Networking with Honeycomb

June 22, 2011, By Christian Cawley

After getting to grips with the user interface and gestures, you will probably want to start browsing the web with your new Honeycomb tablet.

Various networking options are available, depending upon the device. Some come with 3G capabilities which uses a SIM card and allows mobile Internet, but all have Wi-Fi for connecting tablets to local wireless networks. The current status of your device connectivity will be listed in the lower-right corner of the screen, beside the clock and current battery strength, and from here you will be able to check whether you are using Wi-Fi or 3G.

Each of these connectivity options can be accessed from the Settings > Wireless & networks screen, available via Apps.

Networking with Honeycomb

Configuring a Wireless Network

If you have a wireless network that you wish to connect to, you can set this up via the Wireless & networks screen. Begin by tapping Wi-Fi, or for a better selection of options use the Wi-Fi settings button.

Here you have the option to enable Wi-Fi as well as enable the Network notification option to inform you as to when a network will be available. When networks are available, they will be listed in the lower half of the screen, and connection can be achieved by tapping the one you want and entering the password, which can be remembered for later connections.

If you have a hidden network that you wish to connect to, simply use the Add Wi-Fi network button and enter the Network SSID via the device keyboard and select the security type.

Managing Mobile Network Settings

A 3G-enabled tablet has a few different tools that you will need to access, and these are available via Apps > Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks.

With a SIM card inserted in your tablet, you will be able to take advantage of high speed mobile Internet, but this will need to be enabled first of all using the Data enabled option. You can also opt to activate the Data roaming option for connecting to affiliated mobile operators in foreign territories, although this will prove quiet expensive.

If you’re concerned about the effect of mobile Internet on your tablet battery, the Use only 2G networks option can be activated, while the Network operators button will allow you to select an operator automatically or from a list.

Tethering and Airplane Mode

One particularly useful feature in Honeycomb and available on tablets that have the correct hardware is tethering, available via Apps > Settings > Wireless & networks > Tethering & portable hotspot. Using this option you can share your device’s mobile Internet or wireless connection with a mobile phone or computer via USB tethering or wirelessly to any nearby devices that you or your friends might be using. Bluetooth tethering is also available.

Finally, if you’re concerned about battery use when connected to mobile Internet, Wi-Fi or when tethering, the Airplane mode button will disable all active wireless connections, allowing you to quickly bring network sessions to a close.

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