Connect to Wi-Fi Networks With Android

April 20, 2011, By Christian Cawley

So you’re out and about with your Android phone or tablet and don’t have the best mobile data contract. But you want to check your emails, so what do you?

The smart money is on connecting to a Wi-Fi network, something that is becoming more and more popular in towns and cities across North America and Europe.

Pretty much all Android phones and tablets are built to connect to wireless networks, and if you’re new to wireless you’ll be happy to know that this is something that is pretty easy to setup. In many cases you can connect to free (or includive) Wi-Fi provided by businesses and venues that you might be using, enabling you to browse the web without paying anything extra!

Connect to WiFi with Android

Typical Rules for Public Wi-Fi

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of connecting to a public wireless access point, a few words about their use.

First of all, they’re not always free, so take care when planning ahead that the hotspot you’re planning on accessing is one that you actually can use. If necessary, phone or email the venue or provider, or check the web to see if anyone has reported any issues.

“Reasonable use” is the phrase to bear in mind here.

Also, be aware that there will be a limit. Don’t expect to be able to start torrenting data to or from your device, as you might find your connection throttled.

Finally one word of warning: while you might think that everyone in the world owns a smartphone or tablet, they don’t. As such, keep a watchful eye on your hardware in public places, or at the very least, take out a decent insurance policy that will cover your phone or tablet.

Setting up a Wi-Fi Connection on Your Android

Connecting to a wireless network can be performed very quickly with Android.

On the Android Home screen look for the Wi-Fi symbol listed with the apps list menu button and the browser launch button. This will take you to the wireless networking screen, where you will be able to activate a wireless connection and scan for hotspots or wireless access points.

What will happen next is that your Android will scan for any available networks and when one is detected android will attempt to connect to it.

An open network shouldn’t require any further activity – your phone or tablet will have connected and you might find that your email or twitter app has already started connecting and checking for updates.

Secure networks are a different story, however, and you will have to select the one you want to connect to and enter the network key. Once this is entered and accepted, Android will connect to the wireless hotspot ready for you to enjoy (hopefully) trouble free browsing and email!

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