CrackBerry Poll: How often do you use the WiFi on your BlackBerry?

By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Oct 2010 02:25 pm EDT
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 WiFi on your BlackBerry... do you use it?!

There's actually a good backstory to this CrackBerry Poll that prompted me to post it.... 

I received an email from a reader recently looking for advice. Let's call her Rachel. Rachel's AT&T contract is expiring soon (she's actually been with AT&T for 8 years and hasn't had any issues with them) and was thinking about renewing as she really wants to get a BlackBerry Torch. However, Rachel was concerned that with a device like the BlackBerry Torch that AT&T's new 200MB and 2GB BlackBerry data plans don't provide enough data for her as she wants to be able to go BBM, Facebook and browse the web all day long without running into overage charges (she used to have the unlimited plan but turned it off a year ago when she went back to school and can only get the new plans now). With T-Mobile offering unlimited minutes/messaging and data for basically the same price, Rachel was starting to think she should make the switch to T-Mobile and settle on a Bold 9700 even though what she really wants is a Torch. What oh what to do?!

My advice to Rachel began with a simple question.... do you have WiFi access where you live, go to school and work? While 200MB is plenty of data for many BlackBerry users and 2GB of data is likely plently for most BlackBerry users, including Rachel, taking advantage of WiFi hot spots where you spend the majority of your time can greatly eliminate your data concerns. This is especially the case on BlackBerry 6 where you don't have to toggle between Hotspot browser and Internet browser anymore - if you're on WiFi, you're using WiFi.

It turns out it never occured to Rachel that she could use WiFi on the BlackBerry Torch, and that she does in fact have WiFi access at home, work and school. Decision made, Rachel is definitely getting the BlackBerry Torch she wants. My last bit of advice to her was to pick up a spare battery - heavy WiFi use can eat up the battery life a bit. 

I have a feeling a lot of BlackBerry owners out there are like Rachel - either not realizing they could use the WiFi on their BlackBerry or just not using it as effectively as they can. Vote on the poll above and let us know where you rank. And remember, if you do want to save on your monthly bills, going for the cheapest data plan and maximizing your WiFi use is a good way to save. 

117 comments

neomaxed

Is it me or has wifi generaly been pretty lousy and slow on blackberries? I am comparing it to the iphone wifi. Don't get me wrong I HATE apple and all of their products, but wifi on blackberries has not been up to par.

mike22

yes ur right ! Att and Verizon mess with the wifi in their phones,because if verizon had their way it would be crippled again,trust me im a Tech for verizon !

P.S. Tmobile is the only carrier that does not mess with their phones. WIFI fast and connects right away.

anthonybaker

I love having wifi on my berry, it always surprised/angered me that some berrys had it and some didnt, when im at home the wifi is on and im surfing/downloading/consently checking for updates on CB lol at work the same thing!

amazinglygraceless

It is you're. Also, you probably meant "constantly".

setset

I had a hard time understanding that fool. How could he waste his time posting that. You sure showed him. Pat yourself on the back. Good boy.

Eukanaba

I'm using wifi every day at home and with friends and family.
Here in Denmark everybody has wireless wifi at there home.

noTh1ng

WiFi is on when i'm at home, or at places where i know that there is a hotspot. However, as mentioned above, wifi on the berry is very slugghish and slow, still better than mobile network though ;) So most of the traffic is going through that...

MS Studios

answer is.. there is no limited data plan on the torch. $30.00 unlimited plan still in effect on the torch

shupor

not quite accurate. you are only able to keep the unlimited data plan on att if you are already on it. it is not being sold anymore to new and existing customers alike.

Knurpsi

I use WiFi every day at home! I live in a very small town and there's basically no open hotspot out there, so when I'm not at home I switch to mobile network. But whenever I know there's WiFi, you bet I'm turning it on.

Clarkee

I tend to use my data all the time. I have a 6GB plan, so I don't need Wi-Fi!

3Dee

How can you not think of wifi?! It's how I use the web most of the time, download podcasts, apps, audiobooks, and hook up UMA. I can only imagine that a BB without wifi use would be a much reduced experience. And I think Rachel should know that (at least I'm pretty sure) that Facebook and BBM only use BIS data (not wifi)?

acwyau

BBM and Facebook work fine over wifi as long as you have an active BIS account with your carrier.

AgentScribe

Coming from a BB that doesn't have Wi-Fi such as the 8330?

Or, did I miss that she already was on a Wi-Fi Berry?

Jehrenbe66

Very rarely use wifi, I find my Bold 9000 has a hard time connecting to wifi networks both secured (where I have password avail) and unsecured, but the main reason I don't use wifi often is battery life. I just paired my apps down to 2 and finnaly I can go all day with out needing a charge, before with like 4-5 apps the battery was done in sometimes as little 5-6hrs, with very little talk time

SteveMusic

I had the Bold but recently got the Torch. I did not have problems connecting to WiFi with the Bold but have WiFi turned on did use up the battery fast.

With the Torch having WiFi turned on all day does not seem to have an impact on battery life.

lvcorkdork

Best decision I made is the Hot-Spot @ home. My 3-G is spotty at home so I have the Hotspot. Eliminates all minute usage. Have a 200 minute plan and never go over since most of my calls are made via WiFi. Love the speed of the WiFi and as stated earlier I have no issues with battery life using WiFi. UMA rules!

Yousif Abdullah

Be it home, at school or on the road, I happen to be around a WiFi network most of the time. Several open hotspots available in the areas I frequent, great for syncing information for later access. I wish my BlackBerry would take full advantage of WiFi though, much is tied to the requirement of having a data plan. As a student I don't really have the money for a data plan, but so far WiFi is very good on my BlackBerry. Certainly better than my laptop, which at most places is unable to pick up a signal, whereas my BlackBerry can get a bar or two!

edit: I have not noticed a great difference in battery life when turning WiFi off. My Bold gets me through the day with heavy use and still leaves a healthy 30% charge (minimum) for the evening before I plug it to charge.

AgentScribe

Did you find a swap for your 9650 yet?

Sorry I couldn't make it work for us.

Yousif Abdullah

Still trying :) No problem about that, but I can go lower with the price if you're still interested!

Brit6

Always leave Wifi off. There is no real need to use Wifi when you have a data plan. I like to keep my IPs different on my computer and Blackberry. Plus i don't have wifi at work, and when i am at home i normally use a computer. Depends on the person i guess, but i just like to keep it seperate.

falcobramblewood

that's why I got my last two Blackberry's - I needed UMA, so not having WiFi was never an option. My wife never really used the WiFi on here Pearl Flip or her new Curve 3G, but I always have it on with my old 8900 and new torch!

The few time's I haven't had access to WiFi at work (internet down), I seem to go through battery faster as well, so just another reason to enable WiFi!

I also have a 6GB data plan, this still doesn't mean I not need WiFi... it just means I don't care how I access data :)

Sashko

When I use my regular browser, my BB works on wifi (I've proved this by turning off my mobile network's radio and tried surfing). BBM also goes through wifi (did the same test). I'm pretty sure that all data goes through wifi whenever my BB is connected to a wifi network.

My wifi on my 9700 seems to work pretty fast too. Not sure why some of you are experiencing it at slower speeds :-/

hilmar2k

Same experience here. I just don't understand comments like "This is especially the case on BlackBerry 6 where you don't have to toggle between Hotspot browser and Internet browser anymore - if you're on WiFi, you're using WiFi." I can say for absolute certainty that when I am connected to wifi, that is how data is delivered, without having to change the browser settings.

trentoncampbell

I have had many blackberrys and for as long as I can remember as long as you have you browser set to internet browser it will select wifi or my bis automatically.

Also a great app is the AutoWifi app in the crackberry app store. I don't think it is on appworld. This app will automatically turn you wifi on based on your location. Try it out its great

HofstraJet

On OS 5, when you use Internet Browser, all traffic is routed through the BIS, regardless of whether you are using WiFi or the mobile network. When you use Hotspot Browser, your BB bypasses the BIS and gets data directly from the internet with nothing in between. That is the difference. Not sure how BB6 deals with this and knows when to avoid the BIS. I like having the option to use the BIS since sometimes it properly formats internet pages whereas the Hotspot Browser is unable to display the same page.

See Craig Johnston's excellent browser explanation here: http://www.crackberry.com/blackberry-browsers-explained

YaiMMaKoOLkiiD

Omg. WHENEVER absolutely possible. I have wifi @ home.. I use the mall's wifi.. Pretty much every public place has wifi now, right? I've also been known to ask friends if they have wifi @ their house before coming. If they don't, I sometimes reconsider visiting bc tmo service suuuckkss.

infinus

i have unlimited data plan.
i use wifi at home or office when i need to download things pretty fast.

other than that... most of my data goes through operator.
by the way wifi sucks on BB.
internet surfing is joke ( no good browser).
video streaming is no use ( so small and less resolution screen)
online radio channels it works well on wifi.

SteveMusic

Browsing on the Torch is so much better than any other BlackBerry I have ever used. My son has the iPhone and said the browsing and image is better on my Torch.

SteveMusic

Browsing on the Torch is so much better than any other BlackBerry I have ever used. My son has the iPhone and said the browsing and image is better on my Torch.

Simba501

Really don't have a reason to. I have unlimited data so unless I'm downloading a large podcast that requires wifi, I don't see the point. Nice to have the option though.

AgentScribe

I too have unlimited data for my Torch. But, I live in a rural town and we don't have 3G yet and our Edge service is terrible, so Wi-Fi is important sometimes, regardless of how unlimited your data plan might be.

SoCalTrophyWife

I always have my WiFi turned on. Why would you not!

crownr0yal

she should get that fancy program that automatically turns wifi on and off when you're near a hotspot that you've used before.

LoKais

Rachael, Get the Torch!! You'll LOVE it!! WiFi is at most every Starbucks, McDonalds, and tons of Metro spots. I hardly have to use my own data per AT&T at all. Go for it!!

AjStone

This is of course because all the normal AT&T 3G bandwidth is sucked up by all the iPhones around you. ;)

lacandela

I have a family plan with Tmo and 3 BB and we use wifi all the time. Some times we have no reception so we HAVE to use it.

mtmouse

I don't have a data plan on my Torch, but my plan includes email, text, BBM, etc. I have WiFi at home and can find an open WiFi most places I go. It's not like I'm going to be browsing while I'm driving.

For me,the only thing I could see using a data plan for is the GPS, but then again I have a GPS unit.

gsjones

Austin is known for being a city on the cutting edge of technology; yet AT&T's 3G service around Austin leaves much to be desired (where we live, 3G service is virtually nonexistent). At first I was blaming the 9700 for piss poor browser performance until two events happened: 1) a trip to Houston where the 3G service was outstanding and 2) getting the WiFi connected at home.

Now my WiFi stays active the entire time I am at home or around trusted networks.

jayemmbee

@3Dee
You can use wifi for facebook and bbm, I turned off my rogers data and used soley wifi and it worked fine I. Was on bbm with no change, faster actually, I'd use wifi more if I had wifi calling, and a second battery, all my other batterys were for my tour and storm aren't compatible for my torch

srandazzo01

Hi, I always use wifi every chance I get. I have no service in my home so I have to use wifi, but when I leave my home, and when I remember, I turn it off, to keep my battery from draining, but if there is a wifi where I'm at I turn it on. The data service and 3G is just too slow for me.

berrygek

I use Smart Wifi. It's in the app store (3 bucks or so) I can use it to turn my WiFi on based on my GPS location.

It's great because I can use my GPS at Home and Work and then it will automatically turn off once I leave the home.

I use my WiFi constantly, btw.

trentoncampbell

The crackberry app store has AutoWifi it is the same type of app and it is free.

SGDELAME8310

What I am about to say may sound nuts to some of you but it is a work around.. A Torch costs $499 no contract at the AT&T Corp Store. There are agents sell the Torch for $99.99 If you add the early term fee of $325 the Torch still lights the way by saving anyone $75 (Pun intended). Unlock codes on Ebay are cheap. So you can use either T-Mobile or stay with AT&T.

eahinrichsen

I used to have wifi off all the time to save battery life, but when I dropped down to the 200MB package to save money (which is more important than battery life, right?), I started leaving it on and connecting to hotspots whenever possible. Keeping wifi on when I'm at home, in hotels and in airports has taken me down from an average of 400MB a month to just under 200, and I honestly haven't really even noticed a decline in battery life. Edited to say that I have an AT&T 9700, so ymmv when it comes to wifi's effect on battery life on other models.

Culex316

I always use it. At home is when it's particularly very useful since my mobile network signal there sucks....a lifesaver.

And when I travel with my Bold 9650 to Central America where I don't get any 3G coverage (only EDGE), Wi-Fi is also very nice to have.

mrandazzo98

I never turn it off!!!! :D my dad tells me to take it off when I leave the house to save battery. Wifi is my favorite thing since I don't have the data plan.

rrrebo

I use WiFi whenever I'm at home, and I always scan for it wherever I go. I have about a dozen WiFi profiles saved for friends' houses, restaurants, etc... Speed is definitely faster and it cuts down on my data plan usage.

tandaina

Actually I notice NO difference in battery use between wifi on and off. Wifi simply does not drain the battery, I'd actually guess it takes less power than the 3G cell connection.

AjStone

Ditto. It may have been true in the past, but I always tell people to leave their WiFi on 100% of the time.

I hate turning off abilities of devices for a benefit. Very counter-productive, don't you think?

Kind of like paying extra for heated leather seats in your car up north but never using it because it might drain your car's battery.

SCrid2000

Exactly.
I dunno why Kevin told her to get another battery; maybe it's just cuz reception in my apartment is spotty, but I get better battery life when wifi is on than when it's off.

lafountain

Wi-fi use at home and any place that has free wi-fi. Data used everywhere else.

AjStone

I was so excited to get WiFi on my 9550, but I've always had the same issue with it since I got it, and with all my warranty replacements (I've had 4, most of which were due to me breaking the phone) and all OS builds (I've loaded all of them).

If I'm on a long phone call, the WiFi eventually (within 5-10 minutes) drops off and will NOT reconnect, disabling all data connectivity with the phone until I hang up, and then WiFi associates again.

I have tried turning off WiFi while on the call and turning it back on, and disassociating with the SSID then joining again. It's a little inconsistent but as a general rule, WiFi just doesn't work when I'm on a phone call, which is 95% of the reason why I needed WiFi in the first place!

Does this happen to anybody else, or does anybody possibly have a solution that keeps WiFi operational 100% of the time?

skyboxer

This is just a casual observation, but it seems that my 9650 has better battery life when BIS is connected via Wifi. I keep it on all the time now.

imcurved

I switch to wifi as soon as I'm home. I also have a spare of battery. I'm using the Curve 8900. I hope the Torch or similar model comes to Tmobile some time soon.

squirble

If I had a limited plan I might use it a bit more but on Verizon I have unlimited data. I don't see the point of using wifi. When I'm at home I use my laptop. When i'm out walking around or something I just use the 3G network since its unlimited. I tether my blackberry a lot because sometimes the speeds are better than the free wifi thats around. I always found it strange that verizon customers would complain about not having wifi on their devices when they have unlimited data.

skm67

I never bother turning the wifi off on my Storm2, but I only have access to wifi at home.

coopere#CB

my wi-fi is always on even though i have an unlimited data plan, don't know why. its on for times when there's a network problem, i won't have top worry about switching it on

Tawner

Forget the spare battery, My Bold lasts 2 days with wifi turned on and using it at work/homeschool.

dmben84

Since I am back and forth between Canada and the U.S. and don't particularly feel like racking up insane bills from Rogers when I'm in the States or Verizon when I'm in Canada, I use the WiFi feature on both my Blackberrys every single day.

ohbarnes

I use WiFi at Home and Work all the time (using SmartWiFi to auto switch on/off) as I have found better battery life using WiFi than 3G mainly due to fluctuating 3G signals around home and office that seems to eat the battery..!

aindik

I'm in the 11% that are still rockin' a Verizon device from late 2008. No WiFi. Because of that, my data usage on Verizon this month is already 1.6 GB and we're only 6 days into this billing cycle.

If I had WiFi, I'd use it all the time. Most of my data usage is downloading podcasts, which happens mostly while I'm at home or at work, where WiFi is available.

Yeah, I could upgrade at Verizon, but I'm waiting for the iPhone to show up (and if it doesn't, I'm going to AT&T to get it). Yeah, I know, cheap shot.

sstevenson

I have been using wi-fi on my bold 9000 since day one (just over 2 yrs ago) and I would never go back to a BB without wi-fi. Saves huge money and I never found a problem with the batteries due to it. Now with the Torch and N wi-fi, it is SO fast and my battery still lasts all day at work and I am a heavy user and only have the 500mb data plan and never go over as have wi-fi at work and at home.

shupor

Not only is my wifi on 24hours a day, so is my bluetooth. i have 3 saved wifi profiles to all the places i'm @ constantly and it automatically toggles between wifi and my data plan whenever it's available.

The battery usually lasts me till it's almost time for bed or i just throw it on the car charger when i'm mobile

pruygje

I use my WiFi wherever en whenever I can. To avoid a drained battery, I installed AutoWifi. It makes profiles based on cell tower coveridge, and then turnes your WiFi off and on automatically. How easy do you want to have it :-)

SteveMusic

I am with AT&T and have a Torch. While most of my daily data usage is over the cell network I use WiFi at home and hotspots. In our house we have iPhone, Droid, Treo, and BlackBerry. Even though we all use our phones about the same amount my BlackBerry data usage is consistantly 50 - 75% less than the other phones. BlackBerry does such a great job with data compression I have the smallest data plan and still do not exceed the limit.

Rachel can go to her account on AT&T to see how much data she has used over the last several months.

scottaco

Since first hearing about the change in data usage plans, I've been watching my usage so I can decide which plan to get. I have my BB setup for access to most every place in town that I go/have gone.

experiment 626

My Model T 8330 ain't got the WiFies. But I don't come anywhere near my 5GB cap so it's a moot point. I still think it's a great option to have so I'm sure my next device will have it.

BajanTech

In order to use WiFi at work, I have to enter a proxy server address. Other mobile devices let me do this, but not the 2 BBs I've owned. Is this now possible with BB 6?

R1cowl

Since getting the Torch I try to download as much as possible through the network, just to see how much I'm using. As Keven stated I am not even close to the 2GB level yet. I must note that 10% of my use is on WiFi but that is because I don't have 3G at home. Even so I only switch to WiFi to watch (crackberry)YouTube clips when I don't want to boot up the laptop.

squirble

For your usage 2GB may be enough. I stream Pandora 2-3 hours a day in my car so no wifi there. I hate to see the day when/if Verizon goes to limit plans.

Redz20

Hi all. Has anyone else tested the number of WiFi's that a berry can read in a 'wifi crowded area' such as..let's say, a mall? I've compared my 8520's WiFi with a friend's nokia E72's. I dislike nokias, nevertheless, his smartphone picked up twice as many WiFi's, and we were standing right next to each other. We've also tested this in another multi WiFi location, and had noticed the same result. One more thing, his phone is 3G, mine isn't..is that a factor?

Culex316

does play a factor as to whether a device can pick up some wi-fi signals better than others.

Redz20

I see. But is it possible that because my berry isn't 3G it cannot detect certain wifi networks at all?

BBGR8

Wifi's great, i use addonis so it autmagically shuts off. But if I'm hanging out around wifi sure. 3G is fast too. It really doesn't matter.

NorthLondonGunner

I always have WiFi on and use it at home. I also have WiFiHero (which I won in a CB comp :-) ) that turns my WiFi off whenever I leave home and turns it on again when I come back home or for example when I go to my uncles house. A little sad that my schools WiFi is not open, makes surfing crackberry during maths quite a bit longer!

fdlopez2

When will Torch swing over to TMO?? That's all I really want to know...

I don't want to switch to ATT, and I don't want to pay full price + unlock to get it on TMO.

Le sigh... :(

vedelorme

got a bold 9700 on t-mo. wifi always on... does not effect the battery life.... wifi/uma calling means does not eat up minutes.... and does not eat up data..... t-mo rocks!!!

ljfong

I used to have unlimited AT&T generic data plan, but I recently switched to BIS-enabled data plan and I could no longer get the unlimited data plan so I opted for 200 MB. Now I use WiFi all the time at home and only when I go out and to places without WiFi then I use 3G connection. For BBM, push emails, and regular mobile web browsing, 200 MB is usually enough bandwidth to go around. I download podcasts, listen to internet radios, watch YouTube videos only when WiFi is available. 3G is only for BBM and push emails, WiFi for BBM and push emails and everything else. Any smartphone that cannot do WiFi nowadays is worthless.

ajcook

I googled and googled and googled, and could not find any decent article anywhere that explained (for OS 5.0, anyway) how WiFi fits into practical use, when it is turned on.

I found tons of articles on how to enable WiFi, how to connect to a WiFi hotspot, even how to manage the WiFi to maximize battery life.

But, no where could I find a concise article on when the WiFi is actually used, if you have both cell coverage, and WiFi at the same time.

I could find no decent description of the difference between the Internet Browswer and the Hotspot Browser. Actually, I could find descriptions of each separately, but no article anywhere that explained why they are even separate to choose between (in OS 5.0).

My understanding is that BB Messenger, MMS Messaging, Email, and the browser CAN use WiFi. I assumed that if WiFi was turned on and was connected, those would all use the faster WiFi over the slower cell data channel.

But, now I'm not so sure. If I'm right, why do we have to choose between the Internet Browser and Hotspot Browser in OS 5.0?

I did conduct an experiment, in which I was connected to WiFi, turned of the phone radio, and successfully send/received MMS, Email, BB Messenger, and browsed the 'net in Internet Browswer. But, that just proved that they CAN use WiFi.

Can anyone point to a knowledgable in-depth article that explains how/when those four items choose to use WiFi? Is it only when the phone radio is not available? Is it when WiFi is "faster" than the cell data channel?

Sorry for the rant. Just wish I knew how to get the maximum benefit from the WiFi on my phone.

hilmar2k

In my experience, if you are connected to wifi, the phone will default all data to wifi. The only things that can't go via wifi are phone calls and texts. The rest will use wifi by default if available.

SteveMusic

Aj,

I think this KB article is a starting point for the information you are looking to find.

http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&extern...

Hope this helps.

Techno-Emigre

I have no signal at home (OK, on the back porch standing in the snow I get 1 bar). My S2 does great using Wifi for text, email, etc. Makes it a lot more useable device. I have to remember to turn it off when not at home or it keeps searching and sucks up my battery, but otherwise not too bad on battery use at home.

mike22

CORRECTION WIFI does not eat up battery life !

Using Wifi improves battery life BIG TIME.

dividedbyzero

I have a 1GB data plan for my Bold 9700, I don't think I use all of it every month but since the data coverage in my city can be pretty freaky (specially when I'm at home, it tends to go from 3G with the BB thingey to 3g, or from EDGE to edge) I always keep WiFi on and save wifi profiles everywhere I frequently go to. Sometimes I find myself IM'ing my girlfriend like usual and when I see my status it says GSM :D

EDIT: My battery usually lasts 2 days - 1 night when I'm not too active. If I get bored and start using IM clients or read Dilbert cartoons through the entire day, the battery holds up from dawn to twilight.

constapp

Well I've had my 9700 for about 6 weeks and I wasn't using wifi untill I got my first bill and I used 496MB of my 500MB data plan so I'm using it more at home. I have always had it turned on regardless how much I used it and I've never had an issue with battery life, after heavy use all day I have about 35-40% at night.

CeluGeek

Wi-Fi is always on, because UMA is the only way I can get a usable signal inside my apartment.

jwsnj3rd

I use it every time I'm home. Mostly cause my signal drops from full to maybe 2bars. So the wifi kicks in as soon a I walk in the door I don't get it at work . Its not available..losers lol

Marc_Paradise

"My last bit of advice to her was to pick up a spare battery - heavy WiFi use can eat up the battery life a bit"

This really seems to be a common misconception (of sorts). Yes, heavy WiFi use can use the battery - but f you do the same data usage over the cell network, it's going to eat the batter much faster.

In some informal testing, I've found that using wifi at home when I'm doing a lot of browsing and downloading saves significant battery over using the 3G network. Probably helped by the speed difference: if the wifi connection is actively used for 1/3rd of duration to download the same quantity of data, it stands to reason that it would use less battery -- not to mention the difference between broadcasting to the nearest cell tower vs the nearest access point.

amazinglygraceless

I almost never turn WiFi on. I can afford an unlimited data plan (grandfathered) so WiFi seems pointless to me.

Neubie2

I had an older 8820 that I had set up for UMA that automatically connected to a Wifi network in range. At home it automatically connected to my home network and used UMA for calls and Browsing, so I used Wifi all the time whenever the environment allowed it. On my Bold 9000 I still use the Wifi as much as possible and have it set to connect auto when in range, but no UMA available on this model. Shame! I think Wifi on a BB is great as a feature, as well as economical when it comes to your service costs. All depends how much you use your data. My Storm 1 does not have Wifi, and miss that feature on that model, so I still use my Bold much more because of that.

belfastdispatcher

When you connect to wifi and you're gonna stay on it for a good few hours turn your mobile network to 2G only, that will save you a bit of battery life. No point keeping the 3G radio on.

Berry 9000 rocker

Because you actually need a data plan to get BBM, WLM, email, Facebook. Also, 3G is as fast as WiFi. If i had a EDGE BlackBerry, i would use it all the time, but I got a 3G one. I don't care about WiFi on a BlackBerry.

Marc_Paradise

"Also, 3G is as fast as WiFi"

3g speeds - *maximum* of about 307mbps on AT&T, with actual speeds varying by locality - most seem to get < 1mps.

WiFi speeds - between 20-40mbps actual speed. Faster if you have a Torch which has 802.11n support.

How would you think wifi was slower?

clvrbas

I have several wifi profiles saved in my 9700 and use wifi all the time @ home. I have it set up to only d/l podcasts on wifi. I find that the wifi does d/l faster and works quite well. I have the 2gig plan on AT&T and very rarely do I get above 500mb due to using wifi most of the time. We have three computers and when at home my 9700 and my wifes 9800 running on our router and it still works great, I always recommend wifi to any smartphone user, its faster, and doest use my data so I have it when I need it.

coreyk86

I used to use it all the time when I was still using my 8900 but when I switched to the 9700 I stopped for 2 reasons. One being 3G coverage was enough and actually seemed faster than when I used wifi on my 8900. The second was my wifi connection at home would never connect properly to my 9700 anyway.

While on the topic, I've always wondered if u can hook up a non-activated Berry to wifi and still be able to use things like BBM or the browser. My 8900 has been serving as dresser decor for too long lol.

SumthinNew

Not exactly unlimited, but my 6gig plan with rogers does not require me to switch wifi on. Having to switch hotspot browser on and off when not on wifi is quite annoying on the current 5.0 OS!

calyth

Wifi's nice to use, but I found most school / cafe wifi annoying, requiring a captive portal check in. Depending on the usage patterns, if the person only stream video like mad at home lounging around, wifi's a good solution. But having to punch in the pwd for all them hotspot...

Incidentally, wifi browsing shouldn't be that bad. Anandtech's review on the tmo g2 had JavaScript and battery benchmarks. Though torch blew on the JavaScrip bench, battery benchmark, it's right up there with the iPhone. Wifi browsing last longer than browsing on 3g, it seems. Also, the rather puny 1200-1300 mAh battery on Torch really trounced the G2 with similar capacity.

tekware

Last month I used 9.2MB on my data play (500MB/mth) and I used 1.79GB on my Wi-Fi. I setup my Wi-Fi for home, office, friends and family. My phone is set for Wi-Fi preferred and I have the native browser setup as Hotspot. I have Bolt setup for whatever, so I know when I'm browsing on my plan. Podcasts are set to download using Wi-Fi only whenever the phone is charging and I use UMA religiously.

In fact, I switched to Rogers almost two years ago, specifically because they were the only Canadian provider selling a Blackberry with Wi-Fi (the 8900). I hate Rogers with a passion. That's how much I wanted Wi-Fi.

larry5

ok i have 3g and i do all web surfing etc >why do i need wi fi? what exactly does wi fi do?

lkb16

We use wifi at least 80% of the time everday. At my home office I have Talkspot and use UMA on my 9700, well thanks to CB for letting me know about 5.*.862. This allows me unlimited calling, including unlimited long distance across the country. I also ended up reducing our data plan from 6 Gb, at $30 per month each to 1 GB shared. That's a savings of 60 beans per month! That's more java for us; can you say double, double?

L_Boogie820

Everyday where there is a connection, no matter if its 5 bars on 3g or not.

jginel

calls can be made over WiFi via UMA - unlimited mobile access. UMA is simply unbeatable and it's priceless if you're in a "weak" signal area. Have a wireless router and you're in business.

tedd_jr

I use SmartWifi and its great, i have it set up for my house, and parents houses, and any available free hot spot in my city. This helps with data usage and UMA.

greatgoogly

EDGE only signal available at my residence so I always use the Wifi at home. Use it also at friends houses that have weak/non-existent T-Mobile coverage as well.

sfogle

I live in an area with minimal coverage from ALL major carriers, so the Bold 9700 with UMA is a life-saver. Being able to make & receive calls over WiFi is great.

nicpap

In Australia you get unlimited bb email and internet plus 1.5 GB so I never really need to use WiFi

renovator

i used to have the unlimited blackberry bundle for about 4 months and downgraded to the 200mb plan. because i checked my data usage and as it turns out, i barely ever eclipse 200mb anyway. nevermind the fact that with any at&t blackberry plan, AT&T HotSpots are included in the bundle. so what's the point of having the unlimited bundle, or even the 2gb plan. it didnt make any sense for me given that my 8900 only has an EDGE capable radio anyway. i think even when i upgrade to a 3G BB i'll still keep my 200mb plan. most of my high bandwidth needs are done where wifi is available anyway. the only app that i use that requires massive data is google maps.

Jaji_vzw8330

I don't use it that often. Browser is still slow on the 9550. Keeping it on all the time is pretty foolish IMO. It KILLS the battery. I honestly see no difference when turning on wifi. Its only good for browsing (I guess) and I don't browse on my berry that much. I will, however, hook it up to my pc and use tether!

pcgizmo

faster than the carrier network, and it doesn't drain the battery

leejk2010

I use to constantly have my wifi turned on even if I wasn't at home but since I've been turning it off I've noticed the change in my battery life dramatically! But I use my wifi as much as I possibly can although I do agree it is pretty slow compared to the iphones capabilitys

Tõnis

I don't use wifi to save data. I use it so I can use data and voice at the same time on my CDMA device.