Public networks vs sharing mobile data: advantages and disadvantages

It is important to have a network available to connect to the Internet anywhere, as we have more and more programs and services that we use constantly. For example WhatsApp, social networks like Facebook, email, search for information on Google … Now, not all options are the same if we are looking for speed, quality and of course security. We are going to talk about the main differences if we connect in public networks or share data with the mobile.

Connect to the Internet using public networks

When we are away from home, let’s say in a station waiting for a train, in an airport or in a restaurant cafeteria, the most accessible thing we usually have is a public Wi-Fi network . In many cases it is open to everyone, while sometimes you can have a password only for customers.

However, this that we mention is going to have its advantages and also disadvantages. When we decide to connect our computer to a wireless network that is not ours, we must be aware that there may be certain problems . But yes, it also has its benefits, such as the ease of finding networks.

This method is as simple as searching for networks with our computer, tablet or whatever device we use, and connecting. At most we will have to know the key, something that is usually visible when it comes to a cafeteria or similar places.

Positive points

One of the main benefits is that we will find networks almost anywhere . If we think of very crowded areas, where many users pass constantly, it will be very easy to find a Wi-Fi to connect to.

Also note the saving of data . If we connect our computer or any device to a W-Fi network, we will not have to consume mobile data. This will allow us to download or upload files to the cloud without worrying about running out of fees, updating equipment, etc.

Another positive point is speed . The normal thing is that a Wi-Fi network has more capacity to connect the equipment and have good download and upload speeds.

Bad points

Without a doubt the most important negative point is security . Public wireless networks are not the safest thing there is. We don’t really know who may be connected or if that network was created simply to steal data. They can be used so that an intruder can read all the traffic that is sent and received, hence it is not advisable to log in or make payments.

We cannot control the amount of connected equipment . This is another obvious disadvantage. We can be connected to a very saturated network, in which we are going to have continuous outages and problems. It is very common for this to happen when the access point to which we are connected does not have the capacity for many devices.

Another important disadvantage that we must take into account is that we may not be able to access all kinds of services . Sometimes public networks are limited so that there are no saturations. For example, you can only use the browser and not other programs that need a connection, such as Google Drive or an application for the cloud.

Share mobile data to navigate

Another option to connect to the Internet anywhere is to share data from your mobile. In this way we can have a connection to computers, tablets and other devices without having to use public Wi-Fi networks. Again we are going to find advantages and disadvantages.

In this case, we must also indicate that we are going to be able to do Tethering , which is how it is known to share network from the mobile, both by creating our own Wi-Fi network and thus connecting the equipment, as well as through cable. We can even use a portable router that uses a SIM card.


The main advantage in this case is security . Our data is not going to be in any danger compared to a public Wi-Fi. After all, it is a private network with which we connect other devices. We can safely buy online, log in without risk of credentials being leaked, etc.

Another clear positive point is that we can connect anywhere . It is true that Wi-Fi networks are also available in many places, but not everywhere. If, for example, we go by train or bus and they do not have Wi-Fi, we can always share data and connect without problems. We are only going to need mobile coverage, something that is very widespread.

We will not have a time limit or connected devices, beyond the capacity of the portable router that we use or our telephone. Unlike some free Wi-Fi points that can limit the connection time, in this case the network is ours and we can be as long as we want.


There are also negative points and one of the main ones is the consumption of data . We will be limited to the contracted rate. It is true that every time we find more unlimited rates, but usually they have a speed reduction reached a point. Therefore, we will have to be prepared to extend the data as long as possible.

Another major disadvantage is battery consumption . If we share data with the mobile, we will see that the battery will decrease considerably. The same happens if we are going to use a portable router, since normally the autonomy is 6-8 hours.

The speed is another negative point that should be mentioned. Normally Wi-Fi networks are going to have greater capacity. Especially if we are in areas with poor coverage, where the best we have is 3G, the speed will be very limited.

Is it better to connect to a public Wi-Fi or share the Internet?

Therefore, once we have talked about the possibility of connecting to public networks and also sharing connection, as well as seeing the negative and positive points in each case, what should we do? The short question will be that it depends on the situation in which we find ourselves.

We can say in conclusion that public Wi-Fi networks can be ideal when we are going to spend a lot of time in a place and we want to consume a lot of Internet, for example if we are going to watch a movie or series in Streaming. Generally it will offer better performance and we will not have to worry about data consumption.

Instead we should use the shared data when we go to browse sensitive pages, such as entering our bank account, making a payment, logging in to email … All this could be compromised in public wireless networks, so it is convenient to share mobile data and thus maintain security and privacy.

The ideal in many cases will be to use both options . For example, if we are at an airport waiting for a flight for many hours and we want to watch series or movies, download programs and things that require a lot of connection, we can always choose a public Wi-Fi that we find. If in that same place we are going to log into our bank account or buy something online, we can disconnect that Wi-Fi network and use mobile data even momentarily.

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