When to Wi-Fi

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by izzysmom, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. izzysmom

    izzysmom Member

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    Hello all! Just upgraded from an LG EnV Touch to the ALLY (my 1st smartphone) so I'm doing a lot of reading etc. I'm quite tech friendly, but by no means a geek (Though I hope to be someday...)
    And truth be told...I just HATE the learning curve period on a new phone. I want to know IT ALL...NOW!

    So - here's my first big question...When & Why do I want to use Wi-Fi instead of just my regular ol' signal?

    I have wi-fi turned off by default as I know from my iPod Touch that leaving it on drains battery because it's always searching etc. But I guess what I want to know is if I am somewhere that I know has wi-fi available (like in my own house) -- what are the benefits of turning it on? And when it is on...does the phone default to using WiFi instead of the 3G signal? I have no idea what the hierarchy of the whole thing is etc.

    Someone enlighten me...please.
     
  2. issues636

    issues636 Member

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    i personally just leave WiFi on all day and night every day, which i'm sure is not the best idea for my battery, but i have 3 house chargers and a car charger so i don't worry TOO MUCH about my battery, i still get a good 13 hours out of it.

    i've noticed when using WiFi the market usually loads ALOT faster (sometimes it won't even load just using regular 3g signal) and websites do load a lot quicker.
     
  3. Taegost

    Taegost Member

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    I use Profile Settings Lite so my phone will automatically go into Vibrate mode and disable the WiFi when I'm at work, since I don't want it to ring, and our wireless network is for our devs and QA to use, and the router is on the other side of the floor, so it's pretty useless to me... Other then that, I leave the WiFi on, and I have it set to remember the connections at my mothers, my sisters, and my places, so it'll use that when I'm there.
    It seems to default to using the WiFi, which runs a lot faster then the 3g, and from everything that I've read, using the WiFi for data uses much less power then 3G, especially in an area where you have a weak 3G signal.
     
  4. izzysmom

    izzysmom Member

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    Hmmm....Ok - I get the "defaults to wi-fi if available" - but my big concern now I guess would then be if the unit was constantly searching for a wi-fi signal and how badly it would drain the battery. There is no wi-fi signal at my offce so that's a big chunk of most of my day(s) and then of course when I'm driving...as you would be moving in and out of hot spots at random speeds all over the place.
    Anyone??
     
  5. KungFuGeek

    KungFuGeek Member

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    wifi uses less battery than 3g.

    So, if you are in a place where you have access to wifi, its better on your battery to use wifi.

    However if you have it on where you don't have any access, it will be using 3g while it is searching for wifi, which will eat up more of your battery life.

    Also, the default sleep setting for wifi (i.e. when wifi is off) is when your phone's screen is off.

    To look at the sleep policy you go to settings, wireless and network settings, wifi settings, press the menu button, then advanced, then wifi sleep policy

    I have mine set to never because i have crap 3g coverage in my downstairs so my phone just hunts for 3g and eats the battery like crazy. But i also disable my wifi when im not at home via a widget, so that when i'm away from wifi im not draining my battery looking for it.
     
  6. SSHGuru

    SSHGuru Silver Member

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    I've had mine on since I bought the Droid on day 1 and it's never taken enough power even to show up on the list of battery draining applications.

    I would just leave it on. Using the internal antenna to look for 3g will kill the phones battery much faster because it uses a ton more power. It barely takes any power for it to passively detect wi-fi.
     
  7. izzysmom

    izzysmom Member

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    Ok Cool -- now I have a really stupid question. 3G is used not only for data but also for phone usage too right? If 3G isnt available...does the antenna then use a "regular" phone signal for placing calls. (Seems the more I learn...the more questions I can come up with....I feel like a 3 year old asking WHY about everything...I'll learn eventually...)
     
  8. eliassami5

    eliassami5 Member

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    no 3g is only used to access the internet, phones calls are placed through the antenna via the CDMA network. You cant make a call on 3g unless you are using an app like skype or something similar that uses the internet to transmit a signal.

    And with my experience, having wifi on all the time does take a big hit on the battery throughout the day. Its not a big deal to turn it off when you leave the house since its right on the power control widget anyway. And whenever i set the wifi sleep mode to never, when i turn my screen off for a while and walk around the house doing something then come back to turn the screen on the wifi seems like its not refreshing and only shows like 1 bar when im like 2 feet away from the router. I just use the never when connected to usb mode now, works fine.
     
    #8 eliassami5, Jun 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
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