How to Know When You Are Using WiFi & Not 3G for iPhone

By Jeffrey Brian Airman

The Apple iPhone has the ability to access the Internet through a variety of network connections. Wi-Fi and 3G access are usually the fastest Internet connection options available. The iPhone allows you to choose from the available networks to get the fastest access possible. The menu bar at the top of the iPhone screen constantly displays a variety of information, including the current Internet access network. Get the most out of your iPhone's web browser by using the best available Internet connection.

Step 1

Press and release the iPhone's home button. The home button is located just below the iPhone's touchscreen.

Step 2

Swipe across the bottom of the iPhone's touchscreen from left to right with a finger tip to move the slider. The iPhone may request an unlock code if one has been set.

Step 3

Look in the top left corner of the iPhone's screen for a series of letters and symbols in white. The first symbol in the corner is a series of ascending bars that show your cellular signal strength. To the right of the bars you will see the letters "AT&T" or the name of another cellular company. The third symbol from the left denotes the Internet connection. The symbol for a Wi-Fi connection is a small triangle with three arcs that gradually increase in size above it. The symbol for a 3G connection is simply "3G." Some areas will not have access to fast 3G or Wi-Fi Internet access. If the menu display shows an "E," the iPhone is using a slower Edge network. If the iPhone display shows a small circle, then it is connected through an even slower network called GPRS (General Packet Radio System). The Edge and GPRS connections are much slower than 3G and Wi-Fi.

Tips & Warnings

  • Go into the settings app to ensure an iPhone has the ability to access Wi-Fi. Press the Wi-Fi tab if it reads "Off." Tap the word "Off" to turn the slider blue and to the "On" position. Choose from the available networks by tapping on their name. Press and release the home button to exit the settings app.
  • All connection possibilities are turned off if a white airplane symbol is showing in the top left corner of the touchscreen. Tap on the settings app and press the word "On" in the Airplane Mode tab at the top of the menu. This will turn the blue slider gray and turn Airplane Mode off.