Public Wi-Fi networks are very useful and it is great to be able to get on the network and access the web, email, online video, music and more. The only snag is that establishing a connection isn’t as easy as it could be. Passpoint changes all that.
Normally when you visit a place that has Wi-Fi, such as a cafe, airport, shopping centre and so on, you have to turn on the phone, go into settings, find the Wi-Fi settings, look through the list of Wi-Fi networks, select the one to use, and log in, perhaps by manually entering your username and password. What a major pain.
Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint aims to streamline the process and it enables your phone to connect to local hotspots automatically. It just connects without you having to do anything. It short, it cuts out all the hassle and your phone just works.
That’s fine, but is your phone capable of using Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint? Your phone may well be capable of using it, but the feature is simply turned off. Best check the settings.
On a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5 for example, go to Settings, select the Connections tab at the top, tap Wi-Fi, press the menu button and select Advanced. Turn on Passpoint. You can tap Passpoint to see a list of Passpoint Wi-Fi hotspots around you, but you don’t need to and you just need to switch the feature on.
If you are sat at home or work and are reading this, you probably won’t see any Passppoint networks around you because it is designed for public Wi-Fi hotspots. Check it next to you are out if you are curious to see if there are Passpoint hotspots around you. The whole point of Passpoint though, is that you never need to fiddle around with Wi-Fi again, except that those places that don’t offer it.
Another feature that might improve internet access on your phone is Smart Network Switching. Not all devices have this or they may implement it automatically, but you should find it on the better Samsung models. Go to Settings and tap Wi-Fi.
There is a Smart network switch option and it can be either on or off. The idea is that if the internet connection is unstable, the phone will switch to the mobile network (3G for example), so that apps can continue to access the internet.
There are pros and cons with this and there isn’t a best setting. When switched on, apps should have a more reliable internet connection, but you may find that your data allowance is used up faster. You might also find that a poor Wi-Fi connection is actually better than a mobile data connection. Wi-Fi can be fast even when it isn’t perfect.
The best setting for this may depend on whether you regularly connect to poor Wi-FI and whether it is a problem. Try the setting both ways for a few days and see which works the best for you, but keep an eye on the data usage when it is switched on.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 02 September 2014