Wireless Internet


Let’s say you’re in the market for high-speed, broadband Internet access. Cable and DSL Internet services aren’t available in your area. Satellite service is too slow, expensive or not practical for you. Maybe you work in lots of locations and need Web access that moves with you. Perhaps you just want to take your smartphone to the beach, take a few pictures and upload them to the Web. If this describes you, then you’re a perfect candidate for wireless Internet service. 

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Wireless? Like My Home Network?

Wireless Internet service should not to be confused with a wireless home network, which links computers, printers, and other devices within a home or business. Often, those networks require completely separate Internet access to function. Wireless Internet service provides the Internet to locations such as coffee shops, airports, conference halls, and hotels. As the networks grow, however, wireless Internet is increasingly providing Web access to entire cities. If this sounds strange just think of the iPhone—one can access the Web from almost anywhere if they’re in signal range.

Wireless Internet signal is transmitted through radio waves, effectively turning large areas into Internet “hotspots.” That means your computer or phone can access the Internet whether you’re inside, at the beach or riding in a car. The wireless signal can be received by cell phones, laptops, tablet computers, medical devices, cameras, video game devices, construction/industrial equipment and more—the list grows everyday. Due to the fierce competition among what we once thought of as “cell phone companies,” wireless Internet is available just about everywhere.

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Options, Options

Several options exist when it comes to wireless Internet service, such as WiMax, LTE (long term evolution), 3G and 4G, among others. Some of the most popular companies offering wireless Internet are Sprint, AT&T, Clear, Verizon, T-Mobile and LightSquared. These companies offer a variety of services, each with different costs and benefits. Some are designed for only a cell phone or tablet computer; some have a network of computers in mind. It’s important to research options for your particular needs and location. WiMax, for example, tends to cover urban areas. If you live in a less populated area, a 3G plan might suit you better.

Currently, wireless Internet service can’t match the speed of cable access, but the constant competition among providers is pushing wireless speeds faster and faster. And of course, with wireless Internet service you won’t be tied to a system of cords and cables.

If you’re looking for speeds faster than dial-up, would benefit from a mobile connection or don’t have access to cable, DSL or satellite, then you would do well to consider wireless Internet service. The nationwide availability and speed of wireless Internet are growing by the day. Is it the right time for you to jump in?

Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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