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Library Card (Red)

Wi-Fi versus 3G

A brief synopsis for the wireless newbie:

What is wi-fi? The ability to hook up to the internet wirelessly. Also known as a wireless network.

Do I need wi-fi or 3g? If you want internet or if you want to get a book without hooking it up to a PC or MAC.

Does my cell phone or tablet have wi-fi? Most likely yes. Most cell phones and devices are wi-fi enabled meaning you can use their internet features (transfer books, files, photos and more) after connecting to a wi-fi network. A wi-fi network is usually enabled on wi-fi routers, wi-fi modems or other less common devices like wi-fi repeater or wi-fi access points.

For simplicity purposes:

  • Verizon FIOS usually supplies a wi-fi hardware
  • Optimum Online doesn't supply wi-fi hardware and you'd need to purchase one separately.
  • If all else fails, most public libraries have a wi-fi network that you can freely hook up to.

Does my cell phone or tablet have 3G? 3G is a half decent speed cellular connection. Not all devices have 3G. You can sometimes get a clue to find out if you have it by seeing a tiny 3G logo on the top edge of your screen while it's powered on. The advantage to 3G is that you are always connected to the internet and it requires no effort on your part to make a connection to get books. The disadvantage is that most devices except the kindle charge a monthly fee for this feature. Certain kindles charge a one time fee included in the purchase of the device.

What is 4g? Even less devices have 4G. It's actually 3G but usually faster. They're still working on 4G to make it faster.

How does this relate to free library books? Plainedge Public Library offers free books through our Overdrive service which can be accessed in many ways including wi-fi and 3G. If you have 3G then you'll always be able to get a book where you have cellular reception. Wi-fi on the other hand you'll need to be near someone or some public place that has a Wi-Fi antenna.