How safe is surfing on 4G vs. Wi-Fi?

In the modern world, there are many avenues to get the internet – wired or wireless. If we talk about wired home connections, then DSL, cable, or fiber optic come to mind. Cable internet uses a network of coaxial wires to deliver high-powered broadband to people’s homes. Similarly, fiber internet uses fiber optic cables and happens to be the fastest internet service in the market. DSL and dial-up are relatively older forms of internet connections.

On the other hand, wireless connections mostly consist of mobile broadband, known as 4G, or wireless fidelity internet, known as Wi-Fi. We are all familiar with 4G technology and the way it has shaped our communication. Other than 4G, there are public and private Wi-Fi hotspots through which we can access the internet when traveling outdoors. No matter which connection you choose, it should maintain the highest standards of security. The truth is that once you connect to the internet, a hundred percent safety is never guaranteed. Therefore, online security measures should be taken at any cost.

Wi-Fi or 4G? Which one is safer? This article will help you understand:

Wi-Fi Networks

Wi-Fi networks are either public or private. A private network is the one that you use at your home or office. It is purchased from an internet service provider. For instance, Cox internet plans offer the latest Wi-Fi technology, known as Gateway. This helps you get the fastest possible speeds, and the connection is extremely reliable. Moreover, your network communication is encrypted. Therefore, no one can access your network. Almost all internet service providers give you the option of using the company’s router or your own for setting up Wi-Fi at home.

The second type of Wi-Fi Network is a public hotspot. These connections are installed at restaurants, malls, airports, and coffee shops. These networks are not usually protected by any password. We all have heard of how important it is not to use public Wi-Fi for making delicate transactions online. However, this idea is quite impractical as there will be times where you might have to use one. You can never tell if a hacker is lurking in the shadows of this network. Hence, it is quite risky to use public Wi-Fi since a contaminated access point may send viruses and malware to your connected device.

Safety Risks of Wi-Fi Networks

Let us be honest with ourselves. Public Wi-Fi networks are never safe. They are laced with risks and hackers find it quite easy to penetrate them. Once they do, these cybercriminals can access your social media accounts, your private information, and data, and cause irreparable damage to your phone.
Secondly, these public networks are not encrypted. This means that people on the network can easily assess your messages, browser history, and personal files on the device. The biggest damage it can create will be on your finances.

Rogue Wi-Fi Hotspots

This is a common technique employed by hackers to access your device. In malls, coffee shops, and airports, they make an access point similar to the one present there. For example, if the coffee shop has a network by the name ‘CoffeeCompany’, they will make a fake access point by the name of ‘CoffeeCompany1’. Many customers will log in to the latter only to give away all their personal information including financials.

4G Connections

4G connections work opposite to the Wi-Fi connections. Instead of relying on ISP-delivered routers for wireless internet access, 4G technology enables devices to access the internet directly from the cellular network. The signals are received in the same way as your device receives a cell phone call. As a result, you can access the internet anywhere where your mobile provider has set up cellular towers.

Are 4G Connections Safe?

Fortunately, all the information going through a 4G network is encrypted. However, it is safe to say that no connection is a hundred percent secure. 4G is safer than public Wi-Fi. Since 4G is a relatively new networking technology, it is difficult to hack. To ensure the safety of their signals, cellular companies employ white hat hackers to test their connections. They look for ways these connections can be compromised. The only proven way of hacking a 4G network is through a Man-In-The-Middle attack. The hackers place themselves between two communicating parties, and sometimes between the user and the application.

Therefore, 4G connections can be hacked but they are much safer than open Wi-Fi.

Final Verdict

There are multiple ways to protect your data and information while using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. The best is by using a Virtual Private Network. VPNs mask your IP address and location. Thus all your online activities are safe. Nevertheless, it is better to use 4G in public places than the Wi-Fi hotspot.


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