Which of my devices uses which kind of data?

What's coming up?

In this activity, you'll learn more about how your devices use data.

You'll learn that some devices need a Wi-Fi signal provided by your home internet, while others can use a mobile phone signal to get online.

Start activity
Close lesson
You have completed 0%
Lots of devices can use a home Wi-Fi network, even your fridge!

Many ways to get online

As the internet becomes more important in everyday life, more of our gadgets and devices are starting to use data for all kinds of functions.

Everything from your phone to your TV, even your fridge might have some way of using data!

Sources of data

There are two main ways for a device to access the internet.

Home internet. This type of connection is mostly over Wi-Fi from a special box called a router. The router is connected with wires to the outside, just like your electricity supply, and sends out a wireless signal within your house. If you have the nbn, your router will connect to the internet through an nbn box instead.

Mobile data, or mobile internet. This type of connection is via a mobile data signal from a nearby mobile phone tower. We often use the terms 3G, 4G or 5G for this type of mobile internet connection.

The two ways of connecting to the internet: via Wi-Fi at home or on the mobile network
Examples of devices that use Wi-Fi data

Which devices use Wi-Fi data?

Here's a quick look at some of the more common devices you might already own that use your home Wi-Fi data:

  • desktop and laptop computers
  • tablets
  • smart TVs
  • wireless speakers
  • smart lightbulbs, air-conditioners and even fridges
  • home security cameras.

Which devices use mobile data?

Here's a quick look at common devices that use mobile data:

  • mobile phones and mobile broadband devices
  • some tablets and laptop computers
  • high-end smartwatches
  • luxury cars
  • medical alert devices.
Examples of devices that use mobile data
Examples of devices that use both Wi-Fi data and mobile data

Which devices use both kinds of data?

Some portable devices can use both Wi-Fi and mobile data. For example, some laptops and tablets have a built-in mobile data feature, which lets you use them away from home without having to find public Wi-Fi.

Remember that mobile phones can also use Wi-Fi, so when you are at home, connect your mobile phone to home Wi-Fi so you don't use up all your mobile phone data.


You've reached the end of the Which of my devices uses which kind of data? activity. In this activity, you will have learnt that some devices use a Wi-Fi connection, some use a mobile data connection, and some can use both.

Next up, you'll learn about saving money on mobile data costs by setting up your mobile phone to use your home Wi-Fi in the activity called Switching my mobile phone from mobile data to Wi-Fi.

A selection of devices often found in our homes