What You Need To Know About Accessing The Internet On A Smartphone

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 15 Nov 2012

A friend asked me to explain the technological concerns around smartphone Internet access. Not so long ago, how you accessed the Internet from your smartphone didn’t matter much. Changes in most people’s service plans, however, altered that condition. Your mobile phone bill will go up using the wrong technology.
Smartphones, such as iPhones, and Android phones, are small, handheld computers with built-in phones, Google, and cameras. And like any other modern computer, they’re tools for accessing the Internet. For many people, that’s their primary function.
Most smartphones use two different technologies to access the Internet. The cellular network you subscribe to, such as Verizon or AT& T, and Wi-Fi. The advantage of the cell network, provided you’re on a good one, is that it’s nearly ubiquitous. You can access the Internet from anywhere you have cellphone service.

Fourth and Fifth Generation Services

However, with most phones in most locations, you get Fourth Generation (4G) service, which is pretty slow. You’ll get faster service with 5G, and some places worldwide don’t yet support it. The prediction is that it will reach 4.4 billion by 2027.
Wi-Fi can be much faster, of course, depending on the network. While it isn’t everywhere, it’s probably in your home, local cafe, library, or office. You must log into a Wi-Fi network to access it; in most cases, that involves knowing the password.Now here’s the significant, substantial change. Until recently, most smartphones came with unlimited data plans for about $55 a month. But carriers are abandoning that model, forcing people into programs that ration Internet data. Use too much of it; your bill could go up considerably.
What can you do about it? My family is putting off upgrading our phones for as long as possible and knowing that we all lose unlimited data. But that’s a solution that won’t last.
The other option. Make sure you’re on Wi-Fi whenever possible. Most phones default to Wi-Fi when logged into a network. So, don’t download apps or play multimedia unless you’re on a Wi-Fi network.