Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

jpstewar
Member

My understanding (maybe flawed) is that if I have access to a Wi-fi network, I should turn on Wi-fi and use that network first before using VZ's network. This will save me on data charges if I understand correctly. So if I'm at home and have a wireless router, or at (say) Starbucks, I should turn on Wi-fi and use their wireless for that reason. True?

But if I don't have access to Wi-fi, say I'm walking down the street, I then have no option but to connect to VZ network and will default to that. So Wi-fi does not need to be on? Or if it is on, the phone will overlook it and go to the VZ network? So if that's true, my other (somewhat academic) question is: If I'm not using Wi-fi to connect to the VZ network, what am I using?

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

tikibar1
Sr. Leader

jpstewar wrote:

My understanding (maybe flawed) is that if I have access to a Wi-fi network, I should turn on Wi-fi and use that network first before using VZ's network. This will save me on data charges if I understand correctly. So if I'm at home and have a wireless router, or at (say) Starbucks, I should turn on Wi-fi and use their wireless for that reason. True?     True

But if I don't have access to Wi-fi, say I'm walking down the street, I then have no option but to connect to VZ network and will default to that. So Wi-fi does not need to be on? Or if it is on, the phone will overlook it and go to the VZ network? So if that's true, my other (somewhat academic) question is: If I'm not using Wi-fi to connect to the VZ network, what am I using?   Verizon's cellular network

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

jpstewar
Member

Which, I take it, is not Wi-fi but is based on some whole other technology.

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

tikibar1
Sr. Leader

Using wi-fi as much as possible means you aren't using your cellular data allowance.  It's usually best to download/update apps over wi-fi and do 'data intensive' things like video/music streaming over wi-fi.

Wi-Fi and cellular networks are mobile wireless access technologies operating in different  frequencies and in different access ranges.

Wi-Fi:  the signal comes to your phone from a wireless router or modem, which is somewhere in your home, office, school. The signal has a limited range, up to 150 feet from the modem most times.

Cellular Network: The internet comes to you from a cell phone tower somewhere in your neighborhood.

You can Google the two if you want more detailed info., or other posters may chime in with more details if you need them.

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

jpstewar
Member

Don't need to Google. Makes perfect sense. Thanks. BTW, I suppose this is all written down somewhere. But I've been with VZ for a long time and not one sales person ever suggested I should use Wifi for data intensive stuff vs. their network. I get that there's no financial incentive for them to tell me (or anyone) that. But still.

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

Not applicable

Ok for example you have a regular cable or DSL internet connection at home( for example mine is through Charter )and you have a wireless router to distribute that signal throughout you house wirelessly. That's wi-fi. So when you are connecting through wi-fi you would be using your cable or DSL ISP's network( in my case Charter ) not Verizon's network. And since I am not using Verizon's network this doesn't count against my data usage. Even if you no longer had Verizon service you could still use wi-fi to access the internet on your phone.

Now I could access the internet through Verizon's network at home instead, but then I would be using my data allotment. So why would I do that if I don't have to? People that have unlimited data don't have to worry about that so it's not big deal to them. And this goes for any place you're at that offers free wi-fi. If you can access wi-fi and save on your data allotment why not? The only reason I'd use Verizon's network over wi-fi is if it happens to be so slow it's not worth using.

I will say whenever you're on wi-fi keep an eye on it and make sure it's actually on wi-fi. If you're in an area where the wi-fi signal is weak your connection will default back to Verizon and you might not know it. Or if for some reason the wi-fi connection got disconnected. This happened to my sister last month and she almost went over her 2 GB cap.

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Re: Trying to better understand use of Wi-fi vs. VZ network

21stNow
Sr. Member

The other thing that I would add to the responses given so far is that your phone has several radios and antennas in it.  There is one antenna for Wi-fi, and a different antenna for the cellular signal.  There are other antennas or receivers in your phone for things like Bluetooth and possibly NFC (I'm not sure if the RAZR MAXX has this or not).  You, as the user, control whether or not these antennas can receive a signal or not, by turning them on or off in your Settings menu and/or activating Airplane mode.  I hope that this helps.

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