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What Is 4G Internet?

Learn what 4G is from computer expert Yoav Erez in this Howcast video about wireless network technology.

Transcript

So I'm sure you've seen a lot of ads on TV and on billboards out there advertising the new 4G network that all the wireless companies have.

So what is 4G? So basically 4G is kind of like a catch all phase for all the newer technologies that are being developed to replace the current 3G or 3rd generation networks that all the cellular provides like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile are using today. Now I like 3G, it's not really a set term that defines anything. Everybody just kind of uses it very loosely and it basically describes a certain speed that 3G could never reach. These speeds can get as fast as 10, 15, sometimes even 20 megabits per second which is a pretty crazy speed. I mean it's more like the kind of speed you get at home with your cable or DSL modem. There's three kinds of popular 4G networks out there. LTE, HPSA+, and Ymax, and all the cellular companies are using one form or another. But they're all pretty similar in terms of speeds and ranges.

The nice thing about 4G is that it really enables you to do things you really couldn't do before with 3G. Stuff like streaming live video off of the internet or talking to somebody on Skype was never really possible using 3G because the bandwidth was just not there. The 4G gives you such great speeds, you can use not only on your phone, you can also use it to connect your phone to your computer and surf the internet at really high speeds like that.

Some cell phone companies even sell a 4G modem which is kind of like a cell phone without a cell phone. It's just used to stream data using the 4G network to and from your computer. Even though 4G feels really good when it's on on you're phone it kind of feels like your phone is on steroids basically, everything just goes faster. It is a drain on the battery power, so a lot of people, even though they have 4G on their phones, they don't really keep it on all the time. Because every phone that has a 4G antenna, also has a 3G antenna. And that's basically what 4G is.

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