Differences Between Wireless, Fixed Wireless, and WiFi

Wireless internet.

The internet is available to us in many ways. Wireless internet and cable connections let us browse websites, watch videos, and shop online. You can also enjoy high-speed internet in your home with WiFi. 

However, the technologies are not the same. They work in different ways and carry varying nuances. 

In this post, we will explore the differences between wireless, fixed wireless, and WiFi. You will learn all the essential aspects to make an informed decision about which connectivity to choose. 

What is Wireless Internet?

Wireless internet generally refers to mobile internet. It is available on devices like smartphones or tablets through a SIM card. 

The signal for wireless internet comes from mobile towers. They transmit the internet through radio waves to your device.

So, you don’t need any cables to access the internet. Moreover, your connection changes towers when you move. Your device generally fetches the connection from the nearest tower. 

You can expect internet connectivity as long as you are in the range of a mobile tower. 

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless is similar to the wireless internet. The connection comes from a tower that broadcasts the internet signal through radiofrequency. There is no cable, and the connection is available to devices like smartphones and laptops.

However, fixed wireless is available only to a particular region. You cannot access the internet if you switch your location. 

So, fixed wireless is available to a particular home or building. Everyone in the specific spot can access the fixed wireless internet with any device. The building and the internet tower has to be in a line of sight, at a maximum distance of 10 miles. 

Fixed wireless internet can reach broadband speeds, especially if the tower is nearby. 

Why is It Difficult to Get Reliable WiFi?

WiFi is a way to distribute an internet connection in a specific home, building, or area. It uses a router to share broadband, fiber optic, or wireless internet across devices. 

However, you need an active internet connection for WiFi to work. Otherwise, it will serve only as a local area network between devices. 

You may access WiFi in public zones like airports, hotels, and train stations. It requires a few safety precautions as many people share a single network.

Major Differences between Wireless, Fixed Wireless, and WiFi

The key differences between the technologies comes down to the following factors:


Bandwidth refers to the amount of data you can transmit between two points in a specific time. Internet connections that support high bandwidths are fast and more reliable. 

Fixed wireless internet has the lowest latency after cable connections. They can transmit a large amount of data in a short time compared to wireless internet or DSL.

You can compare the bandwidth to broadband connections. 


Latency refers to the time taken by data to travel from the source to your device and back. An internet connection with low latency exchanges information faster. 

Consequently, it will take more time for a response if your internet connection has a high latency. 

Wireless or mobile internet has a high latency as it prioritizes mobility. The connection switches from tower to tower, making data travel a long way to reach your device. 

Therefore, wireless is slower than broadband or DSL. 

Fixed wireless internet connects two points over a short distance. The data has to travel less distance to reach your device. 

As a result, fixed wireless has very low latency. 


Mobile internet is the most portable. You don’t have to do anything to ensure you have the internet, even if you are traveling. 

WiFi is also available in a specific location or building. You cannot connect to the internet if you move to another location.

Fixed wireless is available only in one location, like WiFi. 


Fixed wireless is faster than wireless. You can browse the net at broadband speeds. It is also possible to run business processes without interruptions.

The speed of WiFi depends on the internet provider. If it is a broadband or fiber optic connection, you can reach lighting speeds.

Mobile or wireless internet is pretty slow. However, the advent of 5G is making it comparable to fixed internet speeds. 

Want to Get a Reliable Wireless Internet Connection

We hope you are now aware of the differences between the three technologies. You can confidently choose the best one for your needs – we have some of the best rural internet speed plans out there. Talk to us today!  

December 2, 2022

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