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Thread: So what is the advantage of WiFi vs. the Cell Network

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    LilDavy's Avatar
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    #1

    So what is the advantage of WiFi vs. the Cell Network

    Yeah Newb question, but this is my first Smart Phone and I'm learning. What are the advantages of enabling WiFi on the Droid? Is it to get the associated speeds with 802.11 wireless protocols? What else am I missing?
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  3. Droid Ninja
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    #2
    If wifi is available and its faster than 3g i use it, if the 3g is faster i use that
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JCo352 View Post
    If wifi is available and its faster than 3g i use it, if the 3g is faster i use that
    *nods*... I'm actually surprised with the amount of areas on VZW's network where I can pull better than 1.5... and I walk around the corner to a coffee shop and they're offering 768k...
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    Ok so my home network runs around 50MBps, so I should turn on WiFi then instead of using the cell network - same thing when I'm at work then too.

    Does enabling WiFi extensively drain the battery faster?
  6. Droid Ninja
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LilDavy View Post
    Yeah Newb question, but this is my first Smart Phone and I'm learning. What are the advantages of enabling WiFi on the Droid? Is it to get the associated speeds with 802.11 wireless protocols? What else am I missing?
    Usually through 3G you get close to basic DSL speeds (1.5 MBPS). Wifi is faster 99% of the time depending on the network speed and the type of service the router is working off of Cable, T1, DSL....ect.....
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    Could be a variety of things:
    • There is no (or poor) 3G coverage where you are but WiFi is available
    • You are uploading/downloading a large amount of data and want to take advantage of the higher speed of WiFi - it consumes more power per second but can often be enough faster that a large download (e.g. 6MB) will actually use less battery power over WiFi
    • You want to make/receive SIP/VoIP calls over WiFi (only a handful of services/apps to do this right now as far as I know)
    • You want to do file sharing via FTP or similar over a home network or between a laptop and your phone
    • etc......


    That said, 3G is so good that I don't often find myself using WiFi. Kind of up to your own particular usage patterns but it's nice to have the choice!
    Android, therefore I am.
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    So whenever I enable WiFi, all "communication" (internet, downloads, etc) will use it instead of using the 3G network?
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LilDavy View Post
    So whenever I enable WiFi, all "communication" (internet, downloads, etc) will use it instead of using the 3G network?
    I believe so, although I'm not sure if some apps are "smart" enough to select which radio to use based on connectivity needs and availability. As a general rule I think all data will go over WiFi if it's enabled and connected.

    Also, check out this discussion for some additional info on battery life, etc.:

    Wi-Fi or 3G?
    Android, therefore I am.
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    #9
    [quote=Fraxinus;267735]
    Quote Originally Posted by LilDavy View Post
    As a general rule I think all data will go over WiFi if it's enabled and connected.
    Unless it was using the 3G modem before Wifi was available, then it will attempt to switch over without interrupting the connection in progress (which could take a while).
  11. Master Droid
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LilDavy View Post
    So whenever I enable WiFi, all "communication" (internet, downloads, etc) will use it instead of using the 3G network?
    All data communication, yes. Text messages and voice calls will still use Verizon's network.
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