How is my home internet data different from mobile data?

 

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How is my home internet data different from mobile data?

A mother chats to her daughter using her tablet device

What's coming up

In this activity, you'll learn about the differences between data on a home internet connection, and data on a mobile connection.

Your home internet comes to your house through a cable from the street. A network box, called a router, then transmits the data over the airwaves via Wi-Fi. Mobile data is also wireless, but instead of being transmitted by Wi-Fi it comes from a nearby mobile phone tower.

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Two data allowances

If you have a home internet connection and a mobile phone with a data plan, the data you use is tracked separately.

The home internet plan has one data allowance, and the mobile data plan has another.

Two separate internet plans one for home data and the other for mobile data
A graphic of a bundle internet plan, including home and mobile data on the same plan

What about bundles?

Some internet providers let you bundle home internet and a mobile phone data plan into a single bill.

Even in this case, home internet data and mobile data are measured separately.

Different types of data

The data your home internet uses comes to your house from the street, just like your electricity or gas supply.

When you use data on a mobile phone, it uses a signal from the nearest mobile phone tower.

A graphic of a mobile data transmitter tower
A graphic showing a mobile phone able to connect to either home internet or mobile internet

One device can use both types of data

Some devices, including mobile phones and some tablets and laptops, can connect to both types of data.

They can switch automatically, based on which has the strongest reception.

Mobile phones and Wi-Fi

For instance, your mobile phone will get data from the nearest mobile phone tower when you are out and about. It can usually also get a mobile signal at home, too.

But mobile phones can pick up Wi-Fi signals as well. You can set your phone to automatically switch to Wi-Fi when you are at home. We show you how to do this in the upcoming course, Switching my mobile phone from mobile data to Wi-Fi.

A graphic showing the internet being provided to a home and a mobile phone
Switching your mobile phone to use your home Wi-Fi can save you money

Saving money with Wi-Fi

Switching a phone or other mobile device to Wi-Fi at home will save you from using up all your mobile data allowance.

Mobile data allowances are usually much smaller than a home data allowance and are more expensive too.

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eSafety Tip

With your phone on Wi-Fi, you can use it at home to browse the internet without worrying about your mobile data allowance.

Well done!

This is the end of How is my home internet data different from mobile data? activity.

In this activity, you learned the difference between home internet data and mobile data, and that your mobile phone can use both types of data.

Next up, we'll take a closer look at which of your devices use home Wi-Fi and which can use mobile data, in the Which of my devices uses which kind of data? activity.

Using a mobile phone to stay connected