What is the difference between the internet and Wi-Fi?

difference between the internet and Wi-Fi

Even though they may seem like it, the internet and Wi-Fi are not the same things. There is a huge difference between them. However, they are not completely synonymous with each other. You can have a Wi-Fi signal without the internet and you can also get to the internet without the Wi-Fi. A printer could be taken as an example for the former; you can connect your device to a printer over Wi-Fi. For the latter, you can have internet access with wired technology if there is no Wi-Fi. But there are still some devices like iPad that need a Wi-Fi connection to get access to the internet.

If you are interested in having an internet connection through a wireless method, you can consider the Xfinity internet service provider. The Xfinity internet deals all come with a secured router and modem for you to have access to the internet at a rate. This applies to all the internet deals that Xfinity is offering on the website given. Their additional features like connection speed, number of devices to be connected, charges for installation, etc. are also mentioned. The coolest thing about having Xfinity internet is that it allows your devices to connect to other Xfinity routers away from home.

What is Wi-Fi?

The word ‘Wi-Fi’ is not short for anything. It was created by a marketing team to brand wireless network technology and that way, it was caught on by everyone else.

Wi-Fi is an alternative to a cable internet connection to connect devices to a local area network (LAN). Until the Wi-Fi technology arrived, the only way to connect devices was through physical cables that have network connections running through them. But now internet users do not have to deal with tangled wires attached to multiple devices, rather they can connect to a wireless connection i.e. Wi-Fi.

How does Wi-Fi work?

A Wi-Fi connection needs radio waves to send and receive signals. These radio waves are made up of electromagnetic radiation that includes gamma rays, X-Ray, ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared, and microwaves. In the case of the internet service, there are two ways that a network connection can work:

  • There is a wireless adapter that sends and receives data in the form of a radio signal by using an antenna.
  • Or, a wireless router sends and received signals and decodes them from a physical, wired Ethernet connection.


Internet is known as a network that connects computers all over the world. Through an internet connection, internet users can send and receive information from other users in any part of the world.

How does the Internet work?

Each computer is connected to another tiny computer called a router. The router is like a signaler at a railway station: it makes sure the message sent from one computer reaches the right destination computer. You can connect multiple computers to a router to get to the internet, depending on its requirement.

But how does the router connect to the rest of the world? That is possible through linking it with a modem, which is connected to physical cables leading to your houses through telephone lines or electric power. The modem receives data from other parts of the regions of the world and connects it to information needed for your devices.

Internet and Wi-Fi

Just like with physical cables, Wi-Fi creates a pathway for internet users to get to the internet via smartphone, laptop, tablet, computer, or any devices capable of receiving a Wi-Fi signal. However, if the internet stops working for some reason, the Wi-Fi connection remains working in such a way that the user can print a document from their device to the printer or he can also stream pictures from his phone to devices like Apple TV or Chromecast over the Wi-Fi. These activities do not require an internet connection to work.

By contrast, if the Wi-Fi connection is not working and the internet is, the internet users can regain the connection by plugging in physical cables between the PC (or any device that uses a wired Ethernet cable) and the router.

Differences between Internet and Wi-Fi

Having narrowed down their definitions, it will be easier to differentiate between them:

  • Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that allows nearby devices access to the internet to send and receive data, whereas the internet is a telecommunication networking technology that allows for data to be transmitted all across the world.
  • Wi-Fi is just one of the ways through which internet users can get access to the internet, whereas the internet is a network connection through which internet users can communicate with each other.
  • Wi-Fi is not necessarily needed to have access to the internet, and other wireless devices can connect to the Wi-Fi without having to use the internet.
  • Wi-Fi uses radio waves to send and receive messages from nearby devices, whereas the internet is a networking infrastructure that allows for data to be transmitted globally using a protocol.

In conclusion, the internet and Wi-Fi are not the same things, but they can be connected to perform one specific task i.e. have devices get access to the internet.

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