About a third of all respondents to an AARP technology survey released this month told researchers they had problems with breaking or blocking their video calls. About half say they use their cell phone to make or accept these calls. The Spotty mobile phone service offers a simple solution that many may not be familiar with: connect your smartphone to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Why join your Wi-Fi network?
To make calls, many mobile phone users rely on a cellular connection, which must communicate with towers outside the home. A nearby and strong Wi-Fi router could dramatically increase the quality of your audio-video communication and ensure faster and more reliable speeds for other telephone activities.
Some other reasons to have your mobile phone on Wi-Fi:
• Video streaming. If you are watching TV shows and movies on your smartphone through services such as Apple TV + or Netflix and you are not on a Wi-Fi network, your entertainment time will count towards the data plan of your cordless phone. Watching a standard definition program, commonly known as 480p (a screen height of 480 pixels with progressive scanning that draws the image line by line in sequence), can use up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of data per hour, according to Netflix. That’s well below today’s standards for TV screen resolution.
Newer models of smartphones and tablets, Android and iPhone, rival large TVs in their ability to display crisp, clear videos even with their smaller screens. High definition, 720p, streaming can use up to 3 GB of data per hour, and ultra high definition, better known as 4K or 2160p, the quality can consume up to 7 GB per hour, depending on Netflix.
Even if your cell phone plan says it has unlimited data, it can slow down your data speed if you have heavy network traffic or if you use more than a certain amount in a bill cycle. If you have a data cap, you could face overage charges that can quickly get high. Many plans sell you additional data in 1GB increments, even if you go over the limit slightly, so it’s wise to push your data usage to your home Wi-Fi when possible.
• Printing of documents. If you want to print something from your smartphone (a document, email, or photo), you will likely need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as your wireless printer.
Exceptions include printers that use email or an app to print from anywhere, even outside of the home. But most wireless printers require you to print while on the same Wi-Fi network as the device requesting the print job, and it’s at home.
• Call via Wi-Fi. If your smartphone supports it, and there’s a good chance it does, you can make and receive audio calls and text messages over a Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi calling is ideal when you are in an area with poor or no cellular network coverage. However, before you can use your Wi-Fi for voice calls, the Federal Communications Commission requires mobile phone providers to support 911 calling, so they must first collect a registered home location from you to activate. the service.
But wait, do you already have your mobile phone connected to Wi-Fi? And are you still having performance issues?
No problem. Whether you are not yet logged in or want to improve the experience, we can help. The following is a simple walkthrough on what to do.
How to put your smartphone in Wi-Fi
Connecting your cell phone to Wi-Fi is similar to connecting a computer, smart TV, wireless printer, and other devices you might have in your home.
There are two things you need to know: the name of your Wi-Fi network, sometimes referred to as a Service Set Identifier (SSID), and its password. Just like other devices, you only need to add your phone to your Wi-Fi network once, unless you change your Wi-Fi network name or password in the future.
1. Press the Settings icon, which looks like a gray gear, from your home screen.
2. Tap the section near the top titled Wireless.
3. Make sure the Wi-Fi is on, which will have a green toggle switch to show it’s on.
4. Consult the list of all nearby Wi-Fi networks detected by your smartphone under Network.
5. Select the name of your home network.
6. Type their password when prompted.
You should now see the familiar Wi-Fi symbol, which looks like radiating curved radio waves, appear at the very top of your iPhone. The more curves, the stronger your Wi-Fi signal, much like vertical bars indicate cell signal strength.
Be aware that not all Android phones are set up exactly the same, so some of these steps may vary slightly between models from Google, LG, Moto, Samsung, and other manufacturers.
1. Swipe down from the top of your Android phone’s home screen and you will see the Wi-Fi symbol near the top. If this swipe down action doesn’t work for some reason, you can also press the button Settings icon that looks like a gray gear on your home screen.
2. Press and hold the Wi-Fi symbol. If you are already connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will be listed under Current network.
3. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on by flipping the toggle switch to At if you are not connected to your Wi-Fi network. Some phones may skip this step and ask you to Add a network.
4. Tap the name of your Wi-Fi network after your phone searches for nearby networks.
5. Type their password when prompted.
6. Ensure Automatic reconnection is activated, if prompted, so that your phone will automatically join your Wi-Fi network when you walk through your door.
Improve the Wi-Fi connection
If you already have your smartphone on your home Wi-Fi network but are still having problems, your Wi-Fi may need a gentle tidy.
• Improve your service. You might have the fastest router in the world, but that won’t help if you don’t get fast speeds from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If your budget allows, go for the fastest speeds available in your neighborhood, which may require a newer router.
• Look at the location. Make sure your router is in an optimal location in your home. Keep it on the ground or top floor and close to the center of the house for optimum reach. Avoid keeping your router in a basement as it will be difficult for devices elsewhere in the house to communicate with it. Make sure the router is elevated on a desk or table and that there is nothing nearby to obstruct the signal.
• Get a better router. You can have a modem from your ISP for Internet connectivity, but opt for a better router for wireless access. If this is what you prefer, and it’s been a few years since you upgraded your router, consider purchasing a new router. Look for Wi-Fi 6, the latest standard. It is not only faster, but supports more simultaneous devices on the network.
• Consider a mesh system. Those who live in a larger house or an older house with concrete walls may want to consider a mesh or whole house network. The most advanced router includes several bases or hubs – wireless extension cords, if you will – to place around the house. These devices all communicate wirelessly with the router to cover a larger space with faster, more reliable Wi-Fi. This is a modular system, so you can add more bases if you need to.
• Back to the threads. If your devices, such as a desktop computer, support a wired connection, plug them into the modem or router if it is close enough. It requires a cheap Ethernet cable, which looks like a bigger phone cable. If devices, like your smartphone, are wireless only, try to be as close to your router as possible for the best performance, or consider a mesh system or wireless repeater for the part of the house where you have a wireless network. irregular reception.
• Change frequencies. Today’s Wi-Fi routers broadcast in two different frequencies: 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5 GHz. Determining the best one for your situation can improve the range, speed, and reliability of your network. The 5 GHz frequency minimizes interference between devices operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency in the home, such as baby monitors, cordless phones, and microwaves. The 2.4 GHz frequency is capable of reaching farther distances than the 5 GHz frequency, but devices connected to the 5 GHz frequency operate at faster speeds.
Marc Saltzman is a contributing writer who covers personal technology. His work also appears in USA today and other national publications. He hosts the podcast series Tech It Out and is the author of several books, including Apple Watch for Dummies and Siri for dummies.
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