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Wi-Fi FAQs

General Information
  1. What is Wi-Fi?

    Wi-Fi is a wireless network connection that gives you access to the internet. When you're connected to Wi-Fi with your Verizon Wireless device, you won't be charged for any data you use because you aren't using the Verizon Wireless network.

    Before Wi-Fi, the only way to access the internet was by connecting a cable from your computer to a modem or router. If you had an internet-capable cell phone before Wi-Fi, you could go online using the Verizon Wireless network but you'd incur premium data charges, even at home.

    Our customers love Wi-Fi because it lets you go online without using up your data allowance. We recommend you connect to Wi-Fi networks you know and trust whenever they are available. This is a great way to manage how much data you use and avoid extra charges.

    Learn how to use Wi-Fi on your device with our Interactive "How To" Simulators or by referring to your device's User Guide.

    If you're looking for information about the Verizon Wi-Fi Connect app, visit our Verizon Wi-Fi Connect FAQ page to learn more. Verizon Wi-Fi Connect is a free downloadable app for International travelers, that lets you connect to select international Wi-Fi hotspots.



  2. What is a Wi-Fi network?

    It's what you connect to in order to use a wireless Internet connection. It can also be called a hotspot but they’re the same thing. A Wi-Fi network is created when a wireless router, that's connected to a modem, begins transmitting a wireless signal to share with other devices.

    In your Wi-Fi settings, when you scan for available networks, you'll see a list of all the Wi-Fi networks near you. Some will have unique names and others will be generic, often containing the name of the router manufacturer (i.e. Linkys, Netgear).



  3. What is a Mobile Hotspot?

    Mobile Hotspot is a feature that lets you share your Verizon Wireless network connection with other devices, so they can access the Internet. Devices connect to your Mobile Hotspot using their Wi-Fi feature. While they're connected to your Mobile Hotspot you'll be charged for any data they use per your monthly data plan.



  4. How do I know if my Verizon Wireless device can use Wi-Fi?

    All of the smartphones, wearables, tablets, netbooks and laptops we carry today can connect to Wi-Fi. If you have an older phone, and you're not sure if it can connect to Wi-Fi, refer to your device's User Guide.

    You can also open the wireless/network connection settings on your device to see if there's a Wi-Fi option. If there is, your device can use Wi-Fi.



  5. Which Wi-Fi networks and hotspots can my Verizon Wireless device connect to?

    If your device can use Wi-Fi, it can connect to any open Wi-Fi network. You can also connect to a secure Wi-Fi network if you have the password. Some public Wi-Fi networks (sometimes called hotspots) require a username and password and/or require you to accept an "End User License Agreement." You can connect to any Wi-Fi network, as long as you have the required username and password.



  6. Where can I find the Wi-Fi password for my home Wi-Fi?

    Often your Internet provider sets up a default username and password for your Wi-Fi router which is typically printed on a label on the side or back of the router. If you can't find your Wi-Fi password, contact your Internet provider. If you set up your own Wi-Fi password, be sure to store it in a safe place where only you can find it in case you forget your password.



  7. Can I use VZAccess® Manager to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot?

    Yes. To view and connect to an available Wi-Fi network using VZAccess Manager, go to the Networks tab and select the network you want to connect to.



  8. Are there additional charges for connecting to Wi-Fi?

    When you're connected to Wi-Fi you won't be charged for any data you use because you aren't using the Verizon Wireless network. However, some places may charge you to connect to their Wi-Fi network or hotspot.



  9. What factors affect the speed of my Wi-Fi connection?

    Wi-Fi signal strength will vary by network and can be affected by many factors, including:

    • Speed of the network providing the Wi-Fi
    • Quality of the W-Fi router
    • How far away you are from router
    • The direction of the wireless antenna
    • Building architecture and other materials between your device and the signal
    • The number of wireless devices using the same network

    If you experience a weaker signal or loss of signal, try moving to another location in the place you’re at. A location closer to the Wi-Fi router and without walls or other obstructions in the line-of-sight will generally have a stronger signal.



  10. Are there any limitations when using a Wi-Fi network?

    Some Wi-Fi networks may not always provide the minimum download speeds or bandwidth required for all Internet activities. Some Internet activities, like streaming video, require faster speeds than others, like checking email. The connection speed and available bandwidth may vary between networks.



Security
  1. Is Wi-Fi secure?

    Home and business Wi-Fi networks can easily be secured to help prevent unauthorized user access. However, public Wi-Fi networks generally don't include security, like over-the-air encryption, to protect your data from other users.

    Note: Risks can be associated with connecting to the public Internet. You're responsible for taking all necessary steps to protect your device and personal information. Use of up-to-date antivirus, firewall and VPN software are recommended to protect your information.



  2. What can I do to secure my device before connecting to Wi-Fi?

    Here are some things you can do to help keep your device and personal information secure:

    • Connect to familiar Wi-Fi networks: Only connect to networks that you know or trust. When you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, it's possible for the network administrator and even other connected users to gain access to your device without your permission.

    • Connect to secure Wi-Fi networks: Look for networks that ask for a password. These generally can only be accessed by people the network owner allows. Wi-Fi networks that don't require a password can be accessed by anybody.

    • Install firewall and anti-virus: Always use a firewall on your computer and have current anti-virus software on your devices to protect from possible infection or attack.


  3. Will my security software affect my use of Wi-Fi?

    In most circumstances, you'll be able to use your current security software. For further support, contact your security software provider.



  4. Is Wi-Fi compatible with VPN?

    Yes, you can establish a VPN connection while using Wi-Fi over most networks or hotspots. Contact your IT administrator for further assistance.



  5. Why does my VPN disconnect when I switch between networks (e.g., from Mobile Broadband to Wi-Fi and vice versa)?

    Many enterprise VPNs require that your network connection doesn't change locations or IP addresses for security.

    For any questions, concerns or assistance with your company's VPN, please contact your IT administrator or help desk.



Troubleshooting
  1. How do I turn off the Wi-Fi notification that pops up when I open an app?

    On most devices you can turn the Wi-Fi notification off in the Settings menu following the steps below. For instructions specific to your device, refer to your device's User Guide.

    To turn off the Wi-Fi notification:

    1. Tap Settings from the Home screen or Apps menu.
    2. Tap Wi-Fi to open the settings for it.
    3. Look for a switch or checkbox for Wi-Fi notifications or pop-ups and tap it.

    You've successfully turned off Wi-Fi notifications.



  2. Where can I get support for Wi-Fi service?

    If you're having issues with Wi-Fi there are a number of possible causes. First you need to determine if the problem is with your device or the Wi-Fi network/router you're connecting to. Refer to our Troubleshooting Assistant for help resolving Wi-Fi issues on your device.

    If the issue is not with your device, it may be a problem with the router, modem or internet connection. If so you'll need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the manufacturer of your router or modem.

    You may find additional Support for Wi-Fi and your device in our Community (forum). Tech Coach can also provide you with technical support for your mobile device and connected devices.



  3. Why can't I connect to a Verizon Wi-Fi location in the Wi-Fi Locations tab in VZAccess Manager?

    The Wi-Fi locations in the Wi-Fi Locations tab have been discontinued. If you're able to view locations under the Wi-Fi Locations tab, download an update for VZAccess Manager at vzam.net/download. If you're using a company-issued device, contact your IT administrator or help desk.



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