There’s not much that gets done without the use of the internet these days. We use it for work, school, entertainment, and even to socialise. As a result, a wireless broadband solution is becoming an integrated component of modern homes and businesses. But with so many service providers jostling for your attention, how do you choose the best WiFi solution? In this guide, we’ll discuss wireless broadband in detail and we will also help you with some points to consider before choosing a broadband package that’s right for you.
In This Guide:
- What is wireless broadband?
- What is the reliability of wireless broadband vs. direct fibre and ADSL?
- Who should use wireless broadband?
- How do I get a wireless broadband connection?
- How can I compare broadband quotes?
What is wireless broadband?
Wireless broadband (more commonly referred to as “WiFi”) is a type of broadband service that connects you to the internet without the use of cables. Instead, it relies on electromagnetic waves that communicate through space to send and receive data.
Wireless broadband is not to be confused with 3G or 4G mobile broadband, which uses mobile phone signals.
While a WiFi connection is wireless, it’s only the connection between your computer or device and the router that’s cable-free. Your router will still need access to a broadband connection to work. This means that ADSL or a fibre broadband service can be turned into a wireless connection with the use of a Wi-Fi router.
What is the reliability of wireless broadband vs. direct fibre and ADSL?
Fixed Wireless Broadband
Wireless broadband relies on transmission towers (or ground stations) to transfer internet information in the form of radio waves. This means that the quality of a connection can be affected by large objects, such as trees, hills, and buildings, that get in the way. At the same time, this type of connection comes in really handy when there are multiple individuals who want access to the internet at the same time and without their computers or devices being physically connected to a line.
ADSL has the advantage in that it is available in most areas. The quality of this copper line service, however, can be affected by the fact that cables degrade over time and they are also susceptible to theft. To add, the further your home or office is from and exchange, the slower your connection will be.
Fibre provides the fastest and most reliable connection to the internet. Fibre lines are not vulnerable to interferences from electrical storms or bad weather and you do not need to be close to an exchange for a clear connection. On the downside, many neighbourhoods are still waiting for their turn for the fibre optic lines to be laid, which means that not everyone has access to this service yet.
Who should use wireless broadband?
Anyone who prefers to use their devices cable-free should consider a wireless broadband connection.
Wireless broadband is particularly is ideal for:
- Homes or small offices where many individuals want to access a broadband connection at the same time and from different rooms of the building.
- Gamers who use wireless gaming consoles.
- Individuals who prefer to use their laptops without being tied down to the location of their telephone point.
- Handheld devices that have no cable input.
- Larger homes and offices where the distance between the users and router might be too far a cable connection.
How do I get a wireless broadband connection?
Your first step is to find a service provider who can connect you to the internet via ADSL or fibre. Most broadband providers will then supply you with a wireless router when you agree to a contract. Alternatively, you can purchase a router from any ISP. Your broadband supplier will then assist you with setting up your hardware. They may also have to change settings to accommodate this connection (so if you are using your own hardware, you may have to notify your supplier so that they can adjust your ISP setup accordingly).
With so many ISPs available, choosing a service and package that you can trust to fulfil your internet needs can be somewhat of a challenge. It’s important, however, that you shop around and compare broadband quotes so that you get the best wireless connection at a price that’s easy to swallow.
How can I compare broadband quotes?
Requesting quotes and then comparing them is not something that necessarily needs to take up much of your time. If you use our free online quoting tool, for instance, then it will take just a few minutes to do a broadband comparison. Simply fill in our form and we will source the quotes for you, focusing on the best ISPs in South Africa. We’ll then send you the quotes in a format that’s easy to digest so that you can find cheap broadband deals offering all that you need.