Switching-Off Wi-Fi On My Smartphone At Home

An interesting reverse strategy happening at the moment on my smartphone:

Instead of having Wi-Fi activated on my smartphone by default to benefit from cheap internet access at home and access to local resources I am rather opting now to have it switched-off by default unless I really need it, e.g. to download podcasts, videos etc.

Why? Because my current smartphone's Wi-Fi reception is quite restricted and I've experienced a couple of times that while it could still see the Wi-Fi access point it had difficulties to transfer data due to the reception level. Instead of switching to the cellular network, however, it got stuck. Not good, this is not yet implemented well. Also, I usually don't use any local resources such as a NAS server with my smartphone and I also don't use it as a remote control for any gadgets residing in the home network. I travel too much so my home network is rather basic compared to others.

When comparing the reception quality of smartphone with larger devices such as notebooks it seems that it is in general much weaker. While my notebook sized devices still receive the Wi-Fi network very well in remote corners in my apartment, mobile devices already have difficulties. So unless that changes and I have an all-you-can-eat 3G data package anyway and don't hit the throttling limit, my smartphone Wi-Fi will stay off at home.

What about you, do you use Wi-Fi at home and what are your experiences concerning reception and range?

6 thoughts on “Switching-Off Wi-Fi On My Smartphone At Home”

  1. I got around the same issue by using an Apple Airport Extreme and a Airport Express. Coverage range is increased. All one SSID. None of the “struggles” for coverage issues in a 1700 square foot house.

  2. I have had similar experience with my smartphone. Now use a 7in tablet and wifi reception improved dramatically. My guess is more wifi antenna within the larger tablet.

  3. Being a German you should get a Fritz!Repeater for your Fritz!Box Wifi router. That’s what I did. Works great and is probably cheaper than Andy’s Apple solution.

  4. In my appartment, 2G and 3G is nearly unusable so I have to rely on WiFi for staying online (for conveniences such as push notifications).
    Although I don’t have WiFi reception problems per se, I recently had to adjust for what seems to be a new neighbor with high TX power. For a quick n dirty WiFi scan, this App for Android did better than I had expected: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer
    Maybe this can cut it for your WiFi as well.

  5. I also got better WiFi reception by changing the channel.
    I use Lama (Android app) to turn WiFi ON when I’m home or in the office and OFF otherwise.
    A problem for me is that the WiFi reception drops rapidly when I get out. I would like my phone to automatically use 3G when WiFi connection quality suffers and vice versa.

  6. This definitely varies by device. Although many smart phones are weak in this area, my Nokia N900 works as well as a notebook computer on my home Wi-Fi network (Linksys b/g) with 2200 sf two story house. I set it to 100mW transmission power and maximum power savings. If I turn off Wi-Fi searching, the battery performs very well, unlike with 3G, where the battery is generally short lived.

    We rely on Wi-Fi for video streaming (Netflix) and UMA capable cell phones (T-Mobile USA). The cellular reception inside our home is very poor.

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