When to use 3G, WiFi and Edge network

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by mpossoff, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #1
    Hi everyone I'm a new iPhone operator and will never consider another smartphone!

    My question is what is appropriate operation of 3G, wifi and edge network?

    I get 3G in my area but I have been doing some research and as a result always keep edge on? That it's good for phone usage and text type applications like gmail chat and email? That if you are wanting to surf the Internet 3g and wifi is faster?

    Basically the research that I have found is to keep edge on at all times and use 3g or wifi if you want faster results. Also keeping iPhone on edge network uses less battery?

    Take Care,

    Marc
     
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #2
    3G is the internet speed from your phone's service provider (AT&T, Rogers, Fido, 02, Orange, etc). 3G is the fastest that is available at the moment for the mass public. Edge is the next fastest, and still from your phone's service provider.

    Wi-Fi is a private internet connection based on your home internet. In order to have Wi-Fi you have to have a Wireless router, and modem, and obviously subscribe to internet from your local provider, in addition to paying the data rates to your phone's service provider.


    With that in mind, depending on your Wi-Fi speeds, it is the fastest. 3G comes second, and Edge comes third. Wi-Fi takes the least battery when surfing, 3G takes the most.

    Therefore, it is all your decision to use whichever one. If you're low on battery, I'd suggest switching to Edge. On the other hand, if you have a lot of battery, 3G is fine. I always keep Wi-Fi on, as it automatically connects to my Wi-Fi at home whenever I get in the vicinity.
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    Whenever you can use wifi instead of 3G or edge for internet to save on battery.
    I never shut off 3G, I dont think it makes much difference between that and edge for phone calls.
     
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #4
    This is true, but imagine this scenario:

    Let's pretend that EDGE uses half the power of 3G. (Not totally accurate, but this is just an example.)

    3G in my area tends to be about 8 to 10 times faster than EDGE. So if I spent 10 seconds downloading a web page, you're going to spend over a minute waiting for it.

    So if we say that I used one 'unit' of power (whatever that may be) you just used 4 to 5 'units' downloading that same page.

    So yes, 3G uses more power, but it could still work out as less battery drain for you in the real world.

    Were EDGE wins is when you're NOT using your phone. It's a lot better in standby. So if neither of us use our phones all day, the EDGE phone will come out with more battery life left.

    But if you tell us both to "search these 20 websites" then it's quite possible the 3G phone will come out better after that because it's done so much faster.

    So "which is faster?" depend on "how do you use it?"

    The way I see it, it's FAR better to buy 3 chargers and put 1 by my bed, 1 in my car, and 1 at work and ENJOY my phone rather than to be constantly frustrated by it. I pay too much for my monthly cellular bill to be using an older, slower connection that frustrates me, just so I don't have to charge my phone in the car. (It charges fast...that half hour back home from work? You'll pump a good 50% charge into the phone during that time, at least.)

    I always leave 3G on. It's just not worth the trade off. Here's my checklist:

    Is there Wifi? Use it
    No wifi? Use 3G
    Is 3G weak...like, 1 bar? use EDGE
    Will I be away from an electrical outlet for more than 12 hours? Use EDGE.

    Using that checklist I'm pretty sure I've used EDGE 2 or 3 times in the last year where I live. (And another 3 or 4 times from when I traveled to cities without 3G.)
     
  5. JosephBergdoll macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    It does. I live on a college campus with wifi all over, so I keep wifi on all the time and have 3G off all the time. My battery lasts at least 2 full days. However, with 3G on, I have to charge every night. Also, while talking on 3G, the phone's battery drains much more and the phone tends to heat up. While on EDGE, there is no ridiculous battery drain and no heat issue either.

    The only time I use 3G is when I'm off campus and needing to use the internet.
     
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #6
    Interesting. That much of a difference.
    I usually charge mine every night or 1.5 days with normal use.
     
  7. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    All of this. This is pretty much how i go about my life.

    I have an old iPod cable at work for charging. I have my car charger. I have my charger by my bed and another charger for my iPod/iPhone. And on top of it all I have my USB cable at my MacBook. I've got power everywhere.
     
  8. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #8
    Can you operate iPhone while it's charging?

    Marc
     
  9. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #9
    Yup.
     
  10. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #10
    So whenever my iPhone gets down to 20% battery I can charge either from wall outlet or car charger and can continue to operate without damaging the iPhone?

    I'm a truck driver and I have alot of downtime and I'm operating my iPhone on my downtime. Since I consider myself a moderate to heavy user I started to do some research such as switching to edge network to help reduce battery life but there is no comparison to 3G. And I also pay to AT&T for Internet and since I pay $30/month for Internet I should be able to use the best access. But I was unaware that I can still operate iPhone while it's charging and be on 3G and don't have to switch on a less quality Internet network.

    Marc
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    Thats correct.
     
  12. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #12
    I'm in my truck as I post, got notified battery is at 20%, charging my awesome iPhone and doing some surfing
    ! It's great to be on 3G!

    Thanks!

    Marc
     

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