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Why should I use WiFi?

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  1. Extodus

    Extodus Active Member

    If I am at home for hours at a time, what benefits come with using WiFi on my Droid Eris instead of the mobile network?

    When home, I have computer access so speed is of no concern. I'm just wondering what the battery life difference is, if any.

    And now that I think about it, if I'm home I could just be charging my phone so even if WiFi saved battery life it wouldn't be any gain.

    WiFi seems to be such a desirable feature, but I have no idea how it benefits me. Please teach me something!

  2. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member

    Speed is definitely the advantage. I believe that having wi-fi activated will actually lessen battery life somewhat.

    Even if you don't use it at home, wi-fi can definitely be handy elsewhere when you aren't near your computer ... or theoretically when you're someplace without a strong VZW data signal.
    Extodus likes this.
  3. Anthony1

    Anthony1 Well-Known Member

    As Pitamakan said, speed is the big advantage, but also if you're on a fixed data plan with your mobile company then anything downloaded via wifi won't count toward your usage because you're going through your ISP rather than your mobile phone network.
    Extodus likes this.
  4. Extodus

    Extodus Active Member

    Thank you for the replies. I guess WiFi is not beneficial to me.
  5. i VTAK

    i VTAK Well-Known Member

    If you're downloading things to your phone, even at home, WiFi is faster and drains less battery than mobile network. Also if your someplace that offers free WiFi, the same benefits apply.

    Get the Speedtest app from the market and test your mobile network against a WiFi connection, you'll see a difference. I have a lower end DSL connection at home and it's twice as fast as my mobile internet. I was at a friends house that has broadband cable internet, when I tapped into his WiFi I was 5x faster than my average mobile speeds.
  6. Little Darwin

    Little Darwin Well-Known Member

    I have found that certain things won't work if I am on WiFi, like Dilbert Daily and mail synchronization with my Yahoo mail. Is this an issue of poorly written apps, or is there a configuration issue?
  7. club968

    club968 Well-Known Member

    Since I have poor 3g coverage at my house, wifi is essential for my phone to be of any use. Without it, I would have to kiss tmobile goodbye.
  8. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

    Wifi comes in handy at airports, cafes and the like. Also, If you have an older laptop that doesnt have wifi built in, well, you can use your phone as a wifi receiver through pdanet.
  9. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member

    I actually get faster access via 3G than wifi at home, as my 8Mbit DSL line actually struggles to deliver 200KB/s most of the day while 3G gets nearer 300KB/s. This is just my situation, try the Speedtest.net app if you are wondering for yourself.

    I'm surprised wifi uses less battery, as you're presumably connected to the local cell tower anyway for calls/texts.
  10. nateo200

    nateo200 Well-Known Member

    Local cell tower could be 30 miles away.....wifi is like 200feet away.
  11. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member

    True, but the phone's connected to the cell tower anyway. I guess there's a big difference between sending/receiving keep-alive packets* and transferring data as fast as it can.

    * or whatever it is they do.
  12. dmaul3300

    dmaul3300 Well-Known Member

    I am glad I read this thread. I live in an area that inside my house I get very poor reception. I dont have any problems anywhere else. I am about 5 miles from the nearest cell phone tower and in my house I only get 0-1 bars. I drop calls all the time and downloading things takes forever.

    I downloaded the speedtest.net application and got 95 kbps for my download speed and 64 kbps for my upload speed. I checked my signal strenth (settings - about phone - status and my signal strength is normally -104 dBm to -110 dBm. As I mentioned, I drop calls and many times when I talk to people and when they talk to me, it sounds muffled (almost as if I am talking and then someone hits the mute button for a couple of seconds - the user fades in and out and people say I fade in and out.

    I contacted Verizon and they said for $250 I could buy a network extender. I said this is more then I paid for my motorola droid. I went to the corporate store and opened up a ticket and they will research the signal near my house and get back to me in the near future. I'm not going to hold my breath.

    Anyways, I tried using my wi-fi connection and got 5908 kbps download and 811 kbps upload which is much better then 95 kbps download and 64 kbps upload. my signal strenth is now -88 to -93 dBm.

    I will be using wi-fi from now on. I am sold on using wi-fi. People also say it uses less battery. This is a win-win situation (better speeds and less battery power).
  13. Anthony1

    Anthony1 Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify, in case I'm misunderstanding you. WiFi will have no effect at all on the quality of your phone calls, unless you're using something like Skype or some other VOIP application. Mobile phone calls always go through the mobile phone network regardless of your WiFi settings.
  14. Kronite

    Kronite Active Member

    I can see WiFi being neat when downloading apps. Goes faster, and you don't use you MB you have on yor dataplan. But if you're into the internets, android and the possibilities it has (like...us), you should have an unlimited dataplan.

    ps: some carriers chose to limit your data speed after you've reached a certain ammount of data each month, even with an unlimited dataplan. So chosing WiFi when downloading stuff is smart.
  15. dmaul3300

    dmaul3300 Well-Known Member

    Yes - I am referring to downloading apps and surfing the web in my house. I read the skype application doesnt work with wi-fi.

    I am waiting for the Verizon techs to fix the issue with my phone quality. I was hoping to get a different phone(this is my 2nd) but will wait to see what happens and what they find out. They said they would get back to me within a month and let me know what they find out.
  16. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    You should really look into your WiFi at home then. Something's definitely wrong if that's the case. Unless maybe you're using 802.11b with poor signal or something.

    Right, but you're not transferring data via 3G if you're using WiFi instead. The 3G network will typically consume more power for transferring the same amount of data compared to WiFi.
  17. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member

    Wi-fi doesn't affect your signal strength at all, that boost must be a coincidence. Maybe Verizon investigated and fixed your local cell tower - have you seen any flying pigs lately?

    Your wifi speeds are very good, that'll help a lot with downloading apps but also for Youtube, streaming music, Google Maps and all without eating into your data plan.
  18. skipcooney

    skipcooney Active Member

    I alway use wifi at home for the speed.
    Speedtest.net results:
    WIFI download 7122 kbps upload 1112 kbps
    3G download 500 kbps upload 642 kbps
  19. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

    For me WiFi drains considerably LESS battery than 3G, seriously, it makes a massive massive difference..
  20. Caloy

    Caloy Well-Known Member

    WiFi will be good for me, I have the poorest of signal at home.
  21. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member

    I think the battery life issue may come down to intensity of use. For heavy downloads wi-fi will consume less power, but for light or intermittent data traffic it could use more, because with wi-fi on the phone will be powering two radios instead of one.
  22. Extodus

    Extodus Active Member

    For my specific situation:

    I can't justify turning on WiFi at home just to save battery, because since I'm home I could just be charging my phone.

    Of course I see that WiFi increases speed, but again.. if I am home I don't care about speed because I have access to a computer.

    I guess what I hoped for by starting this thread was to see how WiFi benefits other people, to see if it could benefit me in the same ways.

    Does anyone have any examples (other than battery and speed) of how WiFi has benefited them? (The lack of good 3G coverage at home was a good one!)
  23. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member

    I use my phone all around the house so I don't want it to be on the charger all the time. I use it as a remote control for a Logitech Squeezebox, that pretty much needs wifi. I'll also play games or do some casual web browsing or look up something on Google, so it's in my pocket virtually all the time I'm awake. Quite a few local pubs, cafes and even a bus company have wifi access at their buildings/buses and sometimes these are out good coverage areas, but of course this will be different where you live.

    I don't really see wifi as something I have to justify anyway, why not turn it on? I have it on all the time and when my phone is awake and in range of a saved access point, it connects and uses wifi. If not, it uses 3G. No hassle, no switching things on and off by hand, just the best connectivity that's available at any given time.
  24. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member

    I don't know that there's an answer out there that will satisfy Extodus' very specific criteria, but I'll mention one more scenario: I sometimes use my phone to stream internet music when I'm home, but happen to be away from regular sound system. That works much better with wi-fi for me ... there's less chance the connection will drop.
  25. Doug Simmons

    Doug Simmons Member

    Speaking of voip, what's the latest on those of us who didn't manage to get a Gizmo5 account for Guava to use Google Voice over data?

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