Accessing internet without WiFi

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  • Updated 6 months ago
Can someone walk me through the steps I need to do on my phone (HTC Desire 320 running Android 4.4.2?) to get access to the internet when I'm not near a WiFi network?

I bought a Data add-on a few months back and don't seem to have a data block on my account, which is prepaid, but I hadn't actually configured the phone so that it would *use* the Data. When I was away from home and tried to play a game that needed the internet or use the browser on the phone, there was obviously no network configured.

The other day, when I was away from home and had missed a turn, I pulled over and tried to activate the data. I must have succeeded because I saw a little "4G" indicator over the network strength bars and I was able to use Google Maps to confirm my directions to my destination. I left the data on when I was done but today, when I tried to play a game while waiting for my prescription to be filled, I found that I was without internet again. I looked at the settings but really wasn't sure what they should say and wasn't able to get my game to play.

What should I look for in the settings and what do I need to do to *leave* Data on when I'm not in an area with a WiFi network that I have a password for? [I can't figure out why the Data turned itself off after I'd apparently turned it on the other day. Perhaps I inadvertently undid a setting today when I was trying to get it to work?]
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Rhino

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Posted 6 months ago

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David, Mobile Master

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Depending on how deep you're in a building, there may have been insufficient signal strength for data to work. At a location with good signal strength, all you should need to do is go into your settings select connections (or cellular) and make sure cellular data is turned on. That should be it!
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Michele

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You need to have "mobile data" turned on to use the internet without WiFi. If you always want mobile data turned on, go into Settings > Network & Internet > Data usage, and then turn on mobile data. While you're on that screen, tap Billing cycle, and set the first day of your billing cycle. The phone won't give 100% the same count on data as Koodo thinks you're using, but it's fairly close. You can also go into Mobile data usage and set a warning and hard stop.

If you want to turn Mobile data on and off easily, it's an option for the quick settings.
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Rhino

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I really just want Mobile data on when I don't have access to a WiFi network, particularly when I'm out and about. I want to use WiFi whenever there is a network accessible that I have access to (such as my home, friends' homes, chiropractors office, etc.)
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Michele

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When you're connected to a WiFi network, WiFi is automatically used instead of mobile data, so don't worry. But if you want to maintain control (for example if WiFi is spotty), with the quick access setting (in the notification panel), you can quickly turn mobile data off and on without digging through all the settings.
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Rhino

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You might be on to something there. When I was looking at my map the other day, I was sitting in my truck in an uncovered parking lot. When I was trying to play my game at the drug store today, I was inside a Shoppers Drug Mart; perhaps the signal wasn't very strong there in general or maybe the building materials interfered. Mind you, it was a standalone building, not some mega-mall.

Currently, I have:
Airplane Mode: off,
WiFi: on (I'm in my house so I'm accessing my home WiFi)
Bluetooth: Off.

When I tap on Mobile Networks:
Data Connection: Koodo,
Data roaming: Connect to data services when roaming,
Show roaming reminder:  Always,
Preferred networks: blank
Access Point Names: blank
Network operators: blank

When I tap on Preferred Networks, I get a long list of networks, none of which says Koodo.

When I tap on Access Point Names, I get KOODO.SP with a blue dot beside it; I'm guessing that means on?

Is that all the way it should be?

If I go outside and walk far enough to get out of range of the house network, should I see a "4G" above the ntework strength bars?
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David, Mobile Master

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I’d turn data roaming off, so you don’t have a surprise should you be across or near the US border. Roaming is not necessary if you are in Canada.
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Rhino

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I misreported the settings: the checkbox that allows roaming was *not* checked and I'm going to leave it unchecked on your advice :-)

For what it's worth, I tried to use the phone when I was out of WiFi range again a few minutes ago but it absolutely didn't work. I didn't get a "3G" or "4G" indication and my browser said I had no connection. I was on the side of the road a few blocks from home, sitting inside my truck.

This would make sense if I were in the middle of nowhere but I was well inside Kitchener in a suburban area.

Any thoughts on what could be going on?
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Rhino

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For what it's worth, my settings seem to be okay just the way they are. I was out running errands earlier and stopped at a large mall to find the nearest Koodo store. I had one of the people there check and he said everything was fine in terms of settings.

I'm still having problems getting online though when I'm outside of WiFi range. The Koodo employee tried going to Google right there in the store and it wouldn't come up. In fact, he said as soon as he typed the letter 'g', the browser showed him a screen saying there was no internet connection. He tried a couple of other sites and some came up but some didn't. He said he thought it was a *virus* that was blocking some sites!

That seems a little far-fetched to me. I've seen viruses that try to take you to shopping sites and nowhere else but I've never seen one block sites. I'm having trouble thinking of a reason why someone would do that. But I was able to see a "3g" on the phone when I took it outside, I'm assuming I *do* have internet connectivity in general when I am outside of WiFi range. I'll investigate possible viruses in another thread.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get this far.
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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If you see 3g , 4g, or LTE, that indicates You're connected to a mobile data network.

How long have you been using this 320?
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Rhino

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I've had the phone two and a half years; I've only been trying to use mobile data for the last few days.