by Nicky Norman
MOST of us with mobile phones are on a plan and with a service provider that includes some data. It is important to not exceed your data usage and be hit with unexpected charges.
One way to avoid this is by taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi available in most public places.
Wi-Fi technology may be used to provide internet access to devices that are within the range of a wireless network that is connected to the internet.
One gigabyte (GB) is made up of 1024MB.
The most popular plans offered by mobile phone companies, (unless you have unlimited usage) are 1GB, 2GB or 5GB of mobile data allowance.
Devices that can use Wi-Fi technology include personal computers, video-game consoles, phones and tablets, digital cameras, smart TVs, digital audio players and modern printers.
Wi-Fi compatible devices can connect to the internet via a WLAN and a wireless access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 metres indoors and a greater range outdoors.
Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.
It's important to note that your apps can be busy running updates, checking for new emails or backing up content to the cloud like your photos, without you doing anything, therefore, you can be using data without realising.
Be sure to close the windows/opened pages from your phone to avoid this from occurring.
Wi-Fi provides service in private homes, businesses, as well as in public spaces at Wi-Fi hotspots set up either free-of-charge or commercially, often using a captive portal webpage for access.
Organisations and businesses, such as airports, hotels, and restaurants, often provide free to use hotspots to attract customers.
If travelling overseas and you're concerned about data roaming charges - simply turn your data off or keep your phone settings to Aeroplane mode. This will disable any access to data, yet enable you to still access free Wi-Fi.
How to access free Wi-Fi:
1. Tap the Settings icon to open the Settings menu. Tap WiFi.
2. Select the name (SSID) of your WiFi network from the list of connections.
3. Enter the WiFi password and then tap Join to finish.
NB. Some devices might have slightly different settings.