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Mobile & Wi-Fi

Heart, Smiley Face, High Five: Our love affair with emojis

This year, with the iOS 10 update, Apple users got new emojis – some long awaited, such as the middle finger or two-gender options for dancing twins and Sherlock Holmes – and others, upgraded, such as robot and cat emojis. Every day, worldwide, users send 6 billion emoticons on phones or mobile messaging apps. In 2016, on World Emoji Day, Twitter released data on which emojis are the most popular in each country. The U.S. uses the weary face most; France sends out the heart emoji more than any other. Where did they even come from? A guy named Shigetaka Kurita created the first emoji. He worked for a Japanese communication company, and wanted a way for mobile users to send pictures without using lots of data. Thus, the emoji was born. It became popular in the U.S., when Apple added it to their products. Did you know emojis are regulated? A nonprofit called the Unicode Consortium serves as the Sorting Hat for emojis, and they always get the final say. Wait, why do emojis need regulation? The consortium was established 24 years ago to develop standards for translating different alphabets into code. It also regulates and develops standards for software internationalization. They make sure tech products, services and codes can be adapted to different languages and cultures. The consortium gets hundreds of new emoji proposals annually. It reviews them carefully, and approves a few for the public. But some people don’t think it should be up to a high counsel to tell us what emojis we should use. They’ve discussed this at the world’s first ever emoji conference, Emojicon, in San Francisco in Q4 2016. But the consortium was like “Imma let you finish,” but here are 56 new emojis we’ve approved for 2017, and you don’t get a say. Why do we love emojis so much?     Aside from being adorable, they also help us express things we can’t always find the words for — such as during awkward or sad moments. Dr. Owen Churches is a professor of psychology at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. He conducted research that found we react to emojis the same way we do to the human face. They also help make users more likeable, or soften the blow of what they might be trying to say, and make you more popular on Twitter. From NBA players who tattoo them on their arms, to bedspreads and pillows, emojis have become mainstream. Plus, you can also now read classic literature translated into emoji. (Emoji Dick and Yolo Juliet). Meanwhile, English majors everywhere weep.  


Sources:

https://techcrunch.com/gallery/here-are-all-the-new-emoji-coming-with-ios-10/slide/4/e

http://www.citymac.com/blog/2015/11/02/the-history-of-emoji

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/07/-as-the-world-is.html

http://digiday.com/brands/digiday-guide-things-emoji/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/inside-emojigeddon-the-fight-over-the-future-of-the-unicode?utm_term=.kyA7dPOrro#.xaNd8x4EE3

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10628063/Human-brain-reacts-to-emoticons-as-real-faces.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201605/why-do-we-use-emojis

Mobile & Wi-Fi

3 Cash-Back Apps to Make Your Wallet Happy

The words cash back activate my inner skeptic. This especially applies in the world of mobile-phone apps. I can’t give up precious storage space on my Android to apps that could act as malware and not a money-saver. Let’s concentrate on the positives first. A worthy cash-back app should live up to its name. It should … give cash back. Its user should also not need an advanced degree in quantum physics to operate it. That’s golden. Check out these notable cash-back apps. They're worth a little home-screen territory on your phone while they help you to stockpile a little green while you shop for necessities

3 cash-back apps to check out

1. Checkout 51

Free | iOS | Android How it works: Match your grocery receipts with current offers available on the app. Certain offers specify what brand you must buy. Others are non-specific, or go for general purchases, such as bananas or milk, no matter what store you shop for them. What you receive: A check, once your account reaches $20. Does it pay? On the app’s site, The Vancouver Sun is cited as calling Checkout 51 “new-age couponing.” This app makes it a snap to gain back a little spending money on your purchases.

2. Receipt Hog

Free | iOS | Android How it works: Enter photos of grocery receipts to win coins and slot-machine spins. It’s a game, with possible payouts. What you receive: Pay Pal payment, or gift cards. Grocery and drug-store receipts can translate to coins you can use to cash out or trade for gift cards. Big-box and department store receipts earn a user slot-machine spins? for bigger savings. Does it pay? Receipt Hog accepts super-center and membership warehouse receipts, with no stipulation that you purchase food at the time. Receipt Hog keeps your personal data, but you can opt out of them having anything specific. It’s a simple way to build up your Pay Pal balance.

3. Snap by Groupon

Free | iOS | Android How it works: In Spring 2016, this app changed from cash back for product-specific purchases, to retailer-specific promotions. It features more big-ticket items, such as clothing and housewares, than groceries. What you receive: A check, once your account surpasses $20. Does it pay? Groupon’s known for discounts on goods, services, and restaurants. Snap by Groupon won’t fund your country club dues, but you could gain a little spending money.

Tips to avoid dangerous or fake apps

Not all apps on the Play Store or iTunes have undergone rigorous legitimacy tests. Actually, few have. Here’s how to stay safe.

1.      Read reviews

User reviews come by the star system, 1 through 5. The average rating means little. Dig in and read. Why are the 1s so unhappy? Chatter of data usage or text messaging ballooning as a result of this app should get your attention.

2.      Dig into the developer

It’s listed under the app name. Scroll to the bottom of the app page. Locate a link to the developer’s website, and hover over it. Does it lead to a legit website? Also, be on the lookout for a blue diamond icon on Play Store apps. That indicates a Google Top Developer. That’s a good thing. The Google Play editorial staff designates such status based on a developer’s cumulative work creating high-quality and innovative apps.

3.      Install a scam detector

Some apps are designed to steer users away from malicious apps. Some of those apps, however, are themselves malicious. The best scam detectors turn out to be phone savers. The worst among them do nothing but cause the problems you’ve hoped to avoid. On the Play Store, Scam Detector is legit. (There’s a version for iOS too).

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FAQs

My Internet is Slow – Who’s On My Wi-Fi?

Has your Internet been running slow lately? Do you sit down to watch Netflix after a long day, only to have to pause to buffer? It’s the worst. For some of us, this might just be because of a slow Internet connection. What if you’re paying for one of the fastest connections around, though? This could mean someone is hacking your Wi-Fi. Oh, the injustice! Here’s a few ways you can know for sure.

The quick and dirty

Most wireless routers have an indicator light to show Internet connectivity and network connections. To see if any pesky neighbors, or, worse, hackers, are on your network, turn off all your wireless enabled devices. Check the router’s wireless light. Is it still blinking? This helps you learn something in the moment. If the light is still blinking, there are steps you can take, such as checking the devices on your router. Log in via your web browser. Once you’re logged in, look for a place where attached devices are listed. Check your devices’ IP addresses against those listed on the router.

Consider using network monitoring software

There are plenty of network monitoring tools on the market. PC Mag has compiled a list of the best. There is also a free tool from the Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor called MoochHunter. Law enforcement agencies have used it, and it works by letting you trace the hacker’s location. If you’re not into confrontation or triangulation, you could always beef up your network security.

Ways to secure your wireless network

  1. Log in to your router. Type 192.168.1.1 into your web browser. If this is the right address for your router, it will ask you to log in. If you aren’t sure which address is …
  2. Created a strong password, especially if you didn’t change the default password when you got the router. Choose a password with a lot of letters and numbers with a few symbols thrown in for good measure. Make sure you don’t use common names or phrases, your name or phone number, or address.
  3. Change your wireless network name, also known as the SSID, to distinguish your network.
  4. Encrypt your wireless signal. For a step-by-step guide, check out this site.
The more precautions you have in place, the harder it is for anyone to mooch off your Wi-Fi. Having a secure network means you can rest easy knowing no one is slowing down your bandwidth or hacking important files on your devices.

Sources:

http://www.labnol.org/internet/secure-your-wireless-wifi-network/10549/

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/technology/create-strong-wifi-password

http://lifehacker.com/5738123/how-can-i-find-out-if-someones-using-my-wireless-network

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-tech/how-to-detect-stealing-wifi1.htm

FAQs

A Brief and Sordid History of Wireless Internet

Who invented wireless Internet?

Let’s travel back in time for a moment. The year: 1896. Utah had just become a state, Henry Ford has just finished the first Ford vehicle and the first modern Olympic Games were being held in Greece. It was a time of discovery, gold rushes and technological leaps. It was also the year Guglielmo Marconi, a dapper man with a killer mustache, developed the first wireless telegraph system. A year later, he did something huge for his day – he sent the world’s first wireless message that read “Are you ready?” (It hasn’t been confirmed yet if the message recipient or the world was.) Guglielmo’s system helped pave the way for the Wi-Fi and Internet technology we use today.

When was wireless Internet Invented?

In 1971, after years of phone and wireless innovation, the University of Hawaii gave the world a glimpse into the Internet age. The school provided a public demonstration of a wireless packet data network. It used radio waves for different computers to communicate with each other. But it wasn’t until 1985 that wireless really began to take off.

How long has wireless Internet been around?

The year 1985 was a banner year for wireless Internet and for George Michael. This was the year wireless Internet became mainstream. The Federal Communications Commission decided to allow certain wireless frequencies to be available without a government license. The frequencies they allowed were: 900MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Who would have thought that because of cash registers we now have Wi-Fi standards? In 1988, the National Cash Register Corporation wanted to create a standard for WLAN, or Wireless Local Area Network. It wanted it for their wireless cash registers. The NCR asked Victor Hayes, a senior research fellow at the Delft University of Technology, to lead a committee to establish these data transfer standards. Hayes partnered with Bell Labs engineer Bruce Tuch to create a standard for WLAN frequencies. Their committee was called 802.11. Nine years after the committee convened, the standard was established, and transmitted data at two megabits per second. The technology continued to increase, and, in 1999, the standard 802.11b came into existence. It represented higher transfer rates than the original standard. That’s when Wi-Fi started to become mainstream- it was cheaper and had a longer range than wired connections. Engineers began to create technology and equipment to accompany wireless networks’ capability. In 1999 routers, came onto the scene, and ushered in the popularity of home wireless use. WI-Fi’s popularity also increased because of companies such as Apple and Starbucks. The first iPhone included Wi-Fi capabilities, and, in 2010, Starbucks started to provide free Wi-Fi to customers. From the very first discovery of radio frequencies to wireless enabled devices everywhere we look, Wi-Fi has come a long way.

Sources:

https://getvoip.com/history-of-wifi/

http://www.exigentnetworks.ie/the-history-of-wireless-technology-storymap/

http://www.ucopia.com/en/technology/history-of-wi-fi/

http://www.thesuitmagazine.com/technology/web-a-internet/22360-wireless-revolution-the-history-of-wifi.html

http://www.flashrouters.com/blog/2015/08/07/what-is-wi-fi-router-wireless-router-faq/

http://purple.ai/history-wifi/

FAQs

Reasons Wi-Fi Isn’t Working on Your Device

No wires, no problem – unless the Wi-Fi connection says no-go. Wi-Fi connects web-enabled devices to an Internet network by radio waves. It’s effective technology, but also subject to pitfalls, including, but not limited to: HARDWARE ISSUES | Faulty settings on your router or device damage could prevent connection to a network. INTERFERENCE | Baby monitors, cordless phones, and microwaves close to a router can interfere with a signal. SIGNAL RANGE LIMITS | Rooms far from the router might not have a strong signal in a large home. Much depends on the router’s strength and physical obstructions, such as walls. Human error can also cause Wi-Fi problems. That switch on the side of a laptop from wired to wireless Internet can get switched by accident. Users could attempt a login to the wrong network. There’s no shortage of ways people can make mistakes attempting to get online.

My connection is sporadic – why?

The Internet connection stops working, but why? Wi-Fi keeps disconnected status, sometimes, or turns off for no clear reason. Those intervals might be as long as a couple of months, or as brief as a couple of minutes. It could happen any time of day, on any device. If this happens, try this: UNPLUG | Disconnect your router for one minute. Plug it back in. This resets the router and resolves some connection issues. MOVE IT | Wireless devices or microwaves can disrupt service. Move the router away from items that could interfere. These include cordless phones and microwaves. Car alarms, Bluetooth devices, and wireless video adapters could also cause interference. Be sure to:
  • Place router nearest the true center of the house
  • Keep router shelf free of clutter
  • Choose a location away from brick walls or thick beams
STAY COOL | Heat can also hinder your wireless connection. Be sure your router has plenty of ventilation space. If you connect with a USB wireless adapter, give it a touch test. If it’s hot, adjust your workspace to keep it free from confinement, such as blankets or clothing.

Pages take forever to load – why?

Wi-Fi so slow you can’t access a web page?. What can slow down an Internet connection? Lots, including: ACTIVITY | Streaming, gaming, video conferencing on one network can lead to slow page loads. Solution: Turn off bandwidth-thirsty movie and music apps if you’re not using them. HALF-DUPLEX COMPLEX | Wi-Fi can send or receive data at any given moment in a half-duplex system. Ethernet Internet carries a full duplex system, which can send and receive at once. IT’S NOT YOU – IT’S YOUR DEVICE | Older versions of devices – such as iPhones or iPads – don’t have the capacity and processing speed of newer models.

I can’t connect in some rooms of the house – why?

Wi-Fi signal weakness can occur. Are you asking, “Why did my wireless Internet stop working?” Or, do you just want more speed? Try these: REPEAT THAT | Wi-Fi extenders, also called repeaters, expand your network’s reach. They amplify your wireless signal farther than the router can on its own. POWER DOWN | Routers often have more than one power setting. Try a lower one. UPGRADE | Have a 2.4GHz router? Try a newer 5HGz frequency model. 2.4GHz can suffer from more congestion that the newer model. One drawback: the 5HGz upgrade isn’t as adept at penetrating walls with a signal.

Mobile & Wi-Fi

Amazing Apps for Autism You Absolutely Need to Try

Kids love their devices. Basic web-enabled devices – laptops, smartphones, and tablets – open a universe of learning for children. Kids with autism spectrum disorder can have a high degree of digital readiness, and find device learning second nature. Autism refers to a set of complex disorders in brain development. A government survey in November 2015 revealed one in 45 American kids aged 3 to 17 have an ASD diagnosis. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey estimated 1 in 68 has autism. Children on the Autism spectrum often struggle in:

  • SOCIAL INTERACTION | How do two or more people relate? It’s observed one-on-one, in small groups, or large groups. It’s where institutions, rules and systems take root.
  • REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS | How do they manifest in development? Repetitive behaviors can include hand-flapping, head-banging and rocking.
  • VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION | How do we relate with and without words? We send and receive information through verbal and non-verbal cues. It could be face-to-face, through body language, written word, visuals, and more.
We’ve found these apps helpful for children diagnosed with autism. They can also aid their parents, teachers and therapists. Learn more about these as well as what the creators and developers had to say when we reached out to them!

For children

Autism / DTT Colors | Dr. Brown’s Apps DrBrownsApp.com | iTunes ($7.99)
This site offers a set of apps designed to build student skill sets. Categories include Animals, Anti-Bullying, Colors, Letters, Numbers, People, Shapes, Time, and Words. The Discreet Trial Training apps incorporate findings from Dr. Brown’s years of experience in psychological therapy. When reached for comment, they had this to say:

At Dr. Brown's Apps, we have built our app design on over 40 years of Dr. Brown’s psychological therapist experience in a clinical setting.


Digital Problem Solver | The Social Express TheSocialExpress.com | iTunes ($1.99) | Google Play
Users identify feelings from a set of emotions. Then, they move into a coping strategy as the next step in self-regulation. Download your own photos to customize animated, interactive lessons that focus on social relationships. Users learn to read verbal and non-verbal cues, and take part in conversations. We asked them to comment further on their apps and they commented:

We use high quality animation and engaging characters and stories, to effectively deliver the essential elements of social and emotional learning to a population that have difficulties with understanding social cues, or have trouble with managing their emotions.


Learn with Rufus: Emotions | Rufus Robot Rufusrobot.com | iTunes ($4.99) | Google Play ($5)
Kids learn how facial expressions reveal what people feel, with guidance from Rufus Robot. “The inclusion of reward sets and breaks in our apps will keep the child’s interest while he or she learns,” said Dr. Holly Gastgeb, Rufus Robot President and CEO. Dr. Holly Gastgeb also shared:

Research has repeatedly shown that children respond to mobile devices at a young age. Our goal is to capture some of that enthusiasm and direct it in a fun, yet educational, manner. Emotions includes a brief fingerpainting activity that will keep the child’s interest while he or she learns.


Look In My Eyes 1 Restaurant | Fizzbrain.com Fizzbrain.com | iTunes ($2.99)
Creators David and Abbie Cort develop apps for all children. They have an interest in those for kids with special needs. The Look in My Eyes series keys on social skills, such as practicing eye contact. CBS’ 60 Minutes has featured FizzBrain apps. Fizzbrain also shared their thoughts and feelings regarding their featured apps:

FizzBrain is a mom-and-pop studio committed to bringing the latest and very best of educational practices into the world of apps. Between the two of us, Abbie and I have over 50 years' experience teaching in elementary, secondary and special education classrooms, and we draw on all this experience and training as we design our apps. [...] We started FizzBrain in order to develop quality iPad/iPhone applications for all children based on best teaching practices. Our "Touch and Write" series has received numerous commendations and awards.


My School Day & Social Detective | Social Skill Builder Socialskillbuilder.com | iTunes (My School Day $9.99, Social Detective $24.99)
Social Skill Builder transitioned award-winning CDs for ASD students to apps. Interactive software includes video scenarios that encourage users to interact with peers. The popular Social Detective app engages a student’s sense of adventure and problem-solving. Among the glowing testimonials for these programs is this one from from an ABA Therapist from the Penn State Austism Conference:

I worked with ASD students on social skills and your My School Day CD as well as the Social Detective CD are my go to materials. I have both in CD form and am glad they are now available in apps. Easier to transport. The kids really love them especially the Social Detective App and really learn so much from them.


Other gadgets

Dreampad | Integrated Listening Systems Dreampadsleep.com Integrated Listening Systems’ headphone technology had relaxing effects on kids with autism. Headphones present a challenge, though, for those with tactile sensitivity. Enter Dreampad, a pillow with psychoacoustic technology. Dreampad looks and acts as a pillow, but does much more. A music app produces calming music from within. It creates gentle vibrations to trigger the user’s relaxation response. It shows improved sleep habit for those on and off the spectrum. Improved sleep can impact daytime behaviors for children with autism.

iLs developed the Dreampad after observing the powerfully relaxing effect of the iLs headphone technology on children with autism. Tactile sensitivity is very common with autism, and many of the children couldn’t tolerate iLs headphones. We learned quickly that the Dreampad not only reduced anxiety, but improved sleep habits with the vast majority of those on (and off) the spectrum.

Dreampad

For parents, teachers and therapists

Cognoa
Cognoa Cognoa.com This evaluation tool tests a child’s development first. It includes an optional video evaluation and detailed results to share with a pediatrician. “Providing parents with a validated path to early answers not only saves money and time in appointments, but (also) allows parents to remain focused at work,” said Brent Vaughan, Cognoa CEO. Brent Vaughan also stated:

Cognoa for Employers is putting the power of early screening in parents' hands while giving employers the opportunity to provide competitive health benefits beyond normal employee expectations. With developmental delay affecting one in six U.S. children and autism affecting one in 68, it is no wonder that developmental milestones and potential delays consistently rank as top concerns for parents.


Social Stories Creator and Library | Touch Autism Touchautism.com | iTunes (free) Visual supports, such as stories, give direction instruction on social skills. This app provides that for kids with autism. It includes social stories to teach what to expect in an array of situations. Caregivers can create, print, and share customized social stories and visual schedules. The Social Stories Creator and Library folks had this to say:

Children with special needs often need more direct instruction of social skills. Teaching social skills to any child may be easier and less stressful when visual supports, like social stories are used. The social stories found in this app explain accurate social information and ensures that your child will know what to expect in different situations.

Social Stories

TOBY Playpad | Autism West TOBYplaypad.com | iTunes ($25.99)
The TOBY (Therapy Outcomes By You) app contains an extensive curriculum. It includes solo on-screen and partner on-screen tasks, and real-world tasks for early intervention. The app collects data for performance reports on a child’s activity from the comfort of home.

Autism West is committed to supporting families to provide the best opportunities for their child. Our TOBY app is a revolutionary, unique way for parents to become empowered to implement therapy at home. It is best-practice and evidence-based, developed in conjunction with Curtin and Deakin Universities.


The Autism Discovery Tool: Sensory From Within | Spectrum Idea Lab Inc. Spectrumidealab.com | iTunes ($4.99)
Sensory issues might be the most misunderstood aspects of life on the spectrum. This play-based app provides an exploration of challenges and strengths in seven sensory experiences. The app environment provides hidden tools that shed insight to real-world sensory-environment strategy.

When setting out to create this app, our team at Spectrum Idea Lab identified that there was a significant lack of understanding about the sensory issues that often accompany autism, amongst families, teachers, and even those on the spectrum! So we created this exploratory, play-based app which immerses users into seven sensory experiences that demonstrate some of the sensory diversity found on the spectrum, including both strengths and challenges.


Sources https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/new-government-survey-pegs-autism-prevalence-1-45

FAQs

Do Wi-Fi Extenders Work For a Stronger Internet Signal?

Yes. A Wi-Fi extender works like an electronic megaphone for your wireless Internet signal. It extends coverage by picking up the wireless transmission and broadcasting it again. Some extenders work better than others. Some routers come with integrated repeater functionality. If yours doesn’t, a well-placed, high-quality extender can expand your wireless coverage by double. It can reach places such as: ALL THE FLOORS | Up in the loft, or down in the basement. An extender can carry a signal from the ground floor to the attic. GREAT OUTDOORS | No, an extender won’t give you Wi-Fi in the forest. It will, though, connect devices on patios and porches. THE FAR CORNERS | Top bunk in the bunk bed, the home office, the muck room, and more can become Wi-Fi ready. Also called repeaters, extenders come in various types and strengths. Before you invest in extenders, try moving your Wi-Fi router to a central location. Extra cat5 cable – used in Internet, phone and TV networks – can give a user options for where to move the router. The router should live on its own shelf, free of clutter and off the floor. Or, go with a new model, if the old one has some mileage. An upgraded router might also provide a wider range.

Are Wi-Fi extenders worth it?

That depends on need. If spots your router won’t reach happen to be places you’d like to connect, it’ll be worth the cost. Some extenders can cause a dip in connection speed, though, by as much as half. The ability to stream videos could be impacted, depending on the subscriber’s speed tier. Extenders can be expensive. Here’s a cost-effective alternative.

How to use a previous router as a new extender

PICK YOUR ROUTER | Still have that last router lying around? Anold router will be set for providing network speeds close to your current one. CAN YOU CONVERT IT? | The router’s admin page will tell you if it’s possible. If it isn’t, you’ll need firmware, or permanent software embedded in the router. Firmware options include: HIT RESET | If converting your router into a repeater doesn’t work, reset it.

How Wi-Fi range extender works

A Wi-Fi repeater comes with two antennas. One’s to capture Wi-Fi network signals. The other disburses the signal farther. It’s a snap to install a repeater. Just place it in the location it can still receive radio waves from your router. It should be central to the space to which you want to extend coverage. Extenders can also provide wireless access to sea vessels. They're capable of expanding coverage in places such as campgrounds, warehouses and office complexes.

What Wi-Fi extender do I need?

For top-of-the-line performance, opt for an extender that supports 802.11ah. That’s the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology. It's designed to power devices compliant to the Internet of Things. Your new router should comply with the newest standard, too.

The advantages of 802.11ah:

RANGE | The Wi-Fi Alliance claims 802.11ah covers twice as much ground as previous iterations. It’s capable of transmission of as much as two-thirds of a mile. PROPAGATION | 802.11ah devices operate even in the presence of interference that would sideline older versions. PENETRATION | Beams, walls and other physical obstructions once stopped a wireless signal in its tracks. 802.11ah signals can pass right through most barriers. Users can go with a new extender with the latest technology, or a repurposed router. Either way, Wi-Fi extenders can ensure your home gets the wireless coverage you need.

FAQs

Wi-Fi in the Sky: Guide to Airplane Wi-Fi

Taking a domestic flight in the U.S.? There’s likely Wi-Fi available on your plane. But getting online? That’s a different story. It’s one thing to keep a connection as you walk to the laundry room watching Teen Wolf. It’s another to do the same in a 75-ton plane at 30,000 feet. Airplanes grab data from towers below and satellites above. At 600 miles per hour, that requires constant handoffs for connection. A rotating antenna mounted to the top of the plane pivots during flight, from takeoff to landing. Internet data travels between the plane and satellites orbiting 22,000 miles above the earth. It takes about a half a second to travel from satellite to airplane. Users experience less latency with airplane networks tied to ground towers instead. These towers have antennas pointed upward. Otherwise, they’re much like ones used to connect cell-phone networks. Satellite networks might download larger files in less time than a land-based connection. Ground-tower connections work only when the plane is in flight, with bottom-mounted antenna. Satellite antennas mount on top, and can connect from the ground, too. Some airlines have satellite capacity on their flights, and ground-to-aircraft connections on others. Check your boarding pass or airline check-in website to determine which flights have Wi-Fi. Several factors could interrupt Internet access during a flight: GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS | Depending on air space, national laws may differ. Some governments block or limit access to the web or specific websites. SWITCHING BETWEEN SATELLITE REGIONS | Internet access could come from many sources. Passengers might experience loss of service as the network switches satellites. WEATHER | Satellite Internet could be subject to a performance drop during adverse weather.

Is Wi-Fi free on Southwest?

Only for A-List Preferred Members. All passengers can access the Southwest Airlines Hotspot portal. A-List customers can click a get connected button or access. Check southwest.com for current prices for Wi-Fi access.

Is Wi-Fi free on American Airlines?

No. According to American’s website, passengers can buy Internet access before their flight or onboard. American Airlines offers Wi-Fi on nearly all domestic flights. American has International Wi-Fi on Boeing 777-300ER flights for sales purchase only. Check the airline’s Wi-Fi page for pricing.

Is Wi-Fi free on Delta?

No. Delta offers 24-hour, monthly and annual Wi-Fi passes, available on domestic and international flights. They’re available before and during flights. Passengers get free access to delta.com. They can manage their trips, including options to book hotels or rent cars.

Which airline has Wi-Fi?

As of August 2016, eight world airlines offered free inflight Wi-Fi:
  • Air China
  • Emirates
  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Nok Air
  • Norwegian
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
Some airlines offer onboard power sources and USB ports on select planes. For international flights, you might need an adaptor that will fit AC or DC power outlets. In most cases, mobile phone use still isn’t allowed during flight. Most airlines offer purchasable Internet access. Speeds and performance might lag behind earth-bound connections. As technology improves, the gap is sure to narrow.

FAQs

Answers To Crazy Common Wi-Fi Questions

Questions don’t usually pop up about Wi-Fi – unless it isn’t working. When it does, users have time to think of things they might not otherwise, such as clever ways to rename your router, for instance. Wi-Fi connects wireless devices to a network – without wires, of course. Devices can receive the wireless signal if they’re configured and in range of the router. This global and convenient technology brings with it lots of questions.

Is wireless Internet the same as Wi-Fi?

Yes, Wi-Fi is a short-range wireless connection. It works like a cordless telephone that uses a short-range connection to the landline. A router or modem/router emits wireless signals that enabled devices can receive to connect. Home Internet subscribers can set up a Wi-Fi network. Businesses can too. Coffee shops, retail stores, restaurants and more offer Internet access through a Wi-Fi connection. Wireless Internet can also mean connecting through a cellphone network with data. The Wi-Fi Alliance, established in 1999, sought to unite standards of wireless protocol. The alliance certified devices to a standard of interoperability and quality.

Does wireless Internet cause cancer?

No. Reports in 2015 linked radio frequency waves from Wi-Fi devices to cancer in children. Studies have focused on carcinogenic effects of mobile phones and radio frequency radiation. Carcinogenic agents have the capacity to cause cancer in living tissue. It’s impossible to say RF radiation from any device doesn’t cause cancer. Wi-Fi appears safe, though. Wireless devices beam radiation. It's on the same order as X-rays, infrared radiation, and visible light. Energy from wireless devices and signals falls short of the energy harmful radiation can. These include gamma rays and UV photons.

Does wireless Internet emit radiation?

Yes, low-key radiation. It’s classified as class 2B radiation, as a possible carcinogen. Other substances in this group include coffee, pickled vegetables, and Styrofoam. Wi-Fi radiation falls far short of that emitted from cell phones. Wireless signals can penetrate walls. That’s how a central router can power an entire home. Those concerned with radiation from wireless systems, such as Bluetooth technology, cite cumulative effects. Radiation from several devices, such as routers from surrounding homes, is cause for concern, especially for kids, and especially over extended periods.

Is wireless Internet harmful?

No. It’s easy to find articles that warn of radiation risks associated with Wi-Fi, though. Often, links that tie Wi-Fi to health risk lead to stories that aren’t at all helpful. Radios and TVs also emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Science Direct, a database from the publishing company Elsevier, calls recommended exposure limits “inadequate.” It’s an ongoing debate, but even cancer.org supports the theory that RF radiation isn’t strong enough to damage DNA.

Sources:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cellular-phones

https://www.safespaceprotection.com/emf-health-risks/emf-health-effects/wi-fi-router-dangers/