4G Internet Providers
A number of wireless Internet providers are starting to offer 4G services, promising faster connections with speeds that match or exceed wired connections at home. Sounds appealing, but what exactly is 4G?
What is 4G Internet?
4G is short for fourth generation, it’s that simple. It’s better than 3G, because it’s literally the next generation in telecommunications and wireless Internet, the standards of which are set by the International Telecommunication Union. In order for a network to be classified as 4G it most offer download speeds between 100Mbps and 1Gbps, in other words, it has to be really fast.
While several 4G wireless Internet providers out there are claiming 4G status, not all of them are. In fact most are operating at 3.5G speeds. Faster 3G, but still not fast enough to be true 4G. Still, it’s a step in a more advanced direction, offering faster speeds and better Internet.
Where to Get 4G Internet
4G networks are still new, so the coverage isn’t near as expansive as the nationwide 3G networks. That’s why it’s important to search for wireless Internet providers by zip code, so you can find the best 4G coverage in your area. Right now, many large metropolitan areas along the coasts and in Texas already have access to 4G networks. Some providers, like AT&T and Verizon, have promised to have nationwide coverage for their 4G networks by 2013.
It’s Not Just For Phones
You might hear it advertised a lot as a phone-only technology; something smartphones can access to download and run apps quicker. But a smartphone is really nothing more than a small computer. 4G networks are suitable for laptops, netbooks, and smartphones.
If 4G is available in your area, you might want to consider signing up. It’s the fastest wireless Internet available, and some providers are even offering unlimited access. It can be confusing, because some providers lean more heavily on the phone service than they do laptops, but there are providers out there that have strong 4G networks with laptop-specific plans.