What’s the difference between internet, broadband and WiFi? Core

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The world of information technology can be a complex one, and with technology moving faster than most of us can keep up, it’s easy to get lost in what everything means.

While we use the terms ‘internet’, ‘broadband’ and ‘WiFi’ on a daily basis, they’re often (incorrectly) used interchangeably. So what actually is the difference between the internet, broadband and WiFi? Read on to find out…

How is the internet different from broadband?

The internet is like a playground (on a massive scale!) – it’s a global network that connects computers and devices, and holds all the websites and online information each of us access on a daily basis. Whenever you browse websites, stream videos or send emails you’re using the internet.

Broadband is like the gate to that playground and provides the access point for the internet. In reality, it’s a high-speed connection technology provided by cables (copper or fibre-optic) so you can access the internet.

What types of home broadband are available?

There are a few different types of broadband – but not all of them deliver the same level of speed and quality for your broadband needs.

  • ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line): This delivers broadband using a standard copper telephone line – speeds will be influenced by how far away you are from the exchange (more distance = slower speeds)
  • FWA (Fixed Wireless Access): This is where radio signals are used to deliver a wireless connection to a property from a base station nearby. It’s most commonly used where it’s difficult to build a cable-based network (usually rural or hard-to-reach locations). Speeds and reliability are impacted by adverse weather conditions and other environmental factors.
  • FTTC (Fibre-to-the-cabinet): This uses fibre-optic cables from the exchange to deliver internet to a cabinet on or near your street. Copper cables are then used to connect from the cabinet to your home. Fibre-optic cables don’t lose speed over distance in the same way copper does, so this is usually faster than an ADSL connection.
  • FTTP/H (Fibre-to-the-premises/home): This is where fibre-optic cables are used all the way from the exchange right to the connection in your home (this is what we provide!) and delivers significantly faster and more reliable speeds since copper cables aren’t used at all. It’s also commonly called full-fibre broadband.

How is WiFi different from broadband?

Broadband brings the internet into your home, but WiFi is the wireless solution that lets you connect to your broadband connection, no matter what device you’re using. Without WiFi, you’d only be able to access broadband by connecting your device with a physical cable – not very convenient when you want to browse on your phone.

Want to experience the lightning-fast speeds that come with full-fibre broadband? Check if we’re in your area using our availability checker!