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

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by LilDavy, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. LilDavy
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    LilDavy New Member

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    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?
  2. JCo352
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    JCo352 New Member

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    If wifi is available and its faster than 3g i use it, if the 3g is faster i use that
  3. jakenovak
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    jakenovak New Member

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    *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...
  4. LilDavy
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    LilDavy New Member

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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?
  5. huskur
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    huskur Well-Known Member

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    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.....
  6. Fraxinus
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    Fraxinus New Member

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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!
  7. LilDavy
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    LilDavy New Member

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    So whenever I enable WiFi, all "communication" (internet, downloads, etc) will use it instead of using the 3G network?
  8. Fraxinus
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    Fraxinus New Member

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    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.:

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/motorola-droid/22247-wi-fi-3g.html
  9. jakenovak
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    jakenovak New Member

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  10. sc4fpse
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    sc4fpse New Member

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    All data communication, yes. Text messages and voice calls will still use Verizon's network.
  11. LilDavy
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    LilDavy New Member

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    Thanks guys for all the info - much appreciated.
  12. jasonb
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    jasonb New Member

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    this has got to be the most asked question on this forum.

    to answer the question once more, wifi is faster 99% of the time.
  13. LilDavy
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    LilDavy New Member

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    Maybe the answer should be "stickied" then
  14. jasonb
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    jasonb New Member

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    it should. :)
  15. jakenovak
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    jakenovak New Member

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    Think it would be more visually obvious if the Droid were on AT&T? :p
  16. aaf709
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    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    I want to add one more thing about WiFi. Some locations offer "free" wifi, but I've found that I'm unable to do some apps in those places. For example, at my local McDonalds, I can't access the Market via the AT&T free Wifi.
  17. natty_lite
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    natty_lite New Member

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    That pretty much covers everything.
  18. mfdbone
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    mfdbone New Member

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    Ok, So I want to be sure, if i use wi-fi it will not use my data plan. So it wont cost me more? I am trying to figure it out to make sure. I know there is a limit on the data plan, I tried to find a way to turn it off when I am connected to wi-fi. But I can find a way to turn the 3g off, thank Doug
  19. jakenovak
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    jakenovak New Member

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    There is no limit with smartphones. There is a limit with other 3G devices, but not the Droid (assuming you have a Verizon Wireless account, that is).
  20. mfdbone
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    mfdbone New Member

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    Yes I do, Thank you, This sight is great. I learn so much from ready all of it, But I dont have the courage yet to do all the fancy stuff. It sounds like it is worth it.
    Douglas
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