The Difference Between WiFi and Internet Explained

difference between wi fi and internet

We often use the term ‘Wifi’ to refer to our home internet connection, which provides unlimited Internet access. 

However, there is a considerable difference between wifi and the Internet.

Wifi is a wireless technology used to connect computers, tablets, mobile phones, and other devices to the Internet.

While the Internet, according to Britannica, is a worldwide network that connects computers. The Internet connection enables people to communicate and share information from anywhere. 

Often, the terms Internet and wifi are used interchangeably, and users get confused about their differences.

Therefore, this blog post will dive into the core differences between the Internet and wifi. 

What is the Internet and how does it work? 

The Internet can be defined as a global/ massive network that connects billions of computers and other devices. Internet users have virtually unlimited access to information, can communicate with anyone in the world, listen to music, watch movies, send files and do much more.

internet devices

In contrast, the world wide web (WWW) is a collection of different websites that anyone can access by using the Internet.

Once users connect their devices to the Internet and go online, they can access any website they want using a web browser.

All the user can do is pay for faster Internet speed; he or she cannot control the Internet connection other than turning it on and off.

Currently, there are 5 billion internet users in the world in 2022, according to Statista

What is Wireless Internet, and how does it work?

Wireless Internet access at home usually involves a small box called a router, which plugs directly into the telephone line. A router’s job is to transmit connections to and from the Internet, and it usually connects several computers to the Internet simultaneously.

When it’s open to the public, a wireless connection is sometimes referred to as a “wi-fi hotspot,” a local area network (LAN) based on radio frequency waves instead of wires.

The Wi-fi network made it possible for devices to be connected without the need for physical wires, which were highly inconvenient before. As we mentioned earlier, the wireless network is actually a wireless local area network.

What is wireless fidelity?

Wireless fidelity is commonly confused with wifi, which refers to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11 standards for wireless LANs. 

The wifi Alliance says that wifi is not an acronym. It is a play on words based on hi-fi, which is short for high-fidelity (a generic term for high-quality audio reproduction). 

Differences between wifi and internet

After distinguishing between an Internet connection and a wireless Internet connection, we can examine the differences between the two.

Wifi NetworkInternet 
As a wireless networking technology, it transmits and receives signals from nearby devices to provide Internet access.Internet is a technology that enables devices to interconnect globally.
Radio waves are used to send and receive information.There are a set of pre-defined rules governed by the TCP/IP suite.
WI-FI is one of the few methods of connecting to the Internet.This is a way for computers to communicate with each other. 
WI-Fi is not essential to the internet. Regarding the Internet, connecting computers globally does not require WI-FI.
Through WI-FI, computers can access the Internet. The Internet is a network of connected devices.

Fun facts about the Internet and Wifi

  • There are over 5.25 billion active internet users.
  • The number of active Internet users in China is 1 billion in 2022.
  • There are more than 1.92 billion websites online.
  • Mobile devices are used by 4.32 billion people to access the internet.
  • The Internet has 198.4 million active websites.
  • The number of blog posts published per day is around 7 million.
  • The number of active social media users in 2021 is 4.2 billion.
  • Today, 47% of internet users use an ad-blocker.
  • Cybercrime cost US businesses $3.5 billion in 2019.
  • Nearly every human on earth is surrounded by 26 smart objects.
  • As of 2021, more than 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  •  There are more than 9 billion wireless devices in the world.
  • There are several different kinds of WiFi.
  • Lithuania has the fastest WiFi in the world.
  • Wi-Fi uses a frequency similar to a microwave oven.


1. Who invented wi-fi?

Vic Hayes is known as the “father of Wi-Fi” since he chaired the IEEE committee responsible for creating standards for 802.11 in 1997. Before Wi-Fi was even on the radar of the general public, Hayes established the standards that made it possible.

2. Can you have internet without wi-fi?

Yes, you can have internet without WiFi.

To access the internet, all you need is a modem connected to a cable, regardless of whether you have WiFi or not. A modem may be a standalone device, or it may have a built-in router with wired and/or wireless capabilities. 

3. How can you have WiFi without Internet?

If your WiFi is working but you can’t access the internet on all your devices, the most obvious explanation is that your Internet provider is down.

When you experience these issues, it means that your device is connected to the local network (your router or modem), however, something is preventing access to the internet. 

4. What is satellite internet?

Satellite internet is a connection that uses a satellite to transmit internet signals from your internet service provider to you.

Over to you

Wi-Fi and the Internet are not interchangeable terms.

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology used to connect devices to the internet, while the internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use TCP/IP protocol to communicate with one another.

Although they are related, there are important distinctions between these two technologies that users should be aware of.

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