All iOS devices can connect to Wi-Fi networks, whether they're your home or office networks or public networks at coffee shops, airports and so on. Although the iPhone and iPads with cellular capabilities can also get online via your cellular provider's network, connecting to a broadband connection over Wi-Fi is often going to be a faster internet experience in many cases. And data transferred over Wi-Fi doesn't count against your cellular data plan. Chances are, when you first set up you iOS device, you connected to your home or office Wi-Fi network so you're able to get online. So let's take a look at the Wi-Fi settings so you know how your device will behave when you inevitably want to connect to other networks.
Tap the settings icon to open your system settings. First make sure Wi-Fi is turned on. Under choose a network you'll see a list of all the Wi-Fi networks your device detects. Along with an indicator of how strong each ones signal is. And whether the network is open or requires a password. Password-protected Wi-Fi networks have a lock icon next to them. You generally won't find too many non-password protected Wi-Fi networks these days, as most people have figured out that leaving their networks open. Can expose them to attacks or just neighbours leaching off their internet connection's bandwidth. Tap the network you want to connect to. If a password is required, you'll have to enter it here.
And that's pretty much all there is to connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will now remember this network so the next time your within its range it will connect automatically without you having to select it and enter the password again. Because being connected to a Wi-Fi network consumes battery power, iOS devices don't remain constantly connected. So you don't have to worry about Wi-Fi eating up your battery while you're looking at photos or listening to music. It's when you start an app that requires an internet connection, like the Safari web browser or mail that your device will then attempt to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network.
First, your device will look for a nearby Wi-Fi network If it detects when you've connected to in the past, it will connect with no prompting from you. If it detects any new Wi-Fi networks you've never connected to, and you have ask to join networks turned on. You'll see a message pop up with a list of networks it's found, and it will ask you if you want to connect to any of them. So for example, I can tell my iPhone to forget this network by tapping the I button, and then tapping forget this network. And with Ask to join networks turned on, the next time I try to access the internet. I'll see this message asking me to select the wireless network, and I can just log on again.
Now if you leave ask to join networks turned off. Your device won't ask you to connect to any known networks and you'll have to search for them manually here in Wi-Fi settings. You'll know you're connected to a Wi-Fi network when you see your Wi-Fi icon at the top of your screen. Now the iPod Touch and non-cellular iPads can only connect to the internet over Wi-Fi and have no other connection options. If the iPhone fails to find a Wi-Fi signal, or if you decline to connect to any that it finds, it will then connect to the internet via your service provider's cellular network. In those cases you'll see an icon like 4G or LTE appear up here, to let you know which network type you're connected to.
As you can see, connecting to a Wi-Fi network is pretty simple, but there a lot of other important things to know about how iOS devices deal with Wi-Fi networks. So be sure to check out the movie on Wi-Fi in the chapter called Important Settings. In that movie, I go over some crucial information that will help you troubleshoot when you inevitably run into problems with connecting to a Wi-Fi network. But for now, I just wanted to make sure you understand the basics of connecting to a network from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
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