Why Do We Use WiFi?

Often one of the first things we do in our digital literacy classes at the library is get people to connect to the WiFi so they can use the internet. But why do we do this? Isn't a smartphone always on the internet? Isn't that what makes it "smart"? 

There are two main ways we can connect to the internet. If you have a mobile data plan for your phone you can access the internet through the same network that lets you get phone calls and text messages. That network is powered by cell-phone towers and covers big distances so when you are away from home you can use a map or watch cute dog videos. You pay for that data on your cell-phone bill. 

WiFi is different. WiFi isn't broadcast from big towers, but small, shorter range devices we usually call routers. The speed you can send data back and forth over WiFi is faster than over mobile data, so it's better for big files or video. 

The other reason to use WiFi if it's available is that it doesn't cost you money on your cell-phone bill. At the Library and the Bookmobile (and at the county halls) we have WiFi for you to bring your device and access the internet more quickly and for free. You can learn more about the internet and how it works at our library tech classes. We hope to see you there.