After my article talking about shared data plans, I wanted to follow up with a potentially money-saving tip. Whenever I visit a client, I always check to make sure their phones are using Wi-Fi at their home or workplace. I’ve noticed that a large number of people do not make use of the Wi-Fi networks that are available to them. This is understandable because Wi-Fi use is optional on smartphones. However, by not using Wi-Fi, many people may be costing themselves money.
There are two big benefits to using Wi-Fi on your smartphone – and the same is true for tablets. The first is speed. Most of the time, the speed you’ll get by connecting to a Wi-Fi network is faster than what you can get with your cellular provider. The second benefit is that any data used while connected to a Wi-Fi network does not count against your cellular data plan. Since most wireless companies charge based on how much data you use, it is in your best interest to reduce the amount of data you use over your cellular network.
The good news is that connecting to a Wi-Fi network with a smartphone or a tablet is usually simple. And once connected to a particular Wi-Fi network, your phone will remember the setup details so you will not normally need to re-configure every time you return to a network.
For an iPhone or iPad, the default setting is for the device to notify you when you are in range of a Wi-Fi network. Make sure to acknowledge these notifications in your home, office, or anywhere you frequently travel, and choose the Wi-Fi network applicable. Usually all it takes is for you to tap the network name and then enter your password. If for some reason you are not receiving these notifications, it is also easy to manually connect to a network. Simply tap the Settings App from your home screen, then tap on Wi-Fi. Make sure your Wi-Fi setting is in the “on” position and you should see any available wireless networks listed. You can then tap on your network and enter your password. This is also the area where you can choose if your device notifies you about wireless networks in range (Ask to Join Networks).
If you have an Android device, the setup will be dependent on which model you have, but Google provides some general instructions. Usually, it is a simple process on most Android smartphones and tablets.