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What Is 3G Internet?
So, I’m sure you guys have seen a lot of ads on TV and billboards everywhere advertising 3G and 4G. But what is actually 3G? So, when we say 3G, what we’re talking about is basically the Third Generation of wireless communication. When cellphones first started, all we had was basically analog signals going back and forth, which was just voice and radio signals. After that, the Second Generation was the first to really bring digital into the picture, and send bits and packets of data across the network. Which worked, but it was very, very slow. And then, on came 3G, which gave us slightly better speed. So, there are basically many, many different kinds of 3G. The main two are GSM and CDMA. GSM is the one that companies like AT&T and T-Mobile use, and it basically means that on your device, you will have a little SIM card that you put in, and it will tell your phone its identity on the network. And it’ll tell your cellular company where your phone is, and how to talk to it. CDMA doesn’t use SIM cards. CDMA just uses something called an IMEI number, which is like a serial number for the phone on the network. It basically works the same way. It’s how the cellphone company people locate your phone and talk to it. Now, 3G is all about speed. So when we say 3G, we’re talking about speeds that are roughly ten, 20, sometimes even 30 kilobytes per second, depending on your, you know, movement, place, how good your reception is. In a real life situation, it means that you can download a song in about two or three minutes per song, which is pretty good. It’s definitely a lot more doable than 2G, which was at least ten times slower than that. With 3G, we finally get usable Internet connections. That means we can download data, pictures, and even stream music online. With 3G, we you something like ten, 20, even 30 kilobytes per second sometime, depending on your location, and it means you can basically download a full song in about two to three minutes, which is really, really nice. And that’s basically what 3G is all about. Speed.
What Is 4G Internet?
So I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of ads on TV and on billboards out there advertising the new 4G network that all the wireless companies have. So what is 4G? So basically 4G is kind of like a catch all phase for all the newer technologies that are being developed to replace the current 3G or 3rd generation networks that all the cellular provides like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile are using today. Now I like 3G, it’s not really a set term that defines anything. Everybody just kind of uses it very loosely and it basically describes a certain speed that 3G could never reach. These speeds can get as fast as 10, 15, sometimes even 20 megabits per second which is a pretty crazy speed. I mean it’s more like the kind of speed you get at home with your cable or DSL modem. There’s three kinds of popular 4G networks out there. LTE, HPSA+, and Ymax, and all the cellular companies are using one form or another. But they’re all pretty similar in terms of speeds and ranges. The nice thing about 4G is that it really enables you to do things you really couldn’t do before with 3G. Stuff like streaming live video off of the internet or talking to somebody on Skype was never really possible using 3G because the bandwidth was just not there. The 4G gives you such great speeds, you can use not only on your phone, you can also use it to connect your phone to your computer and surf the internet at really high speeds like that. Some cell phone companies even sell a 4G modem which is kind of like a cell phone without a cell phone. It’s just used to stream data using the 4G network to and from your computer. Even though 4G feels really good when it’s on on you’re phone it kind of feels like your phone is on steroids basically, everything just goes faster. It is a drain on the battery power, so a lot of people, even though they have 4G on their phones, they don’t really keep it on all the time. Because every phone that has a 4G antenna, also has a 3G antenna. And that’s basically what 4G is.
What Is Wireless Internet?
So when people say wireless, what they usually mean is something called WiFi or a wireless network. Also known as a hotspot. You see these wireless networks everywhere at coffee shops, airports, you can even have one in your own apartment. And basically what it does is kind of take the Internet that you’re getting from your Internet service provider and spreads it so that you can use it on every computer you have in your apartment wirelessly, without cables. It’s usually used as something called a router and it creates a radio signal that you can use it with any computer that has a wireless adapter on it. Which means that it can talk to other wireless devices to log into the Internet and shares files and, you know, devices. Like printers, even media to your TV or to your gaming console. Another important thing to mention is speed. WiFi can be pretty fast but not as fast as connecting your computers to the network with an actual cable. For Internet usage, you won’t really see a difference most of the time. But if you’re doing more serious stuff like gaming or file sharing, you might want to actually put the cable into the router and connect to your computer manually. A lot of people ask me how much does having wireless cost. Well the truth is it doesn’t really cost anything except for the router itself that transmits the radio signal. In most cases you don’t even have to tell your Internet service provider that you have wireless. All you have to do is, go to the store, buy the wireless adapter, plug it into your modem and you’re good.