If you have a smartphone, do you also need home internet?

Most smartphone plans come with data and internet access, so why would you need a separate home internet connection via a cable or DSL connection? While it seems redundant, there are a few reasons to have internet at home.

If you’re like most people, you can’t function without the Internet at home. Having Internet access outside the office has become more of a utility than a luxury in the last decade, especially if you run social activities with groups, meetups or community centers. Most people don’t connect solely through phone calls and, instead, prefer to use email and social media to keep in touch and make plans.

Even if you need internet in your home, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need a separate internet connection. If you have a smartphone, you can use your plan’s data to access the Internet or get a plan with more data if you don’t already have enough. The difference is that with a separate connection, you will access the Internet over Wi-Fi through your phone rather than using your phone’s data directly. Both are viable options for getting a connection, but they differ in terms of cost, speed, and reliability.

Nine reasons why you need internet at home

If any of the following situations apply to you, it is certain that you will benefit from having a separate home internet connection in addition to your smartphone data plan.

1. Home internet is convenient.

When it doesn’t cost much to have an Internet connection at home, why not give it a try? If you can afford it and have a use for it, there’s no reason not to get it.

It’s understandable if you want to avoid paying for another internet connection. A smartphone is an investment. You’ve probably paid a good amount of money for your device, a tough and sturdy phone case, and the monthly plans aren’t always cheap. However, if you can get a home internet connection without overpaying, why not get one so you don’t have to worry about being charged for using too much data?

2. You need a high speed connection.

If speed is important and you can’t compromise here, then you need an internet connection in your home. No matter how fast the Internet connection is on your phone, it won’t compare to the faster home connection speeds offered by the major cable Internet companies. All wireless internet connections are slower than wired connections by default. While some cell phone connections can get pretty fast, they still don’t compare to home internet.

For those still using 4G LTE, you can expect download speeds of between 5 and 12 Mbps. If you have access to a 5G device and network, you can get download speeds of up to 450 Mbps. With other devices, like the Meshforce M7, you can go up to 867 Mbps (theoretically).

When it comes to home internet, Xfinity download speeds range from 50Mbps to 6Gbps. T-Mobile’s home internet download speeds are still fast, but slightly slower, ranging between 33 and 182 Mbps.

Why the difference? T-Mobile only offers a fixed wireless connection. Wireless connections are always slower than when using a wired connection. When your Internet connection is wired, like with Xfinity, you have the option of using a router to create a Wi-Fi connection, but you still have the option of using an Ethernet cable. You have no wired options with a fixed wireless connection.

For most people, speed won’t be an issue. Hardly anyone would complain about the speeds mentioned above. However, if you have to do work that requires extremely high speed, such as downloading and uploading large files on a regular basis, then you probably need home internet.

3. You live in a remote area with poor or no cell phone reception.

No matter how big your smartphone is, even the fastest internet connection can’t overcome the no service problem. If you live in an area that doesn’t get much or no reception at home, the only option you have is to get a home internet connection.

There are many rural areas that don’t have many cell towers nearby, and some areas don’t even have the infrastructure for fiber-optic cable internet connections. However, as long as you have a physical landline phone connection, you can at least get DSL in your home. Or you can purchase satellite Internet equipment, such as Starlink, if available in your area.

4. You must be working on a standard laptop or desktop.

One of the biggest benefits of home internet is the ability to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. If you have to work on a desktop or laptop computer, home internet is a must.

It is possible, but impractical, to use your smartphone as a hotspot or connect your Internet connection to another device. Wired connections via USB and Bluetooth tend to be slow and it’s not easy to set up. While many people use both of these methods to connect at home, it can be a frustrating experience.

When you have a separate Internet connection in your home, you just need to plug in an Ethernet cable or connect to Wi-Fi to get online from your laptop. If you use DSL, you need to set up a PPoE connection, but just enter a username and password. It’s still relatively easy compared to tethering.

5. A mobile hotspot didn’t work for you.

If you need internet outside of what your smartphone can provide, you may have looked into hot spots. At first glance, they seem like a great idea. Get this little device that you can take anywhere and use with any device, even your phone if you want to keep your data. However, there are several downsides to hot spots.

First, you have to pay more money up front to buy a hot spot that can achieve higher speeds. Then, you have to pay a monthly fee for the connection. This can be done on a monthly prepaid basis, or sometimes you can pay for a full year upfront and get a discount. However, the prices aren’t that cheap and the speeds can be quite slow.

If you’ve tried using a hot spot and it didn’t work for you, consider getting internet at home. Your connection and speed will be more reliable and you’ll likely end up paying less.

6. You often play games or stream movies.

Smartphones are more than capable of streaming movies and running games, but that doesn’t mean your experience will be smooth. Even when your device has the resources it needs to stream movies and run games, that doesn’t mean your internet connection can keep up.

If you have noticed that your movies or games are slowing down, freezing, freezing or your smartphone freezing, it could be caused by a slow internet connection. If this is your experience and you want to play games or watch Netflix and YouTube videos, get a home internet connection fast enough to meet your needs. Plus, if you’re the only one using the connection, you can get away with slower speeds than you might think, which will cost you less per month.

7. You need multiple simultaneous connections.

Do you have multiple people in your house who want to stream movies and access the Internet for other purposes? If everyone in the house is using their phone’s data to use the Internet all night long, it makes more sense to get a home Internet connection, hook up a router, and broadcast the Wi-Fi signal for everyone to share.

8. You plan to rent a room or area of ​​your property.

If you plan to rent out a room in your house or another building on your property, it’s a smart move to get a home Internet connection so that you and your tenant can share Wi-Fi. Most renters expect the internet to be a boon, and it’s actually a great way to get a renter to move quickly.

Instead of charging your rent plus Internet, include Internet in your rent and increase the price by about $20-$30 a month. For example, if you normally charge $550 for the room, rent it for $570 with internet included.

9. You pay too much for TV streaming services.

If you’re sick of how much you pay for streaming services just to watch television and movies, consider getting a home internet connection to have TV and the internet in one. You can also connect your game systems, tablets and phones to Wi-Fi and avoid using your phone’s data.

Is home internet worth it? Absolutely.

Using the Internet connection on your smartphone is convenient, but it can be expensive and slow. It can also be inconvenient if you need a better connection which is not possible with your device.

When you have Internet at home, not only will you be able to consolidate your TV and Internet bills into one company, but you can usually land a good deal with a new customer that will last for a year or two. You’ll have the ability to share your connection with the rest of your family over Wi-Fi, and you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run.

Deanna Richie

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Deanna is managing editor of ReadWrite. She previously served as Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20 years of experience in content management and development.

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