Wi-Fi - what does it do? How is it related to battery life?Support


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  1. J S Machine

    J S Machine Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    My wife and I got our new new droids friday, and we have been playing with them and really enjoing them. I'm trying to figure out every possible scenario on what needs to be turned off to preserve battery life.

    I am not exactly sure what wi-fi is, or why I need it. My phone gets great service. Rearely have I even been in a "hot spot" to my knowledge. If I don't need it, I'd rather just turn it off and back on when I do need it.

    Same goes for GPS. Do I really need GPS? I do still want to get emails and txt in real time, but I don't know what should be turned off and how it affects things on the phone service wise.
     

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  2. Stone

    Stone Well-Known Member

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    You can turn off wifi in: settings > wireless networks
    You can turn off gps in: settings > location & security

    to completely disable gps, make sure you uncheck:
    Use wireless networks
    Use GPS Satellites
    Enable Assisted GPS

    You should also have a set of widgets on one of your homescreens that turn these features off.
     
  3. J S Machine

    J S Machine Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have figured out how to turn these things off, I'm just trying to figure out how I benefit from them. In other words, what does WiFi and GPS actually do for my phone that is of any use to me? And what effect do they have on battery life?
     
  4. gibbga

    gibbga Well-Known Member

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    If you have Wi-Fi at home or are somewhere with Wi-Fi, then you should be able to load web pages quite a bit quicker. It also doesn't count toward your 3g data usage, which isn't a big deal with an unlimited plan unless you are a heavy data user. With GPS, you don't need it on all the time, but certain apps will need to have it enabled for them to work properly. Most notably any type of navigation app or an app like "Where" which will help you find nearby restaurants, gas stations, etc.

    Don't leave GPS on unless you have one of those apps enabled at the moment and using it. It can be a big battery sucker. As for Wi-Fi, I use the Wi-Fi feature at my house for quicker loading times. When Wi-Fi is turned on and connected, it turns off the 3g on the phone. I haven't noticed any extreme battery drain with this turned on, but again I only have it turned on when I need it or when I'm at home.
     
  5. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH VIP Member

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    Tethering through root is a bit less expensive. ;)
     
  6. J S Machine

    J S Machine Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I do have a wireless router at home. It isn't on all of the time, but are you saying that if it is the wifi in my phone will recognize the connection and automaticly use it?

    Will I run into a situation where I am unable to get onto certain wifi networks because of the requirement of a password?

    Please excuse my ignorance, but the only experience I have with wireless networks is like at hospitals and in my neighborhood. I can search for wireless networks with windows in my laptop and see several of them in my neighborhood, and I have seen a few networks at the hospital. When I try to get on them, most require a password. This is why I'm curious.

    Does the phone interact with wireless networks differently than computers?
     
  7. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

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    This is false. The GPS is only used and draining battery when there is an app that needs GPS. You'll see the satellite icon in the status bar when that happens. Otherwise, it is not using up battery power.
     
  8. dookie1

    dookie1 Well-Known Member

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    the phone uses wifi networks just like a PC would, yes. wifi data connectivity is highly desirable as it is much faster than 3g and also much less battery intensive (lower power transceiver w/100yd range to your router, not 2mi range to the nearest tower).

    the phone can connect to pretty much any wifi network, secured or not, though there have been some reported issues with 802.11n networks and/or networks that hide their SSID (name) for security reasons. when you manage networks / add a network, you will be prompted for all the necessary security info.

    as for GPS, the posted just above me is correct. no need to shut it off if you're not using apps that need it. and even then, most blink it on to get your position, then turn it off again right away. makes things like place/weather/shopping searches very handy, as the phone knows where you are. things like navigation or real-time mapping (latitude) will run the gps non-stop to keep your position current. this will definitely eat battery. i actually lose some charge when running nav in the car, even when connected to the charger...burning it up faster than i'm pouring it in. time to get a high-current charger...
     
  9. 2horses

    2horses Well-Known Member

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    You have to set up the wireless connection one time, and from then on it will connect automatically. To set up any of them, on the home page, click on the menu button, go to settings, and the top one listed is Wireless and Networks. Click on that, then tap Wi-Fi settings. Turn on wifi isn't it isn't already and then you should see available networks appear in a list below. Tap the one or ones you want to connect and a text box will appear to enter a password. Once the password is entered (or other logon key), you are good to go. Then in the furutre when that network is available, it will automatically connect when you turn wifi on.

    Please feel free to add on to this or make corrections if I've left something out.
     
  10. lexluthor

    lexluthor Well-Known Member

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  11. J S Machine

    J S Machine Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for explaining this.

    I see one here in the building at work, but it is password protected as I suspected. I have wifi turned on for the time being and the box checked for "network notification". Maybe I will run across another network and be able to get on it. I'll also try it tonight at home and see what it does with my router.
     
  12. OrderFromChaos

    OrderFromChaos Well-Known Member

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    Yes, if you have a wireless network at your house you can connect to it, which as has already been stated is faster than 3G. It will take a couple of minutes to first set up your connection but after the initial setup your phone should automatically connect when it is within range. My phone currently connects to both, my work and home wireless networks without me doing anything other than enabling wifi on the phone. Curious, but why is your wireless router off sometimes?

    The reason most wireless networks are password encrypted are for three reasons: 1) access to your connected devices (file sharing, private data, etc. ), 2) Can steal your bandwidth, and IMO most important, 3) If someone uses your unrestricted network to do illegal things such as downloading copyrighted material you can be held liable and cannot claim ignorance.
     
  13. J S Machine

    J S Machine Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Everything in my house is connected to a surge protector except for major appliances. The computer in the computer room and all its accesories (the router is included) are connected to their own surge protector. Nothing stays on when we leave home. I'm a firefighter, and I've seen too many fires caused by electronics and things that use electricity. It might be a little overkill, but it is good peace of mind. I usually only turn that surge on if I will be using my pc.
     
  14. OrderFromChaos

    OrderFromChaos Well-Known Member

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    OK, that makes since. :D I would probably suggest turning the surge on if you plan on using your phone at home (and of course turning it off when you're gone). The speed and battery will improve if you use wifi instead of 3G. Don't forget to enable the security on your wireless network.

    I've seen the devastation that faulty wiring (I know you did not mention faulty wiring, but I've had experience with it) can cause to a house and the people inside, let alone having anything plugged in.
     

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