Posts Tagged ‘#3G’

3G vs Wifi

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis November 30th, 2011

Ok, so there’s a LOT of confusion out there about 3G vs Wifi.  (I’ll ignore 4G for now, since not all cities have it yet, but it’s just a step up from 3G).  You can buy tablets right now, including the i-pad, that have either of these.  ALMOST ALL OF THEM have Wifi.  But if you want 3G, you pay extra.  First you’ll pay more for the device, but THEN you ALSO MUST have a cellular provider, like AT&T or Verizon, connect the device.  It’s just like setting up a new cell phone, and costs about the same.  It allows you to use the device wherever 3G is available, even moving down the road.  The speeds are just mediocre; that’s why everyone wants 4G instead.  But Wifi is already much faster (up to 300 Mbps).  The problem with Wifi is that it is localized.  It depends on having a wireless router.  So you can have it at your house, for example, and the library, and the airport, etc. as long as you are within at least 300 feet of the router.   But each time you move, you must reconnect to a new network.  If it’s secured, you also need the PASSWORD for that network.  Lately it seems like there are less and less free Wifi Hotspots available.  I was really ticked off the last time I stayed at a nice hotel and they wanted to charge me extra for Wifi.  :-(  Anyway, I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions. 


Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis January 7th, 2011

There are a lot of wireless technologies floating across the airwaves these days.  All the choices can be confusing, so here’s a rundown:  Bluetooth – wireless connector for devices (like headsets).  Range is around 30 feet.  Wireless Ethernet (AKA Wi-fi) – Allows PC’s to connect to a network.  Older standards (a and b) had very limited range.  Newer standards (g and n) have ranges up to 1,000 feet.  Additional technology can boost this range.  Cellular Wireless Data – The latest standards are 3G and 4G.  Range is 20-30 miles (max) and depends on tower placement.  Satellite – GPS and TV dishes catch signals from orbiting stations.  Range is 100 to several thousand miles.  There are lots more standards, but these are the common ones.  Each one are quite complicated in the design and engineering aspect, but it helps to know some of the details like bandwidth, frequency, etc. if you use them.  A good example is that Wi-fi uses a 2.4 GHz signal, so your land-line wireless phone can cause your internet to drop!