How to Activate and Connect Wi-Fi on Your Amazon Fire Phone - dummies

How to Activate and Connect Wi-Fi on Your Amazon Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

The mobile data connection is nice and is available pretty much all over, but using it on your Fire phone costs you money. A better option, and one you should seek out when it’s available, is Wi-Fi, or the same wireless networking standard used by computers for communicating with each other and the Internet.

Making Wi-Fi work on your Fire phone requires two steps. First, you must activate Wi-Fi by turning on the phone’s wireless radio. The second step is connecting to a specific wireless network.

Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. It’s brought to you by the numbers 802.11 and the letters A, B, N, and G and combinations of those letters, inclusive.

Activating Wi-Fi

Follow these steps to activate the Wi-Fi radio on your Fire phone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    At the Home screen, press the Home button to display the App Grid. If necessary, swipe the screen from bottom to top until you locate the Settings app icon. Tap that icon.

  2. Choose Wi-Fi & Networks to expand that item (if necessary).

  3. Choose Connect to Wi-Fi.

  4. Ensure that the Wi-Fi master control icon is on.

    If not, slide the master control from Off to On to activate the phone’s Wi-Fi radio.

If you’ve already configured your phone to connect to an available wireless network, it’s connected automatically. Otherwise, you have to connect to an available network.

To turn off Wi-Fi, repeat the steps in this section, but in Step 4 slide the Master Control icon from On to Off. Turning off Wi-Fi disconnects your phone from any wireless networks:

  • You can quickly activate (or deactivate) the phone’s Wi-Fi settings by choosing the Wi-Fi Quick Action.

  • Using Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet doesn’t incur data usage charges.

  • The Wi-Fi radio places an extra drain on the battery, but it’s truly negligible. If you want to save a modicum of juice, especially if you’re out and about and don’t plan to be near a Wi-Fi access point for any length of time, turn off the Wi-Fi radio.

Connecting to a Wi-Fi network

After activating the Wi-Fi radio on your Fire phone, you can connect to an available wireless network. Heed these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose the Connect to Wi-Fi item, found under Wi-Fi & Networks.

    Tap the Wi-Fi & Networks area to expand it, if necessary.

    You see a list of Wi-Fi networks.

  3. Choose a wireless network from the list.

    When no wireless networks are shown, you’re sort of out of luck regarding Wi-Fi access from your current location.

  4. If prompted, type the network password.

    Put a check mark in the box by the Hide Password option if you fear that some shoulder surfer will bogart the password.

  5. Touch the OK button to connect.

    You should be immediately connected to the network. If not, try the password again.

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When the phone is connected, you see the Wi-Fi icon appear on the status bar. (Use the peek gesture to view the status bar.) The icon indicates that the phone’s Wi-Fi is on, connected, and communicating with a Wi-Fi network:

  • You can quickly access the Connect to Wi-Fi item from the Carousel, if you’ve used it previously. Just swipe the Carousel until you see the Settings icon. Look for the Connect to Wi-Fi hero widget below the app icon.

  • Not every wireless network has a password. They should! You can use a public access that doesn’t have a password, but don’t use that network for shopping, banking, or any other secure online activity.

  • Some public networks are open to anyone, but you have to use the web browser app to get on the web and find a login page that lets you access the network. Simply browse to any page on the Internet, and the login page shows up.

  • The phone automatically remembers any Wi-Fi network it’s connected to as well as its network password. An example is the attwifi network.

  • To disconnect from a Wi-Fi network, simply turn off Wi-Fi.

  • Compared with the mobile data network, a Wi-Fi network’s broadcast signal has a limited range. Use Wi-Fi when you plan to remain in one location for a while. If you wander too far away, your phone loses the signal and is disconnected.

Finding no-name Wi-Fi networks

Some wireless networks don’t broadcast their names, which adds security but also mystery. You can access such a network only when you know its name, or SSID.

To access a Wi-Fi network that doesn’t broadcast its SSID, obey these steps:

  1. Visit the Connect to Wi-Fi screen in the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Add Network button.

    The button is found at the bottom of the list of available Wi-Fi networks. You may have to swipe the screen from bottom to top to find the button.

  3. Type the Network SSID.

    You can obtain the SSID from the guy with the green hair who just sold you coffee, or from whoever is in charge of the wireless network at your location.

  4. Choose the Security type (if available) and, optionally, type a password.

    Again, this information is provided by the person with the SSID.

  5. Tap the OK button to connect.