If you own a mobile device, chances are that it can run on both 3G and Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet. Most smartphones these days still get 3G data through your wireless network as 4G LTE is still, yet steadily, being developed for most. With that being said, there are certain distinctive differences between Wi-Fi and 3G.
Aside from smartphones, other mobile devices also connect to the Internet. Tablets, the iPod touch and laptops all have the ability to connect to the web so that you can surf, interact with friends and family or play certain games that require an Internet connection. However, the iPod touch and many tablets do not connect to 3G. 3G is essentially a type of Internet connection that is portable as you can use it anywhere. At the same time, it is only possible to get 3G with your wireless carrier. It is typically tied to your smartphone or tablet as a data package that comes with your plan or can be added in addition to a talk and text type plan.
Wi-Fi comes from your Internet service provider. If you have a broadband connection in your home, you also have a router, which is the device that allows for connecting to the Internet wirelessly through your computer. You can also connect an iPod touch, tablet and smartphone to Wi-Fi. Many individuals even choose to use their Wi-Fi on their smartphone at home as a way to conserve their 3G data plan as some wireless carriers, namely T-Mobile, do not charge users to do this. Others, most notably AT&T, do, so it is important for users to be aware of this.
With a 3G connection, when you are on the go, you can always connect your devices to your smartphone as long as you have a plan with your wireless provider that allows it. This is known as tethering and is helpful for surfing the web on a larger scale via a tablet or laptop computer when there is no free Wi-Fi access in your immediate area. Wireless providers even sell small gadgets that resemble USB thumb drives that allow you to connect to 3G and sometimes 4G networks as well. Many of these devices allow up to five devices to be tethered so that they can connect to the web. They tend to be somewhat pricey but are definitely worth the money for anyone who travels on a regular basis as it is a given that there will always be an Internet connection when it is needed.