3G vs. 4G vs. 5G: What’s the Difference?

Home Security Tips

3G, 4G and 5G are the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of cellular technology, respectively. The difference between each generation primarily comes down to their capabilities. For example, each generation has made improvements to:

  • Speed (lower latency)
  • Network volume (higher bandwidth)
  • Accessibility (longer range of service)

Of course, this is just scratching the surface of what makes these cellular generations different from one another. In this blog, we’ll go a bit further, discussing the history and evolution of each network. 

We’ll also share how 3G and 4G improved the home security space, and what homeowners can expect from 5G in the near future.  

Ackerman is at the forefront of the 5G security revolution. If you have questions about how 5G will impact your home’s security, you can reach out to us directly at 800.552.1111, or schedule an instant security quote online.


The speed difference between 3G, 4G and 5G

According to digital trends, 3G can reach network speeds of 7.2 mbps, 4G can reach network speeds of 150 mbps and 5G will eventually reach speeds in excess of 1gbps (with a theoretical maximum of 20gbps!) 

Mileage varies depending on whether the individual browser is stationary or, say, in a moving vehicle. But this is the gist of what a user can achieve speed-wise with each generation.

But what do those speeds actually mean, anyway? Or rather, what do those speeds allow us to accomplish?

Let’s take a look:

  • With 3G speeds, our mobile devices can now manage video calling and internet access, albeit not without some difficulties and slow speeds. Also with 3G came the first cellular-connected home security systems (before that, all systems were landline-based.)
  • With 4G speeds, a mobile user can now enjoy online games, high quality video conferencing, HD streaming and much more. You’re well acquainted with 4G capabilities since most of us have been using it since 2008. As far as 4G and security are concerned, the increased speed gave alarm monitoring systems on cellular networks even faster response times. 
  • With 5G speeds, we’re reaching a level of ludicrous speed that allows for completely autonomous self-driving vehicles, life-like virtual and augmented reality and 4k ultra High-Def mobile streaming. From a security standpoint, you can stream ultra high def security footage directly to your cellular device and receive even faster security monitoring services. 


The bandwidth difference between 3G, 4G and 5G

Bandwidth determines how much traffic a cellular network can handle before the network begins to slow down. Each generation of cellular network has improved upon the bandwidth capabilities of its predecessor. 

  • With 3G and 4G bandwidth, a mobile user sees a noticeable deterioration of network speeds during peak hours of the day. 4G LTE and other upgrades to the 4G network have improved bandwidth significantly. But this is an uphill battle with thousands of new devices being added to the network daily.
  • With 5G bandwidth, you can stream an ultra HD movie in the middle of a Taylor Swift concert, if you’re so inclined (sinful if you do, though.) 5G will also be able to handle the billions of upcoming connected home devices known collectively as the Internet of Things. 

Home security isn’t precisely impacted by 5g bandwidth changes. Bandwidth upgrades to a home’s personal WiFi network such as WiFi 6, however, allow for more connected devices and fewer device disconnections. 


The accessibility difference between 3G, 4G and 5G

Each new generation of wireless network has expanded upon the infrastructure of the network which came before it. The result is a significant increase in accessibility and internet access. Even the most isolated regions of the U.S. will soon have 4G or 5G access. 

This is great news for homes and businesses that weren’t within reach of dependable cellular networks. These properties can now move away from outdated landline security monitoring and switch to a much more secure cellular network for their security needs. 


What has changed with home security from 3G to 4G to 5G?

Homes today are more secure than ever before. And this trend has increased with each generation of cellular networking. 

Here are just a few examples of where these improvements have been made:

Response times: 

Each generation of cellular network has increased the speed at which an alarm monitoring station is alerted to a home break-in or other emergency.

Less susceptible to sabotage: 

The biggest flaw of early landline monitoring was its single point of failure: the landline itself. Cutting the landline also cut off the home’s security system. 3G and 4G networks fixed this issue by removing the landline entirely and connecting the security to a home’s WiFi network.

5G networks will continue this trend. Today’s point of failure in security systems is the WiFi network itself. With a WiFi jammer, any burglar can gain access to your home. With 5G however, home security monitoring may move directly onto the cellular network itself, which would be impossible for a burglar to crack. 

Simplified personal monitoring: 

Streaming security cameras, smart doorbells, and other connected home devices increase in speed and capabilities with each generation of cellular network. 5G will expand upon 4G’s success in this regard, ensuring even faster streaming times and faster alerts and notifications in the event of an emergency or home break-in. 


Ackerman Security is ready for 5G. So are our customers. 

Ackerman relies on WiFi networks and cellular networks to monitor our customer’s homes. With the advent of 5G technology, the older 2G and 3G networks will eventually be phased out (2020 for 2G and 2021 for 3G). We’re here to help our customers navigate this transition and protect their homes in the 5G era. 

Call us at 800.552.1111 or schedule an instant security quote online.

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