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What is the difference between 3G and 4G?

A 4G internet connection will be faster than a 3G one (up to 10x). Typically you will find the best 4G coverage in metro areas. 

3G and 4G are terms used to describe different groups of wireless internet standards. The “G” stands for generation, where 3G means 'third generation' and 4G stands for 'fourth generation'. As it is with most techy things, the larger number indicates the newer, better version of this technology.

Essentially 3G and 4G networks do the same thing. Both are capable of connecting your phone to the internet, just that 4G is faster than 3G. Obviously there are some in-depth technology differences, but from a user's perspective, here are a few quick facts:

  • 4G is often up to 10x faster than 3G in real-world use — with speeds commonly between 20Mbps and 30Mbps (which is really fast).
  • This speed will fluctuate depending on how far you are from a network tower and on the power of the radios inside your phone. Typically you will find the best 4G coverage in metro CBDs and weaker 4G signals as you leave these densely populated areas. 
  • You don't need to worry about which network you use as modern phones are designed to switch between available networks and find the best and fastest for your location.
  • You need a newer 4G device to use a 4G network. Older devices designed with 3G radios will only work on 3G networks.

Read more: 3G vs 4G which is best for you?

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