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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:01 AM   #1
digitalhen
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Battery use on high traffic public wi-fi network

I have a variety of devices (iPhone 5 and a laptop for example). While I'm on my university campus, using the shared wi-fi, my battery life on all devices is markedly shorter ... or at least appears to be.

Since there is heavy traffic on each access point I use (fellow classmates transmitting lots of data), I'm wondering about the technical side of wi-fi. If I understand the protocol correctly: every packet is received by every device, processed and then discarded if not intended for that machine. Is this correct?

Does this mean that the wi-fi radio is constantly receiving, and therefore draining the battery of the device?

(My background: One-time network engineer, but little wi-fi beyond home use. Feel free to be technical... I can always Google it later!)
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:12 AM   #2
eric/
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalhen View Post
I have a variety of devices (iPhone 5 and a laptop for example). While I'm on my university campus, using the shared wi-fi, my battery life on all devices is markedly shorter ... or at least appears to be.

Since there is heavy traffic on each access point I use (fellow classmates transmitting lots of data), I'm wondering about the technical side of wi-fi. If I understand the protocol correctly: every packet is received by every device, processed and then discarded if not intended for that machine. Is this correct?

Does this mean that the wi-fi radio is constantly receiving, and therefore draining the battery of the device?

(My background: One-time network engineer, but little wi-fi beyond home use. Feel free to be technical... I can always Google it later!)
Well, I do know that wifi is going to constantly drain your battery. Not sure how that works other than perhaps as you pointed out, constantly sending and receiving packets in order to maintain the connection when you open your phone randomly and want to watch a video.
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