What Does It Mean If A Tablet Is Wi-Fi Only?

5 min read

Tablets are very practical electronic devices for all types of users. They allow you to surf the internet, do basic tasks, and can even become a good source of entertainment. Now, when purchasing one of these devices, you may not know what it means if a tablet is Wi-Fi only.

A tablet is Wi-Fi only means that it always requires a router to have access to the internet. In this way, the tablet connects to that external network, since it does not have the ability to create an Internet connection network by itself through a SIM card.

Choosing one of these tablets can be a very good option, or just the opposite because everything depends on your needs and how you are going to use the device. In this article, you will find all the information about it.

How does a tablet connect to the internet?

In order for a tablet to surf the internet, it must connect to a network, which is generally wireless. In this sense, they can use two types of connections: an external Wi-Fi network or an internal mobile network.

A couple of years ago, almost all tablets were Wi-Fi only, that is, they did not have a SIM card to connect to the internet. However, models with 3G, 4G began to become popular, and currently, there are also devices that incorporate 5G technology.

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology by which it is possible to connect any device to a network. Although the main objective is to connect to the Internet, it can also serve to establish other types of internal connections, without having to navigate on the large information network.

Wi-Fi is a radio signal that is sent from a router to a nearby device, in this case, a tablet. The tablet takes care of converting that signal into data, with which to use the internet.

On the other hand, a tablet can have its own mobile network, as long as it has a SIM card installed. The SIM card creates a connection with the space satellites that emit the signals, synchronizes with them, and allows the tablets to connect to the internet.

Advantages of a Wi-Fi only tablet

WiFi signal

As we have said before, tablets that are Wi-Fi only were the first to hit the market. Despite the fact that nowadays there are models that incorporate a SIM card, there are still many tables that do not include this feature.

Among its most relevant advantages are the following:

1. More affordable price

A Wi-Fi only tablet is significantly cheaper than a tablet that is compatible with a SIM card. Therefore, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on a tablet, or if you prefer to give preference to other features, it is a good idea to opt for a Wi-Fi only tablet.

2. Better Wi-Fi protocols

Although Wi-Fi technology seems pretty straightforward and basic, it is not actually the case. In fact, there are numerous connection protocols that change the speed and stability of the signal emitted by the router, and also the one that the tablet is capable of receiving.

Generally, when a tablet is Wi-Fi only, the protocols it uses are more advanced, and therefore the connection also offers better performance. For example, nowadays dual-band Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz has become very widespread.

A tablet that incorporates Wi-Fi and a SIM card may not be compatible with 5 GHz technology, since more installations have to be done on its hardware. And if everything is available, its price will be significantly higher.

3. Greater practicality

In most cases, a tablet is used indoors, be it in homes or offices, where there is a Wi-Fi connection. Having a tablet with a SIM card could be considered a waste, as it would never be used. If you use a mobile network while being indoors, you would be spending money unnecessarily by not connecting to your home network.

In the same way, a tablet with a SIM card can be theoretically used to make and receive calls. However, it is very impractical, since it is much easier to use a mobile phone. It is unlikely that you have a tablet and not a cell phone, which is a more comfortable device for calling and sending messages.

Advantages of a tablet with a SIM card

SIM cards

Although almost always a tablet with only Wi-Fi is enough, at certain times it could be interesting to buy a device with a SIM card. As with any election, you have to determine what is in your best interest.

Note the following advantages:

1. More connection alternatives

It is no secret that Wi-Fi networks can fail, either due to a problem on the server or a damage to your router. In case you need to connect to the internet in an emergency and there is no Wi-Fi network available at the moment, a SIM card becomes an excellent ally.

The same applies if you are away from home or during a long trip, where there are usually no Wi-Fi connections available. Likewise, even if there is a free or public network, you may not want to compromise your personal information and prefer to connect to a private network through a SIM card.

2. Compatibility with a mobile phone

It is not always necessary to buy a specific SIM card for your tablet because you can use the same one from your cell phone. It is common to see many users remove the SIM card from one device to use it in another at specific times.

For example, if your cell phone is low in battery and you need to make a call, you can remove the SIM card and place it on your tablet.

3. You can create a connection hotspot

When the tablet has its own mobile network, the internet connection can be shared with other devices. That is, you can configure your device to create a Wi-Fi network that provides a connection to another tablet, your phone, or even a printer, in case you want to print documents.

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What is better, a tablet Wi-Fi only or a tablet with a SIM card?

For basic and regular use, a Wi-Fi only tablet is more than enough, especially if you do not want to spend additional money to top up a SIM card. However, if you are going to be constantly in places where there are no Wi-Fi connections available, it is a good alternative to opt for a tablet with a SIM card.

If you decide to purchase a tablet with a SIM card, verify that it is at least 4G, because the 3G network is already starting to become obsolete.

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Jefferson is the main author and administrator of Computernoobs.com. I like sharing information and news about technology.