What’s the difference between broadband and WiFi?

There’s a common misconception that broadband and WiFi are the same thing, and are simply interchangeable terms. We can see where the confusion comes from but they are in fact different, yet still connected. Stay with us as we try to explain…

14 December 2022

What is broadband?

Broadband is sometimes the unsung hero when it comes to internet connectivity. A lot of people refer to it as WiFi when they actually mean broadband.

Broadband is your standard wired internet connection that operates over a physical wire from the exchange directly into your home through a router or modem. Traditionally, this is done via your phone line, with old copper cables or fibre-optic cables. 

But you can also get mobile broadband, which uses 3G, 4G or 5G delivered by mobile network providers, and doesn’t use cables.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is the wireless connection between your devices and the router or modem, using radio waves. This means you can connect to the internet without cables. It is simply a method of connecting to the internet, wirelessly.

If you were lucky – or unlucky – enough to experience home internet in its early days, you will probably remember sitting next to a phone line, with a physical cable connecting your computer to access the web. The dial-up sound probably still lives rent-free in your mind. 

However, if you are reading this and you have no idea what we’re talking about, you can thank WiFi. You can now enjoy internet access from almost anywhere in your house, without worrying about how long a cable is. 

How are broadband and WiFi connected? 

They act in unison – you need both to surf the web, watch Netflix, listen to music and so on. 

Essentially, your device will use WiFi technology to connect to the physical broadband router which allows you to access the internet. 

So whilst WiFi usually takes all the limelight, it couldn’t operate without trusty broadband, which needs to deliver reliable speeds and deal with the ever-increasing amount of devices in the home.

That’s why choosing the right broadband package for your needs is so important. As we’ve said before there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and this will depend on the number of connected devices in your household, and what they’re used for. 

At BeFibre, we provide flexible full fibre packages suited to your internet needs – whether you’re a serious gamer who needs super-fast speeds or the occasional e-shopper, we’ve got you covered. 

Still not sure what full fibre means? Read our recent blog to find out why it’s the future of internet connectivity. 


Enter your postcode to check if BeFibre is available in your area, here.


*All references to how many times faster our broadband service is, depends on you being able to access ‘superfast’ type broadband services of 70Mbps (or less) and selecting one of our packages at the advertised speed. Speeds shown may be affected based on the placement of the router in your property or the device you are using.


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