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Support Wifi Always On and Battery

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by lexluthor, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    I seen some discussion about people who leave Wifi set to never sleep and leave it always connected when in a Wifi area.

    Here's one user who seems to think it's a great idea.
    http://androidforums.com/htc-droid-eris/26736-wifi-sleep-policy.html#post183044

    I have a fairly weak 3G signal at home (most of the time it's in 1x) and a strong 3G signal at work. Both locations have Wifi.

    Would I benefit (battery wife) from setting Wifi to never sleep in the advanced settings and turning Wifi on as soon as I enter Wifi range, just using Wifi exclusively at the 2 locations? I understand that I'd manually want to turn off Wifi when I left range or searching for new Wifi might drain me.

    It seems logical to me that this would not be a benefit as when the phone is sitting on the table doing nothing (other than a small amount of background data), it still has to maintain that Wifi connection, which would use more power than having an inactive data connection, but I'm not sure.

    Also, in order to fully benefit, do I need to disable the data network on the phone when I'm connected via Wifi. Will that yield even more of an improvement?
     

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  2. howarmat

    howarmat Android Expert
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    wifi is going to be better than 3G connection most anytime when signal is good or bad, but more so when 3G data connection is bad. When you enable the wifi sleep it will revert back to the 3G and then use more battery, doesnt really matter if you are using the phone or not. I have always on data enabled and also wifi never sleep and can still get good battery life with moderate use
     
  3. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    That's interesting. So, if I'm in my house (with moderate 3G signal, at best) with my phone sitting on a table all day, you think my battery would last longer connected to Wifi, set to never sleep, than it would be with Wifi off?

    Is there a general consensus about that?

    And if Wifi is on, it won't try to keep a data connection, so I don't really need to disable the data connection for added benefit?
     
  4. ramcharger1979

    ramcharger1979 Android Enthusiast
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    Yes WiFi on uses less battery than 3G
     
  5. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    I'm going to test this out.

    I'd certainly prefer if this was the case. With the bad signal in my house, I've been turning wifi on manually when I know I'll be using data, but sometimes if I'm just checking email, I don't and if I hit an html email, it can be slow.

    I'd love to be able to do all my data at home and work on wifi. If it improves the battery on top of that, even better.

    Also, I did notice as soon as I connect to wifi, I see the 1x or 3g icons go away, so I guess that would mean I do not need to disable data network as that's done automatically upon the wifi connection.

    I sure hope this really is the case.

    Will I see a big hit to the battery if I leave wifi (with wifi sleep still disabled) when I leave my wifi networks? Is it worth toggling it off at those times?
     
  6. Bundy

    Bundy Android Enthusiast
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    I use WiFi whenever possible - it's faster and uses less power than 3G. As far as the battery goes, unless you disable both (manually or airplane mode), one or the other will always be connected and, like I said, WiFi is more efficient. I have an app called "WiFi Status" that reminds me to turn off WiFi when not in range, which will waste power.
     
    sontaikle and lexluthor like this.
  7. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    Installed. Thanks.
     
  8. lmbgm

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    so when I get home, I should turn on wifi, but when I leave the house, I assume I should turn off wifi since it will be constantly searching for a wifi network AND using 3g.
     
  9. Skybolt

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    So, my question is, how do you set it to sleep? I have looked around in settings and don't find any way to set this. My wi-fi settings only offer "newtork notification" with a check box for on or off. Where are other settings?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    In Wifi settings, click menu->advanced
     
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  11. jr461

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    Wouldn't Wifi sleep mean to temporarily turn it off if not needed for, say, 15 minutes, then it goes back on when you access something online? Or after 15 minutes it's off and stays off? That wouldn't make sense.
     
  12. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    But, while it's off, 3G would come back on and eat the battery more than if Wifi just stayed on.

    At least that's what I think I'm hearing here.
     
  13. jr461

    jr461 Member
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    The way I would interpret the "sleep in 15 min" option is that no online activity for 15 minutes would put wifi to sleep. Once you go back online, it kicks on again. I wouldn't think it goes off and reverts back to 3G in the middle of needing it. If that's the case then yes, I would leave it on all the time also. Can someone definitively clarify?
     
  14. jayno20

    jayno20 Android Enthusiast
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    Interesting...
     
  15. kayst

    kayst Android Enthusiast
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    The way it's worked for me is, if wi-fi sleep is set to 15 mins, 15 mins after turning off the screen, wi-fi goes to sleep. If 3G is ON, then it will be used for gmail, google voice msgs, etc and use battery. If 3G is OFF, then I won't get gmail or GV msgs.

    So, I set wifi to never sleep.
     
  16. Bundy

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    I'll have to test it again, but this morning I had to do a factory reset (damn mms issue) and the WiFi defaulted to 15 min sleep. After it went to sleep, 3G came on and WiFi had to be manually started again. So no, it doesn't automatically restart and I changed mine to never sleep.
     
  17. jr461

    jr461 Member
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    Thanks for clarifying. It seems, therefore, that there's no down side to "never sleep", as long as wifi is turned off when not in range of a network, correct?
     
  18. woop

    woop novacane (OFWGKTA)
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    I have that option set (the always stay on wifi), and it has helped my battery life. I would recommend you doing so if you have a wifi source, as I do at home, since it uses less battery power and is faster.
     
  19. wedgemoose

    wedgemoose Android Enthusiast
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    I have a similar siuation I have been testing. I CAN'T turn off "data" because Visual Voicemail doesn't work without it (for some reason). So at work where I have bad 3G i have started to turn WIFI on (and "always connected" is set). i was afraid at first but I am now on day four and have noticed that i am actually getting better battery life(very little but BETTER). if you don't have visual voicemail and can turn off your data you might get even better BUT with WIFI always on in a bad 3G location I am getting better battery than with WIFI off. I wish i didn't need my data on to use visual voicemail or i bet i would get much better life. (I know i can still CHECK voicemail manually but it doesn't give you an indication that you received a voicemail either and this is a work phone-meaning I have to know when I have a voicemail)
     
  20. BzB

    BzB Android Enthusiast
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    Correct. You may also notice that your 3g signal bars may drop lower when wifi is on and connected. To me that indicates the 3g antenna is running in lower consumption mode.
     
  21. kayst

    kayst Android Enthusiast
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    If I'm in wifi range and wifi is turned on, does it matter, battery-wise, if I turn off 3G, or can i just leave it on all the time?
     
  22. Randino

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    This setting is new to me, didn't know it was there, I guess my question is, if I'm using WiFi always on, as suggested, when I leave a connection area is it going to search for a WiFi signal and kill the battery, like 3G does, or will it make a difference? This would be beneficial at home but if it eats my battery going down the road then it wouldn't be beneficial.
     
  23. howarmat

    howarmat Android Expert
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  24. Randino

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  25. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
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    Wait, so how does this app work exactly?

    EDIT: Here's from their FAQ:
    ===
    How does Y5 - Battery Saver work? Does it use GPS?

    Of course Y5 - Battery Saver does not use GPS. It wouldn't make sense as the GPS drains even more power than Wifi radio. The application uses the information which is already available: the GSM base tower identifier (CellID) to determine the location of the Wifi network.

    ===

    So what if I'm connected to the same tower where I have wifi, but I'm out of range? Also, it says GSM. I assume this will work on CDMA too?
     
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