WiFi vs LTE Internet Connection on Your Phone
Connecting to the internet from your smartphone can can be done in two different ways - either by connecting to a wifi source, or connecting through your data plan’s 4G or 5G LTE service.
With the increasing improvements of cell phone signal technologies, it is now possible to rely primarily on 4G and 5G as your primary source of WiFi - either through a separate home internet plan, or by using your cell phone as a mobile hotspot to power multiple devices.
Difference between WiFi and Mobile Hotspots
When it comes to accessing the internet, your connection can either be wired — like DSL, landline internet, cable, and fiber-optic — or wireless, such as a cellular signal. There are two main methods of wireless connection - Wi-Fi and Cellular/LTE data plans.
WiFi is the technology that lets you connect a device to an internet service without being physically plugged in. WiFi networks set up in homes, offices, and buildings are static. Once you’re outside of the network’s reach, you no longer have connectivity from it.
A mobile hotspot is a private network that can be set up on an Apple or Android phone, or standalone mobile hotspot cellular router device (stay tuned - KING will soon be offering a cellular router option with data plans for purchase). This gives you portable internet connection on more than one device, as long as you continue to have cellular coverage. For many, this can be a much more convenient and flexible way to access the internet than a landline internet options.
Why Is Your WiFi Signal Weak?
When using your cell phone as your source of internet, especially when on the road, you may experience times when your signal strength is weak. This could be due to a number of different reasons, and highly depends on the method in which you are connecting to the internet.
If you are connecting via a public wifi source, for instance at the local campsite while traveling, you may experience spotty reception caused by three main problems:
- You are too far away from the wifi source
- The signal is crowded because there are too many people trying to connect to the same network
- The wifi signals being broadcast are too weak
If you primarily use a wifi source to connect to the internet from your phone, consider a wifi extender or booster. Click here (link: https://kingconnect.com/wi-fi-antennas) to check out our lineup of wifi products to help you connect.
On the other hand, if you primarily use your cell phone’s data plan to connect to the internet, the most common cause of weak cell signals is that you are located too far away from the nearest cell tower, and the cell phone signal can’t reach you. Another common cause is that the signal is being blocked by trees, hills, mountains, or other structures.
Fortunately, there are ways to work around these challenges and achieve optimal signal strength. One such way is through a cell phone signal booster, which allows you to turn weak signal strength that results in just one or two bars of connectivity into full bars strength.
How to Improve Your WiFi
If you are looking for a way to strengthen your connection to a wifi source, for instance when camped at a campground that provides free wifi, you will want to look for a WiFi extender/booster. Wifi boosters for cell phones - which are really just wifi boosters because they work for all devices, can help you better connect to a public wifi source by extending the signal and cutting down on signal noise, giving you a boosted signal.
These antennas work by picking up wireless internet signals from an access point (such as free campground wifi), sometimes from up to a mile away, and boosting them inside your RV, travel trailer, or other vehicle/structure. The antenna is connected to a router inside your RV which broadcasts the wireless signal throughout the coach on your own private, password-protected VPN network. This allows you to access high gain, boosted internet speed, even when parked far away from the source.
How to Improve Mobile Hotspot Signal
Hotspot signal boosters, also known as cell phone signal boosters, can take even a faint cell signal and amplify it.
The same way you would boost a cellular signal or cell phone service, that is how you can also boost a mobile hotspot signal! In other words, there is no need for specifically purchasing a mobile hotspot signal booster - you can simply use a cell phone signal booster.
Mobile hotspot boosters are made up of three components:
- An external omnidirectional antenna that pulls in even the weakest cellular signal from nearby cell towers
- An amplifier that boosts the cell phone signal
- An inside antenna that distributes the signal to cellular devices and other devices requiring internet
In summation, wifi boosters for cell phones work by picking up cell signals with the external antenna, transmitting those signals through a cellular signal booster amplification unit, then broadcasting them to your devices through an internal antenna. The signals your cell phone or mobile hotspot device picks up will be much stronger than before, allowing you to easily access the internet, stream content, and make phone calls with crystal clear reception.
For more information on how to create a mobile hotspot on your phone, see our blog post Ultimate Guide to Cell Phone Hotspot Boosters.
Pros and Cons of WiFi Signal as Main Internet Source
One pro of using WiFi signals as a main internet source while traveling is that it is typically completely free when connecting to public WiFi sources. You won’t need to use your cell phone’s data plan and won’t get throttled back for using too much data, even if your plan claims to be unlimited (yes, many major US carriers claim their plans are unlimited, but will then throttle your data speeds back when you go over a certain data usage threshold).
A con of using WiFi as your main source of internet connection is that it is not always available. Your campsite or hotel may have free WiFi available, however what about when you are driving on the road? Another con is that oftentimes the public WiFi is unusable for internet because the signal is too crowded or you are too far away from the source. This is where cell phone wifi boosters might be helpful.
If you are looking for more information on how you can boost your WiFi signal strength, see our WiFi antennas page here (link: https://kingconnect.com/wi-fi-antennas)
How Does a WiFi Booster Work?
WiFi boosters, which boost the signals coming from a nearby wifi source, work by picking up wireless internet signals from an access point (such as free campground wifi), sometimes from up to a mile away, and boosting them inside your RV, travel trailer, or other vehicle/structure. The antenna is connected to a router inside your RV which broadcasts the wireless signal throughout the coach on your own private, password-protected VPN network. This allows you to access high gain, boosted internet speed, even when parked far away from the source.
If you are instead looking to boost your internet connection when using a mobile hotspot device or your cell phone’s data plan, a cell phone signal booster may be the right option for you. To learn more about our available cell phone signal boosters, check out our lineup here (link: kingconnect.com/lte).
Why Is a WiFi Booster Worth It?
A WiFi booster is worth it if you commonly find yourself in situations where you struggle to find enough signal strength when connecting to a wifi source. A WiFi signal booster would help you to make those weak, overcrowded WiFi signals more usable, so that you can connect multiple devices and cell phones to the internet.
Factors to Consider when Purchasing
Before purchasing a wifi extender or signal booster, or a cell phone signal booster, make sure you are very clear on what you are trying to connect to. If you are mainly attempting to connect to cellular radio waves using your cell phone’s data plan and find yourself running into spotty service while traveling, then a cell phone signal booster is the right move for you.
On the other hand, if you are mainly attempting to connect to WiFi sources, then a wifi extender/booster is the product option you will want to look into.
We recommend KING products for internet connectivity because we are known for premium, quality products - and as a bonus we are a family-owned and operated American company with US based customer support!
Do WiFi boosters work for cell phones?
Yes, a WiFi booster will boost your internet connection on your cell phone when connecting to a WiFi source.
How can I boost my cell phone WiFi?
You can boost your cell phone’s wifi connection the same way you would boost any other device’s wifi connection - through the use of a wifi extender/booster.
Is there a booster for better cell phone reception?
Yes! There are many options for signal boosters that boost your cell signal. To check out our lineup of cell boosters, click here (link: kingconnect.com/lte)
What's the difference between a WiFi booster and extender?
A WiFi extender will extend the range at which you can connect to a wifi signal. For instance, if you are too far away from a WiFi source to achieve a strong internet connection, a WiFi extender would help extend your range so that you could connect.
A WiFi booster would actually strengthen your signal and make it more usable by cutting out signal noise from other devices attempting to connect and broadcasting the wifi signal using dual band technology.
All of the KING WiFi extending products do both! To learn more, check out our product lineup here (link: https://kingconnect.com/wi-fi-antennas)
What is the difference between a WiFi booster and a cellular booster?
A WiFi booster helps to boost your connection to a WiFi source. A cellular booster amplifies your cell signal coming from the nearby cell towers. Both of these products can help you achieve optimal signal strength and internet connection, depending on where you are what source you are trying to connect to.