Thursday, October 03, 2013

my brother's a genius

Now that I've downloaded KakaoTalk (free chatware, primarily for cell phones), I've been IM-ing a lot with my brother David, who's always looking for an excuse to stalk or pester me. He's a wealth of information when it comes to tech stuff, though, so I listen to him whenever he stops talking about the size of his latest shit and tells me about hardware and software.

He just solved a nagging problem for me: how to minimize my new phone's data network usage by making the phone hook up with available Wi-Fi.* Like my old Droid, my new Galaxy can automatically switch to Wi-Fi when it's available, but in my building, despite the omnipresence of Wi-Fi all around me, my own service seemed nonexistent. A coworker had suggested that I should buy and set up a router to obtain a Wi-Fi signal, but tonight, David told me that my desktop Mac was already prepped with AirPort—its very own Wi-Fi alternative. I knew of AirPort's existence, but I had never really explored the implications of that feature. David Kakao'ed me a link to a "For Dummies" page that showed how to make my Mac into a Wi-Fi hot-spot.

And voilĂ : a minute later, my Mac was broadcasting its own Wi-Fi. I set the signal up so that you'd need a five-digit password to capture the service, and my phone immediately found it. I punched in the password, and boom! Wi-Fi on my phone, at home.

But David mentioned a further benefit: my laptop would now be usable alongside my desktop computer. So I pulled out my laptop, toggled the Wi-Fi function, punched in the password, and... sure enough!

The proof? I'm writing this post from my laptop right now. A good end to a so-so day.

*I gather that, when you're using a Wi-Fi connection, you're not affecting your data-network usage (i.e., bandwidth) at all. I know this because, when I talked with Verizon about disconnecting my Droid from their cell-phone plan, they kindly told me that I could still use many of my phone's functions simply by sitting in an area with Wi-Fi. With the right equipment, you can piggyback on any (unsecured) Wi-Fi signal for free.



Unknown said...

With wifi being so ubiquitous in Korea, I've been able to reduce my data to just 750 megabytes. (I have wifi at home, all over campus at work, and I can usually get it on the subway, busses and walking around town.) In the last ten months, I've only reached half my limit once.

Kevin Kim said...

And how awesome is THAT?

scott said...

Are you planning to change your data plan? I only use wi-fi at home - I rarely use my G3 plan - and my phone bill is about W22,000 a month.
I was paying about W55,000 a month before I set up a wi-fi router at home.

Kevin Kim said...

Not sure. I set the bar high (9GB) on purpose, mainly because I can use a lot of data. The price I'm paying is better than the cost of equivalent service in the US (Verizon would be closer to $100/month than $80/month). If my budget feels the strain, I'll think about changing, but cheaper services (or reduced data plans) make me a bit leery because I have to wonder about their reliability. Your thoughts on that?