97% of reviewers recommend We Are Your IT
Call us today: 03303 800 100

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that allows devices to connect to a local network or the internet, enabling data to be transferred between devices within a specific range without cables. 

The internet is a global network that facilitates information exchange. Through the internet, we’re able to share and access information and data in a matter of seconds — we can browse social media, read news articles, send emails, purchase groceries and stream on demand (amongst other essential modern day activities).

Broadband is a type of internet connection. It refers to high-speed connections that provide a wide bandwidth for data transmission. Broadband can be accessed via various technologies, including Wi-Fi.

Let’s go into a little more detail.

White Wi-Fi wireless router on a white wooden table alongside a laptop, small cactus, pen and sticky notepad.

How Wi-Fi works

Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity. Operating within a certain frequency range, Wi-Fi makes use of radio signals to transmit data wirelessly between devices. 

Wireless Access Points (or ‘hotspots’) can exist in homes (often inbuilt into your router), offices, department stores, train stations and coffee shops. Connecting to a Wi-Fi access point connects you to a network, which in turn connects you to the internet.

Common devices that can connect to these Wi-Fi  access points include smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and games consoles. However, most modern equipment has the ability to connect through Wi-Fi such as smart TVs, speakers, thermostats, home assistants, fridges and digital photo frames.

Wi-Fi uses radio frequencies — the 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz frequencies, to be precise.

  • 2.4 GHz travels greater distances at a slower speed. It gives better range and can be better at penetrating solid objects at the expense of a lower data rate and being more prone to interference. There are usually more devices on the frequency.
  • 5 GHz travels less distance at a faster speed. Whilst it has a shorter range, it is more able to penetrate solid objects, providing less interference and higher data rates. There are usually fewer devices on the frequency.

(For more information on why and how to configure your Wi-Fi frequency, scroll down to point 3 in our guide to improving your Wi-Fi signal strength).

How the internet works

The internet is a web of globally interconnected networks. It allows billions of devices across the world to exchange packets of data, communicating and sharing information. A protocol called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) governs how these interactions take place.

These data packets travel across a number of routers, switches and servers, jumping through various networks before reaching an end destination — your home or office. This complex, mind-blowing system is what powers our digital experiences and lives.

How broadband works

Broadband, as mentioned, is a type of internet connection. Able to be accessed through Wi-Fi or hard cabled connections, it delivers information and data to your devices at a high speed. It uses wide bandwidth, meaning plenty of information can be carried at one time.

In current times, broadband is delivered increasingly by fibre technology with traditional copper cabling being phased out gradually across the UK. Fibre technology uses light passed down a very thin glass strand embedded in the cable. A cable can carry multiple strands of fibre. With this type of technology, very fast speeds can be achieved with ease and over very long distances — unlike copper cabling.

Broadband is delivered by a service provider that you pay for through a contract. The provider may insist on a minimum term for that contract and will also set out the expected speeds of the connection to your property.

For domestic properties, most services provided are ‘contended’ services.  This means you share the overall connection speeds in the local area with all your neighbours and hence why a service provider will give a range of acceptable speeds. At peak times, you can expect speeds to decrease with volume of use in the area.

An ‘uncontended’ service (or ‘leased line’) is a broadband connection dedicated to you. In this instance, the service provider will guarantee the speed and also provide significantly improved service levels to go with it.

This type of connection is perfect for businesses who rely solely on their internet connection and without it, the business will not be able to function. Expect this type of service to cost considerably more, though.

P.S. — struggling with your connection speed or Wi-Fi signal? Check out our guide to improving them!

Take your connectivity up a notch with We Are Your IT

Whether you prefer to say Wi-Fi, internet or broadband, we can all agree on one thing: fast is best.

Our team of IT experts have decades of experience helping businesses and households to enjoy the very best standard of connectivity.

So, whether you’re looking to amplify your Wi-Fi signal at home or need our tech team to level up your office IT infrastructure, we’re only a quick message away.

Contact our tech team today