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Your Internet Is Not Your Wi-Fi. Here's Why.

The Internet and Wi-Fi: two aspects of modern life that we often take for granted. From work, to home, to play, the Internet affects nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Yet few of us take time to consider either of these technologies themselves. Many of us even think that Internet and Wi-Fi are the same thing. Contrary to this misconception, the terms are not synonymous.

Before we can establish the difference between Wi-Fi and Internet, it is important to define each.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Internet is an architecture that allows computer networks around the world to connect for the sharing of information. Its versatility allows it to be used for almost any purpose. In fact, PCMag suggests there are over 100 billion Web, email, and related servers around the world. These servers connect nearly 5 billion people in more than 100 countries.

Following its development for the US military, the Internet became a vehicle for academic and commercial research. However, it did not explode into everyday use until the dramatic increase in email users in the mid-1990s. As graphics-based Web browsers enhanced usability, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) began to offer access for all.

Despite its complicated technical nature, an article by Sudden Link defines the Internet simply as a language for connecting networks globally.

This is where the key difference between the Internet and Wi-Fi comes into play. While the Internet is the broad connection between networks, Wi-Fi is the vehicle that allows you, as an individual, to connect to this network.

According to PCMag, Wi-Fi is “the standard wireless local area network (WLAN) technology for connecting computers and myriad electronic devices to each other and to the Internet.”

The article by Sudden Link puts this definition into simple terms. If the Internet is the language of communication for devices, Wi-Fi is the vehicle that relays the language from device to device. This wireless technology sends data through the air in the form of electromagnetic signals. When a router picks up the Internet data as radio signals, it converts the signals into data that is passed along to your device via Wi-Fi connection.

The nature of this connection means that it is possible to have a Wi-Fi signal without being connected to the Internet. If one piece of the puzzle, such as a Wi-Fi router, is missing, your Internet connection will fail.

Another important fact to understand is that your Wi-Fi connection can become bogged down by too many devices sending data at once. Indeed, your Wi-Fi connection can only handle the translation and transmission of certain amounts of data at once. If your Wi-Fi connection seems consistently slow, it may be time to consider increasing your bandwidth.

This consideration becomes even more important as the holidays draw near. From new phones and televisions to doorbells and even kitchen appliances, more of your holiday gifts will require an Internet connection. In order to smoothly handle this greater load, you may need to increase your Internet speed.

Now, current Nex-Tech customers can boost their Internet speed at no extra cost for the first 3 months!* If you’re not yet a Nex-Tech customer, you can switch your service today and get your first 3 months of Internet free!* No matter your needs, Nex-Tech can help you find the right speed for your household and all of its connected devices. Visit: www.nex-tech.com to learn more!

*Some restrictions apply.

Read More!

Dennis, M.A. (n.d.). Internet: computer network. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/technology/Internet

PCMag. (2021-a). Internet. https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/internet

PCMag. (2021-b). Wi-Fi. https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/wi-fi

Suddenlink. (2020, February 24). Wi-Fi and the internet are the same thing … right? https://www.suddenlink.com/internet/wifi/are-internet-and-wifi-same-thing