This also means you can connect your Android phone to wireless (WIFI) networks, which can be a big benefit if you have a limited data plan with your cell phone carrier.
Best of all, connecting to wireless networks is simple. Here's how to do it.
Note: all screen shots are from Android version 2.21 running on HTC Thunderbolt, and may look different from your Android version.
Before making a connection to a wireless network, you need to enable Wi-Fi (if it has not been enabled already).
- On your Android device, tap on the Settings icon.
- Then select Wireless & networks.
- Next, verify if Wi-Fi is enabled. If it is not enabled (check mark is grayed out), turn it on by tapping the check mark next to Wi-Fi.
- Once Wi-Fi is enabled, tap on Wi-Fi settings…
….which will allow you to view all available wireless networks that your phone has scanned and are with in it's reach.
- Select the network you want to connect to, by tapping on it. In my example, I'm going to connect to the Cobra network.
NOTE: secured wireless networks are identified by the locked icon.
- Here, you need to enter the password and select Connect.
Once connected, you will see that your device is connected to the wireless network….
….and you can now browse the Internet, check email, download games, etc… just like you can when you are connected to your carrier cell network (and save on data usage).
Connect To Hidden Networks
To connect to a network with a hidden SSID, go back into the Wi-Fi setings, and tap on Add Wi-Fi network.
The type in your Network SSID and Security type (WEP, WPA/WPA2, etc) and Password. Then tap Save.
You will then be connected to the hidden network.
How To Check If Connected To Wireless Or Cell Network
To quickly check which network your device is connected to, just look at the Notification Bar (also known as Status Bar) at the top of the display.
If connected to a Wi-Fi network, you will see the Wi-Fi icon.
Or if you are connected to a cell network, you will see either 3G or 4G (depending on your phone capabilities).
How To Save Battery Power With Wi-Fi
If you are not connected to a wireless network or within range, you can save on battery power by turning Wi-Fi off.
To disable Wi-Fi, just go to Settings \ Wireless & networks and tap on the check mark.
The wireless service on your device will shutdown and your device will stop scanning for wireless networks and prevent unnecessary battery usage.
A Little Common Sense
Now that you know how to connect to Wi-Fi netowrks, let me give you a word of caution.
Make sure you only connect to trusted wireless networks that are secure with WPA or WPA2 encryption. For open wireless networks that require no encryption (meaning you can just connect to them), use them at your own risk of having your phone hacked.