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  1. #1
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    WiFi - ultra beginner questions

    I have had a PDA for years, & a cell phone for years, but finally decided to converge to one device and got the SCH-i760. Of course, this is a WiFi enabled device. I've never had one of those before. And I am completely clueless about it. I looked around the board but didn't see - although it is probably there somewhere - a 'WiFi for Dummies' thread.

    If you can direct me to that, it would be appreciated. If not, here are my basic questions:

    - Is WiFi through independant providers (such as whatever store you are in)?

    - I gather you do not need a data plan. Do you have to pay when using WiFi to browse the internet?

    - If I'm in a store that has WiFi connections, how would I initiate a session?

    As I said, these are really beginner questions. I'd probably have more if I knew what to ask. Thanks for any direction.


    Anne

  2. #2
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    To use WiFi, you only need a wireless access point and a connection to the internet. Anyplace you can use a laptop with WiFi, you can use the phone.

    You don't need a data plan at all and you don't get charged for it.

    Usually when you are near an access point, the phone will display a notification that it found a wireless network and it will ask you if you want to connect. If the access point is encrypted, it will ask for the encryption key, if it is open, then it will just connect.

  3. #3
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    But you have to turn on Wireless to begin with!

    Go to Wireless Manager and turn on Wi-fi.

    Start/settings/connection tab/wireless manager
    OR:
    tap the signal strength indicator on the Today screen.

    Edit: from what I hear, wireless will task your battery. You will probably want to disable wi-fi rather than leave it on once you're done.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! I feel so high-tech - or at least, high-tech enabled. I think I will have to visit a Starbucks location, just to check this out. (I'm pretty certain they have WiFi.)

  5. #5
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    You don't have a wireless router in your house? I thought everyone did these days. (though many don't know they are sharing their internet connection with their neighbors)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockvillage View Post
    - Is WiFi through independant providers (such as whatever store you are in)?
    You may find WiFi access points almost anywhere. Common locations include coffee houses, internet cafe's, airports, etc.. And as has already been mentioned, lots of folks have them in their homes, too (my phone routinely detects 3 of my neighbors' wireless setups, as well as my own!).

    Quote Originally Posted by rockvillage View Post
    - I gather you do not need a data plan. Do you have to pay when using WiFi to browse the internet?
    As has already been stated, you do not need a data plan in order to use WiFi internet connections. And there is no charge involved from Verizon. In general, there is no charge from other access providers, though some commercial access points (i.e. in some airports) will charge a fee. Don't worry, though, you'll have no doubt that someone is trying to get money out of you, since they'll require you to set up an account in order to use their service.

    However, depending on the availability of WiFi access points where you work and live, you may want to have some sort of data plan as a backup. I'm new to this as well, and find that you quickly become accustomed (addicted? )to having a quality internet connection pretty much whenever you want it. This is particularly true if you use any Today screen plug ins that need access in order to update (i.e. weather, stock tickers, etc.).


    Quote Originally Posted by rockvillage View Post
    - If I'm in a store that has WiFi connections, how would I initiate a session?
    Let me try to bring it together in one place for you:
    If you already have Wifi turned on
    • The phone will notify you when it detects an access point, and will prompt you for whether or not you wish to connect
    • Follow the prompts to either reject the connection, or to connect
    • If you decide to connect, you will see one of two situations:
      • If the access point has security enabled, you will be prompted for the password, etc.. I usually ignore these, since the access point's owners don't want you on their system, anyway. One exception is hotels; they will typically give their guests the security info.
      • If the access point is open (no password/security), the phone will establish the connection itself after you give it permission
    If you don't have WiFi turned on
    • Nothing will happen until you turn it on
    • If an access site is available, the phone will detect it after a short while, and you can go through the steps listed above
    Note: The caution about battery drain is one you should pay attention to!

    The WiFi radio can really drain your battery in a hurry, and you don't need to be "using" the WiFi for it to do this. If WiFi is on, then the phone is constantly on the look out for access points, and that drains the battery. I leave WiFi off except for when I actually intend to use it. Of course, that means that I cannot use automatic updates (i.e. weather, etc.) except via a dialup connection (which I have also disabled). But my battery lasts all day and more!

    Incidentally: leaving the Bluetooth radio on all the time also creates increased drain on your battery. But it doesn't seem to be as power hungry as the WiFi radio, so I generally leave it on all the time.

    Hope this helps!

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    I don't think Starbucks is free Wifi.

  8. #8
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    Great information! Thanks. (Bummer that Starbucks isn't free; it's the only place I know of off the top of my head.)

    We have a wired LAN. More secure, but of course not as flexible. (Edit - my husband just reminded me that w/ the Fios connection, we got a router that has wireless as well as wired. So I could turn on the wireless functionality and try it out.)

    When you say 'WiFi radio' or 'Bluetooth radio', does that simply mean the functionality - ie, a receiver that is always looking for a broadcast or connection? Or is it something else, perhaps some music functionality?
    Last edited by rockvillage; 11-29-2007 at 05:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    WiFi = 802.11 networks like 802.11a or 802.11b/g.

    Bluetooth=Bluetooth

    They're two completely different technologies. WiFi is for accessing networks similar to wired Ethernet connections. Bluetooth is for shorter range connections with less consistent usage and lower power requirements.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockvillage View Post
    When you say 'WiFi radio' or 'Bluetooth radio', does that simply mean the functionality - ie, a receiver that is always looking for a broadcast or connection? Or is it something else, perhaps some music functionality?
    Each of the phone's transmit/receive functions (phone, Bluetooth, and WiFi) takes place over a different radio frequency (as mentioned in the post just before this one). I don't know if there are actually 3 discreet radios (one for each of those functions), but that concept is what I meant when I referred to the different radios.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dzanda View Post
    Each of the phone's transmit/receive functions (phone, Bluetooth, and WiFi) takes place over a different radio frequency (as mentioned in the post just before this one).
    Being a stickler, this isn't actually true. 802.11b/g some flavors of 802.11n, and bluetooth are all in the 2.4Ghz spectrum.

    I don't know if there are actually 3 discreet radios (one for each of those functions), but that concept is what I meant when I referred to the different radios.
    Probably what qualifies as a radio is open to some debate. But it's certainly valid to state that the phone has dedicated circuitry to handle each of the different protocols it supports (BT, WiFi, Cell). If you bought a phone that also had WiMax, it'd have a radio/circuitry for that as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfAlbion View Post
    Being a stickler, this isn't actually true. 802.11b/g some flavors of 802.11n, and bluetooth are all in the 2.4Ghz spectrum.
    Now I'm confused! Being on the same spectrum isn't the same as being on the same freq... right???!!?? So, can you elaborate?
    Last edited by Dzanda; 12-01-2007 at 03:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dzanda View Post
    Now I'm confused! Being on the same spectrum isn't the same as being on the same freq... right???!!?? So, can you elaborate?
    True, being on the same spectrum is not necessarily the same frequency, there are lots of frequencies in the 2.4Gigahertz spectrum. The fact that lots of devices are sharing this spectrum means that there could be interference between devices, that is why most devices that were assigned to this spectrum have some ability to frequency hop to minimize interference with other nearby devices. The 2.4Gigahertz frequency band was assigned to low range devices ie. Cordless phones, WiFi, etc. to help minimize this interference.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by abuttino View Post
    I don't think Starbucks is free Wifi.
    I happened to be in a Starbucks this morning (which is odd in and of itself because I don't drink coffee). Wi-Fi there is not free. It is sponsored by T-Mobile. I can't recall what the cost was; I want say something like ten cents per minute, but I could be way off base.
    -Jay
    The Fine Print:Nothing in this post (or any of my other posts) is intended to constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For purposes of this forum, I'm just another nerd like you. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dzanda View Post
    Now I'm confused! Being on the same spectrum isn't the same as being on the same freq... right???!!?? So, can you elaborate?
    They are in the same frequency range, but BT contains technology that makes this workable. The power differences between the two also work well.

    802.11b/g/n networks use predefined bands within the 2.4Ghz frequency for their communications, which is defined by the channel set on the access point.

    Bluetooth doesn't use a fixed frequency range, but dynamically seeks out a channel to use. It's called "adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum multiplexing." Since it's low power and short range, it can usually find a channel to use, and since they use different encoding and signaling methods they can even share a frequency so long as both aren't transmitting simultaneously.

    BT and WiFi can (and very occasionally do) interfere with one another, usually to BT's detriment since it's far lower power.

  16. #16
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    Does anyone know the mac address for the wi-fi og the i760? I use my network buy only allowing mac addresses I add in my router.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moehusker View Post
    Does anyone know the mac address for the wi-fi og the i760? I use my network buy only allowing mac addresses I add in my router.
    Tap the following
    Settings > connections > WiFi > Network Adapters > Samsung b/g WiFi Card > IP address: -->your mac address is here in this block.

  18. #18
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    Also found when you dial #4357* too.

  19. #19
    cec
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    I like the "beginner" threads. I always learn something new.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for explaining the 'radio' reference. I saw that in another thread as well & wasn't certain what it meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by moehusker View Post
    ... I use my network buy only allowing mac addresses I add in my router.
    Nice idea. Maybe I'll be brave enough to try my home wireless router one of these days.

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