Which is faster - 3G or Wi-Fi?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by adversecamber, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. adversecamber macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've got a 1st gen iPhone and have always poo-pood the idea of getting the iPhone 3G figuring it's not going to be THAT much quicker.

    But this advert I just saw on TV has seriously confused me. They appear to be downloading and viewing things about three times faster than my old iPhone - even when on my 10 Mbps wi-fi.
     
  2. FJR macrumors regular

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    #2

    Wi-Fi is faster. That was, um, a commercial.
     
  3. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Quite - it's a commercial about the speed of the iPhone. And that is clearly exaggerated and misleading and therefore illegal (in the UK, anyway).
     
  4. philgilder macrumors 68000

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    #4
    when shown on the tv, it says at the end "network performance will vary depending on location" - they just got themselves out of it
     
  5. FJR macrumors regular

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    #5
    No, I'm sure under certain circumstances you can get those pages to load that fast.

    A quick point to remember is that how fast a page loads isn't completely determined by the speed of your connection. 3G can be really close to Wi-Fi on a really fast 3G connection with an iPhone that is operating at peak effeciency. However, Wi-Fi is always fast, and always at least a touch faster, 3G varies wildly.

    I believe that the standard for false advertising in the UK is clearly and unequivocally misleading. I don't think this comes anywhere near that standard.
     
  6. docal97 macrumors 6502a

    docal97

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    #6
    I have done the varying speed tests available on the web, and the 3g speeds even with full connectivity do not even approach wifi on the iphone 3g, but 3g is definitely significantly faster than edge.
     
  7. aosman macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Wi Fi > 3G > EDGE is a good way to put it. (Although it really does depend on your actual wifi connection; the above statement is only valid for each protocol's fastest data transfer speed)
     
  8. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    If I bought the iPhone based on that ad, I'd be incredibly pissed off. It clearly shows a 338KB file downloading in about 2secs.

    That's misleading and I'm going to report it.
     
  9. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    #9
    They can get away with it because it's a commercial. Ever see a McDonalds ad that made you so hungry? The food doesn't ever look like that when you actually buy it, yet they get away with it.
     
  10. FJR macrumors regular

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    #10
    Um, that is well within 3G's range. You do realize how fast Wi-Fi can be, right?
     
  11. philgilder macrumors 68000

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    #11
    good luck
    the add clearly states that it depends on location
    FLR also said that in certain situations it may be that fast
    things that affect speed are distance from cell mast, time of day, other users connected to 3g at that time etc etc
    O2 3G has a theoretical limit of 3.6mbps in the UK, so those speeds are possible

    there are many ads that misrepresent the truth
    remember the strongbow ad at the moment? does it really make you stand perfectly still for hours on end breathing out because its that refreshing?
     
  12. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    That's for dramatic effect - an accepted part of advertising. I don't think anyone expects to physically sprout wings and fly off after one sip of Red Bull, for example.

    But if I bought an iPhone 3G I would expect it to download webpages in a fraction of a second and large PDFs in 2 secs. They show the iPhone to be as quick as my MacBook Pro.

    It is not.
     
  13. FJR macrumors regular

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    #13

    As a law student, I can tell you that these two situations are different. You can have an advertisement like the strongbow one if an ordinary man of regular intelligence would realize it as a joke. While the Apple add clearly isn't meant to be a joke, it gets by because 3G can, in theory, be that fast. You can't present an outright lie as the truth in a commercial, unless its an obvious joke. You can however put your product in its best light, which is what apple did. It is possible you could get your iPhone to work that fast, just not very likely.
     
  14. philgilder macrumors 68000

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    #14
    EDIT: post changed

    what he said ^
    and as i said:
     
  15. MazingerZ macrumors 6502

    MazingerZ

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    #15
    Wifi will depend how fast your internet connection is. If your wifi router is connected to the internet via dial modem, then 3G will be at least 5 times faster.
     
  16. FJR macrumors regular

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    #16
    When it comes to .pdf, .xls and .doc, your iPhone might actually be faster because it doesn't have to use the full programs to open them, it uses a streamlined "display only" version that can actually open a file a split second or two faster.
     
  17. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Thanks for stating the obvious there. If you had taken the time to read my first post you'll have noticed the words "even when on my 10 Mbps wi-fi".
     
  18. MazingerZ macrumors 6502

    MazingerZ

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    #18
    Ooopps...my mistake...maybe you need a new router since on my 15mb wifi connection, it definitely seems faster than the ad.
     
  19. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Surely a brand new Airport Express (54Mbps) is quick enough.
     
  20. FJR macrumors regular

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    #20
    with 10 Mbps Wi-Fi, what you are running into isn't the speed of your connection. You are never actually going to be able to download 10 Mbps. That's why 400 kbps 3G can be almost as fast, for small files, as 10 Mbps Wi-Fi. You don't really notice the huge difference unless you are downloading a really large file, like a song, or a movie.
     
  21. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    That's a fair point - but I go back to my point. The ad shows the phone being about three times faster than when mine is on wi-fi.

    Anyway, it's in the hands of the Advertising Standards Authority now.
     
  22. FJR macrumors regular

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    #22
    wait, your phone is 3 times slower than that on Wi-Fi? You might outta check your phone out. Mine is essentially that fast on Wi-Fi. Small web pages load near-instantaneously and I can download a regular sized .pdf in a couple of seconds. Your phone should not be noticeably slower than that commercial.

    Could be something is killing your processor speed? or something is eating up your virtual memory?
     
  23. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #23
    Really?? That's interesting. Perhaps you could help me out then. I've loaded www.lonleyplanet.com (like on the ad) then clicked 'Tiger Watching in India'. Here's the times on wifi (I've included the times of same pages on my MBP to show that it's not my internet connection)

    To load homepage: iPhone 33secs, MBP 11 secs
    To load linked page: iPhone 15 secs, MBP 10 secs

    In fairness, my MBP has six apps open and is HandBraking a DVD - processor is at 99%.

    speedtest.net says my connection is 3936Kbps (which suprises me...)
     
  24. FJR macrumors regular

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    #24
    Using my 54 mbps airport express connection on my iPhone, I got 10 secs and 8 secs.
     
  25. FJR macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #25

    My laptop recorded 5 secs and 7 secs.
     

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