These terms are often used interchangeably – but there’s quite a big difference between them.
- Wi-Fi: Short-range wireless network connection. Can connect to the internet, but it’s not required.
- Wireless: Internet connection using the mobile phone network.
The two technologies can combine:
- Some modems and routers include a SIM card so they can use the mobile phone network if the landline stops working.
- Many mobile phones can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, sharing their wireless internet connection with other nearby devices.
- Wi-Fi modems are a portable wireless internet option that you can either plug into a device’s USB port or connect to using a Wi-Fi hotspot.
To add to the confusion, two similar-sounding wireless options are available:
- 5G: Wireless internet that uses the mobile phone network.
- 5GHz: A more modern frequency of Wi-Fi that offers higher speeds compared to older 2.4GHz frequency Wi-Fi networks.