The difference between data and WI-FI
WI-FI allows your phone or tablet to connect to the Internet via a router. You need to be in the range of a router and connect to the network in order to access the Internet.
Cellular data allows your phone or tablet to connect to the Internet via a cell phone signal. You need to have a cell phone plan that includes cellular data and be in the range of a cell phone tower to access the Internet.
Why You Should Care Whether You're Using WI-FI or Cellular Data
A recent Wi-Fi security report from Wandera analyzed a set of 100,000 company-owned mobile devices and found that 74% of wireless data took advantage of a nearby Wi-Fi network.
53% of users can't even tell the difference between a secured network and an unsecured network, and 90% of consumers have put some type of personal information at risk using public Wi-Fi.
12% of those Wi-Fi hotspots lacked any type of encryption to secure the connection. Furthermore, only 4% of these company-owned devices were exposed to accidental or deliberate “man-in-the-middle” attacks.
Mentioning a man-in-the-middle attack means a situation where one computer has contracted malware that allows another machine to steal data that's flowing to and from it. Once the machine has connected to a Wi-Fi connection, the malware is then transferred to the network, thereby infecting the entire network with the malware and giving the hacker free rein to cause all kinds of trouble.
Yet, even still, users will prefer to use a Wi-Fi connection over a cellular provider connection when given the choice. One statistic claims that up to 60% of people will simply connect to any public Wi-Fi they find rather than resort to their cellular data - even if it's paid for by the company they work for.
Symantec's Wi-Fi Risk Report comes to a similar conclusion, claiming that people believe their data is more secure if it's transmitted over Wi-Fi.
When to Use Cellular Data
You may prefer to use a cellular data connection when:
- The Wi-Fi network is public or not secure
- The Wi-Fi network is slow
- You aren't in danger of running out of cellular data for the month (check out our international roaming plans to get unrestricted high speed mobile Internet access)
- Your phone's Wi-Fi connection is weak
Cellular networks are much more secure than a normal Wi-Fi network. Cellular providers take advantage of encryption that protects users.
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