Difference Between 3G and Wifi (IEEE 802.11)

3G vs Wifi (IEEE 802.11)

3G and Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) are both wireless access technologies operate in different frequencies and access ranges. Wi-Fi only can go up to 250 metres and 3G coverage could go beyond Kilometres. Basically Wi-Fi is a personal wireless LAN used in short range with low setup fees whereas 3G is normally deployed by Mobile operators in voice and wireless broadband networks. Wi-Fi is operated in high frequency thus data rate is theoretically as high as 54 Mbits/s and 3G can go upto 14 Mbits/s, in that sense Wi-Fi is much faster than 3G. You can access Internet with 3G and Wi-Fi (If it has access to backhaul internet).

3G (Third Generation Networks)

3G is a wireless access technology replacing 2G networks. The main advantage of 3G is that it’s faster than 2G networks. Smart mobile handsets are designed not only for voice callings but also for Internet access and mobile applications. 3G networks allows simultaneous voice and data services with speed variation from 200 kbit/s and if its only data it may deliver several Mbit/s. (Mobile Broadband)

Many 3G technologies are in use now and some of them are EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), from CDMA family EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) which uses Code Division Multiple Access or Time Division Multiple Access for multiplexing, HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) which uses 16QAM modulation technique (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) and results in data rate of 14 Mbit/s downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s uplink speeds) and WiMAX (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access – 802.16).

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 family)

Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is a wireless LAN technology which could be used in short range. It’s a most common wireless technology used in home, Hotspots and corporate internal wireless networks. Wi-Fi operates in 2.4GHz or 5GHz which are unallocated frequency band (Specially allocated for ISM – Industrial Scientific and Medical). Wi-Fi (802.11) has couple of varieties and some of them are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. 802.11a,b,g operates in 2.4 GHz frequency and in a range from 40-140 meters (in reality) and 802.11n operates in 5 GHz with OFDM modulation technology thus results in higher speed (40Mbits/S in reality) and ranged to 70-250 meters.

We can easily setup a Wireless LAN (WLAN) at home with Wireless Routers. When you setup Wi-Fi at home make sure you enable security features on it to avoid 3rd party access. Couple of them are, Secure Wireless or Encryption, MAC address filter and more than these don’t forget to change the default password of your wireless router.

Easy Setup Guide:

(1) Plug the Wi-Fi router to power

(2) Normally Wi-Fi routers are DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol) enabled and it will automatically assign IP to your devices.

(3) Connect your laptop and configure the Wi-Fi router with Security features.

(4) If you want to connect to Internet, connect the Wi-Fi router to cable, DSL or wireless internet.

(5) Now you can scan and add your wireless network to any Wi-Fi enable devices or Wi-Fi built in devices.

(6) If you want to have more security enable MAC filter and add your devices MAC addresses in the router to avoid unauthorised accesses.

Difference Between 3G and Wi-Fi (802.11)

(1) Both are Wireless Access Technology for different purposes.

(2) Normally operators only deploy 3G and Wi-Fi is for home/individual applications.

(3) 3G(3.5 G HSPA) can go up to max speed of 14 Mbits/s and Wi-Fi can go up to 54 Mbits/s

(4) Wi-Fi is a short range wireless technology and 3G ranges in kilometres

(5) 3G supports both voice and data and Wi-Fi supports only data.

(6) Both 3G and Wi-Fi support VoIP and Video Callings