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How Do I Connect to the Internet Using My Mobile?

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

Mobile Internet and Connecting Your Smartphone

Most people nowadays use their smart phones to connect to the internet. Being able to check your email, use Facebook, get directions or even shop online is more than simply a convenience, for many of us it's a necessity. Connecting to the internet over your mobile is easy, and you have several options. Today we're discussing the pros and cons of WiFi, 3g phones and 4g connections so that you can better decide which method of internet connection is best for you. So before you connect, read on to find out more about your options, which are fastest, and which are cheapest...

Connecting Using WiFi...

Connecting to the internet using WiFi has a lot of advantages. You will need to find a WiFi hot spot, a place where there is a WiFi signal, and you will then need to go into the settings menu on your phone, switch WiFi on and choose which signal to connect to. WiFi internet is pretty faster, faster than 3g although not quite the speed of 4g. But maybe the biggest benefit of connecting over WiFi is that often you can do so for free. A WiFi connection will not subtract credit from your account if you have a pay as you go phone, and if you have a mobile contract a WiFi connection will not count towards your monthly data limit, and this is an advantage for many people. However, not all WiFi connections are free, there are some for which you'll need to enter credit card information in order to pay for the service. And even most of the free connections require passwords to access, so you'll need the code. Many of these free password protected hot spots are in cafes and restaurants, and you'll need to be a customer in order to get the code. The main problem with connecting to the internet using WiFi is availability. WiFi hot spots are not everywhere, and they have a very short range, you'll often need to be inside the cafe in order to pick up their WiFi signal, for example. WiFi just isn't reliable enough for most people to use as their default internet connection, and many people choose to have a 3g or 4g connection as well. Travelling around to find a place where you can connect to a WiFi signal is just not convenient.

3g Phones and Connecting...

3g phones really are the standard for smart phones these days, and all new smart phones will be able to connect to a 3g network. 3G networks are owned by mobile phone operators, and that means that you'll need a SIM card to access the network for that card's operator. You can get a pay as you go SIM card, which you put credit on and then use your phone. But prices for mobile data are quite high on pay as you go plans, meaning they use up credit quickly so many people choose to have mobile contracts with calling plans instead. A mobile contract will usually give you a monthly limit for the amount of data that you can use each month, though there are more and more unlimited data calling plans available. The biggest benefit of 3g internet is availability. There's great coverage with 3g, and nearly everyone in the UK can connect to the internet using 3g with at least one mobile operator. All operators offer 3g plans, meaning lots of competition that keeps prices relatively low and affordable. That combination of availability and affordability is what makes many people get a 3g data plan. The disadvantage of 3g is its speeds. 3G speeds are pretty slow. They're fine for checking email or Facebook, or getting directions on a map app, but they're not much good for anything else. Even updating apps on 3g is time consuming. This means that whilst many people use 3g for general internet use, they save downloading and updating until they can connect to a faster WiFi network. 3G is still the connection of choice for nearly everyone, and if you buy a regular mobile phone contract the data plan will be for a 3g network.

A 4g Phone Connection...

The final option for connecting is to use 4g, which is the newest technology in mobile internet. You will again need to go through a mobile operator, and you'll have to have a special 4g data plan, not just a normal contract. Plus you'll need a phone with 4g capabilities, and these are often high end devices that are quite expensive. The huge bonus of connecting over 4g is speed. 4G connections are around ten times faster than 3g, and are pretty close to the speeds that you get on a home broadband connection. That means that you can use your phone for things like high end online gaming, or streaming video smoothly without buffering, and your downloads will complete far more quickly on 4g than on 3g or WiFi. Super-fast internet is very tempting, but there are plenty of problems with connecting over 4g. By far the biggest problem is availability. Because 4g is so new, there isn't great coverage yet, and many people in the UK will live in areas where they can't connect to 4g networks even if they want to. Many operators don't have 4g data plans yet, and out of the ones who do, most of them don't get good speeds yet. If you do find an operator with a 4g network and good speed then you will pay premium prices. A 4g data plan will cost you around three times more than a 3g data plan. There also aren't any unlimited data plans available like there are for 3g networks. Your 4g data plan will give you a monthly limit for the data that you can use, and because 4g speeds are so fast it's easy to use up your monthly allowance in just a few days. 4g is fast, but it's not yet cheap enough or widely available enough that most people want to use it.


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