The Difference Between Broadband and Wi-Fi

Our guide explains exactly what broadband and Wi-Fi are and why they are so different. Covering everything from speeds, reliability and signal strength
January 28, 2021

What’s the difference between broadband and Wi-Fi?

In a sentence, broadband is the connection that is set up to your property, while Wi-Fi is a signal sent from the router to your device.

The two are linked, and it’s impossible to have a strong Wi-Fi signal around your home without a good broadband speed. But there are many different types of broadband and a number of factors that impact your Wi-Fi. This article looks to expand on both, and provide you with some tips and insights to ensure you get the speeds you need.


What is Broadband?

Broadband is a high-speed internet connection that allows you to access the internet either with a wired or wireless connection. Broadband connections will give you access to everything you can get from the internet. It’s basically replaced ‘dial up’ internet which was vastly slower compared to broadband options today. Nowadays, there are so many different types of broadband for you to choose from but due to the structure of some broadband, not everyone has access to all of the broadband options out there.


What are the different types of broadband?


FTTP uses fibre optic cables to run directly to your home, no copper wires and much faster speeds. FTTC speeds normally sit between 30-70Mbps, whereas FTTP speeds can offer up to 1Gb. FTTP broadband gives you the best speeds and the most reliability. Because of the point to point service, it delivers symmetrical upload and download speeds to each property without sharing your service with your neighbours. So, at peak times when lots of people in your area would be using the internet, you won’t experience any drop outs or reduced speeds because your connection is dedicated from the cabinet straight to your property. So FTTP is best! If you’d like to know anymore you can head over to our in-depth FTTP guide.


For FTTC connections, fibre optic cables will run from the telephone exchange to street cabinets. It’s then connected to your property using copper wires. As this is connected using current infrastructure it is widely available in the UK and is fairly cheap to install. However, it’s use of old copper wires means the speeds are far slower then FTTP connections.


ADSL is the most available broadband out there. It’s delivered through the copper lines in your phone line and comes from your telephone exchange. As the connection comes from a telephone exchange, the speed of your broadband depends on how far away your property sits from the exchange. Depending on which type of ADSL you get, speeds can vary between 8Mbps and 24Mbps. However, the speeds provided depend on how far away you live from the telephone exchange. Unfortunately, the further away you live, the slower your broadband will be.


You’ll normally find cable broadband advertised by TV providers. They use fibre optic and coaxial cables to deliver broadband. Many cable providers will offer a bundle, so you’ll get your telephone, broadband and TV channels all in one package. Unlike ADSL, cable broadband isn’t affected by long distance and can offer speeds up to around 150Mbps. But it’s important to remember that the speeds offered may not be symmetrical upload and download so make sure you check you’re happy with both speeds before you agree to a new contract.


What are the benefits of broadband?

Having great broadband at home comes with many benefits, it gives users a great opportunity to browse the web, upload and download files easily and has great entertainment and learning benefits. Instead of relying on satellite and cable, with ultrafast broadband you can listen to your favourite radio stations and watch the best series and movies all by using the internet.

One of the biggest benefits of great home broadband is the ability to work from home. Nowadays more staff are working from home giving them a better work life balance. Many companies have taken to the change as it generally reduces business costs. Ultrafast broadband means you can join video calls with no buffering or lag and enjoy the luxury of uploading and downloading files within seconds.

From primary school age to university or college, children can benefit from ultrafast broadband as it allows them to excel their learning by using online resources. The frustration of pages not loading and files taking forever to download is behind us. Ultrafast broadband provides stress free learning and ample opportunities for children of all ages.


What should you look for when looking for new broadband?

Broadband Speed

Truespeed’s ultrafast broadband is different from many other providers. It’s unique FTTP connection guarantees symmetrical upload and download speeds 24/7.

Broadband Reliability

Our FTTP connection also provides second-to-none reliability as the broadband is directly connected to the router.

What broadband is available in my area?

Unless you’re already aware of a broadband provider in your area the best way to find out what broadband options you have is through an online checker. To help you choose the right service for you, check out our home broadband packages.


What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a form of wireless connection which allows devices such as your laptop, phone and tablets to connect to the internet via your router. Your router is the box that your internet provider gives you when they come and install your broadband. The best way to describe Wi-Fi is like having an invisible wire that connects to your devices, allowing you to wander around the house with the device, away from the router without needing a wire. You’ll also find Wi-Fi in commercial spaces such as restaurants and airports, where people can access the internet without needing a wire. Wow, can you imagine if Wi-Fi didn’t exist and everyone in an airport needed a wire to connect them to the internet, that would be chaos!


What affects Wi-Fi signal strength?

Wi-Fi uses radio frequencies to send signals to different devices, using Gigahertz (Ghz) to send and receive data. Generally, the radio signals used are not particularly strong, which is why Wi-Fi signals don’t travel very far. For many homes, the Wi-Fi signals stretch far enough to cover their home. But in some cases where people have large homes or have thick walls, the Wi-Fi signals aren’t strong enough to cover the whole house.

If you’re struggling with your Wi-Fi connection we’d recommend adding our Mesh system to your package.


What affects Wi-Fi speeds?

Wi-Fi allows you to access the internet from multiple devices without being connected to the router with a cable. But because of this, the speeds you get through Wi-Fi can fluctuate. This can be caused by router location, how many users are online and a number of other reasons. Thankfully there are a few things you could try to increase your Wi-Fi speeds.


What can I do to boost Wi-Fi speeds?

If you want to maximise the speeds from your broadband, the best way to do this is through an ethernet connection, this would give you the ultimate bandwidth your broadband offers. If using an ethernet cable is not practical for you there are a number of different things you can do to increase your Wi-Fi speeds.

Our top 5 recommendations to improve Wi-Fi are:

  • Mesh Systems
  • Wi-fi extenders
  • Router location
  • Switch to a different Wi-Fi channel.
  • Use the latest devices.

Hopefully, you’re all clued up on everything to do with broadband and Wi-Fi now! Next time you have an issue watching your favourite box set, you’ll know if it’s your Wi-Fi playing up or an issue with your broadband.