- time savings : Wi-Fi provides much higher network bandwidth than the cellular protocols supported by iPhone (either EDGE, an enhanced form of GPRS, or 3G). That typically means noticeably faster app downloads and browsing.
- cost savings : Any network traffic generated while the iPhone is connected via Wi-Fi does not count toward monthly data plan quotas.
Monitoring Network Connections on the iPhoneThe top left corner of an iPhone's screen displays several icons indicating its network status:
- connection strength : Between one and five bars are displayed to indicate wireless signal strength detected by iPhone for the current connection (either Wi-Fi or cellular).
- cellular provider : The name of the cell provider (e.g., AT&T) is shown next to the connection strength (even when iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi)
- connection type : The type of network connection shown next to the provider name can be either "3G," "EDGE" or Wi-Fi (designated by a graphic of three curved lines)
Connecting iPhone to a Wi-Fi NetworkThe iPhone Settings app contains a Wi-Fi section for managing connections to these networks. First, the Wi-Fi slider in this section must be changed from "Off" to "On." Next, one or more networks must be configured by selecting the "Other…" option under "Choose a Network… ." These parameters must be entered to enable iPhone to recognize a new Wi-Fi network:
- Name : The public name (SSID) of the Wi-Fi network
- Security : The hotspot's network encryption type (WEP, WPA or WPA Enterprise, WPA2 or WPA2 Enterprise)
- Password: The hotspot's network encryption key
Making iPhone Forget Wi-Fi NetworksTo remove a previously-configured Wi-Fi network so that iPhone no longer attempts auto-connecting to it or remembers it, tap the right arrow button associated with its entry in the Wi-Fi list and then tap "Forget This Network" (a button located near the top of the screen).
Restricting iPhone Apps to Use Wi-Fi OnlySome iPhone apps, particularly those that stream video and audio, generate relatively high amounts of network traffic. Because iPhone automatically reverts to the phone network when a Wi-Fi connection is lost, a person can quickly consume their monthly cellular data plan without realizing it.
To guard against unwanted cellular data consumption, many high-bandwidth apps include an option to restrict their network traffic to Wi-Fi only. Consider setting this option if available on frequently-used apps.
Additional settings on iPhone allow cellular access itself to be restricted while looking for a Wi-Fi network to join. In the Settings app, under General > Network, slide "Cellular Data" from "On" to "Off" to disable cellular network connections across all apps. Those who travel internationally should also keep the "Data Roaming" slider set to "Off" whenever possible to prevent unwanted charges.