed wireless internet for gaming, streaming, and browsing the web just as you would with cable internet. This is the best option for internet in rural areas.

A business fixed wireless internet plan can be as fast as 50 Mbps with the leading service providers or with a dedicated wireless bridge, which you can request by contacting us. Fixed wireless internetis also similar in other aspects such as security, reliability, and speed of installation.

These speeds may not be lightning fast but they are a very appealing option compared to satellite internet, DSL, or even no internet at all. Fixed wireless internet is often easy to obtain in areas with a lower concentration of cable internet because of its flexibility.

Benefits of Fixed Wireless Internet

If you live in a rural part of the country you don’t have a lot of options but there are some benefits to using a fixed wireless internet connection instead of satellite.

  • Large coverage area - One of the biggest benefits of fixed wireless internet is its large coverage area. It’s available just about anywhere. Service providers are not required to invest in new cables or infrastructure which makes fixed wireless a more cost-effective option for internet providers, translating to additional savings for customers. 
  • Relatively low latency - Another key benefit is it’s relatively low latency making online gaming, streaming, and internet conferencing all feasible options. 

The Difference Between WiFi and Fixed Wireless

Hopefully you can see the differences explained between wifi and fixed wireless internet. To see if fixed wireless services are available in your area, or cable or fibre Internet, use the address lookup at the top of the page.