Difference between Edge and 3G

LornaP

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Jul 12, 2009
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#1
Hello all,

I will be picking up a 3Gs tomorrow (first iPhone :) ) and sady there is no 3G where I live, we do have Edge (currently use it on my BB). Will there be a significant difference in speed with not having 3G? I currently do not have wifi hooked up at home, but will get it back on if needed.

I'm still super excited to be getting an iPhone regardless of 3G or not.. that thing is just so much fun to play with, I can't wait to see what it can really do.

TYIA for any info.
 

psylichon

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#2
There is a huge difference between Edge and 3G. In my house, Edge maxes out at about 170 kbps whereas 3G goes up to 1600 kbps.

Wifi will go basically as fast as your internet service allows. I've seen a 3GS clocked on wifi over 12,000 kbps max... flyin'. You're going to want to get your Wifi hooked up in your house to take advantage of the speed.
 
Jun 19, 2007
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#3
If you have no 3g coverage at home, you'll definitely want to have wifi access at your house for browsing and anything that requires accessing data.
 

FlwrPwer

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#4
I agree with what everyone says. Get WiFi for at home...

I didn't get 3g until about 7 months after I got my 3g. Edge worked fine for me, but I didn't really notice how slow it was until I finally got 3g. If you don't know any better, edge will work just fine. You'll still enjoy the phone. :)
 

LornaP

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#5
Thank you all for your replies. I will get the wifi back on at home then. I'm so bummed that we don't have 3G here.. takes all the fun :(

Now have to figure out how to get the router back on again (never had much luck with that, I'm really computer illiterate lol)
 

psylichon

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#6
Edge is especially tolerable on a 3GS because you're not waiting for rendering on top of the internet lag.
 

Tinman

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#7
Thank you all for your replies. I will get the wifi back on at home then. I'm so bummed that we don't have 3G here.. takes all the fun :(

Now have to figure out how to get the router back on again (never had much luck with that, I'm really computer illiterate lol)
I thought I was in the same boat as you, regarding no 3G in my area. I was kinda bummed getting a shiny new 3GS, only to not be able to use 3G except when traveling.

Amazingly, when I got my 3GS and first activated it (in my office), the "3G" indicator was on. Not believing it I ran a speed test and lo-and-behold I did have 3G. Since then I have tested it and it's active everywhere in my city, even though AT&T's coverage map shows no 3G at all.

This was not the case last year when the iPhone 3G came out, and is the main reason I never upgraded from my original iPhone (to pay extra money per month for something I could not regularly use was downright insulting). My guess is AT&T just turned on 3G in my area very recently (probably because they knew I was getting a 3GS ;)).

So maybe you'll get lucky and you'll get 3G soon too.

And should you get it, I'd still use WiFi at home. WiFi will likely be faster than 3G, uses less battery, and you won't be using data against your AT&T account (since there is apparently a soft limit of 5GB per month).



--
Mike
 
Jun 19, 2007
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#8
You may get lucky like I did. When I bought my 3G in 2008, I didn't have a 3g signal at home. However, two or three months later, I had 3g everywhere!
 

fury

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#9
I'm in Greenwood, a suburb of Indianapolis, and we've had decent coverage for a while even though it took the AT&T map some time to update. Really blows my mind how much faster 3G is compared to edge. If you're not lucky enough to have that phantom 3G coverage, then you will definitely want to install your wifi router. It makes the phone experience so much more enjoyable the less you have to wait for downloads. Think back to the time when you switched from dialup to broadband.
 

LornaP

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#10
And should you get it, I'd still use WiFi at home. WiFi will likely be faster than 3G, uses less battery, and you won't be using data against your AT&T account (since there is apparently a soft limit of 5GB per month).



--
Mike
Thank you, I wasn't aware that there was any kind of limit on data usage. I will bring that up when I go to the AT&T store today to get the phone.

It's very unlikely that I will get surprise 3G coverage where I am, I live in the upper peninsula of Michigan (the North Woods), a very remote area compared to most. We don't have any large or even medium sized cities here and At&T has only been in the area for approx 2 years. I've been with AT&T for years, when they were formerly Cingular, when I lived in northern Virginia.

I'll make it a priority to get the wifi working at home again and may even try to get it going at work also. My Linksys router must be about 3+ years old and I was having trouble with connection last time I had it hooked up (very likely my fault with some setting, I really don't know much about routers and all that stuff lol).

Thanks everyone for all your replies and advice :)
(don't have the option yet to use the "Thank You" feature or else I would have.. ;)
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#11
Thank you, I wasn't aware that there was any kind of limit on data usage. I will bring that up when I go to the AT&T store today to get the phone.
You don't need to worry about that or even bother asking them about it. They'll probably just tell you it is unlimited data, and it very well may be. That's a huge amount for a mobile phone and you'll most likely never come anywhere close to that, that is unless you're tethering and downloading torrents. If fact, most people never even bring up that 5 GB cap unless the thread topic is tethering.

FWIW, I've never once heard of anyone getting hit with a bill for excessive data use that had a legit data plan. I've only heard of it happening to people who tried to scam their way out of paying the data plan.
 

Tinman

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#12
You don't need to worry about that or even bother asking them about it. They'll probably just tell you it is unlimited data, and it very well may be. That's a huge amount for a mobile phone and you'll most likely never come anywhere close to that, that is unless you're tethering and downloading torrents. If fact, most people never even bring up that 5 GB cap unless the thread topic is tethering.

FWIW, I've never once heard of anyone getting hit with a bill for excessive data use that had a legit data plan. I've only heard of it happening to people who tried to scam their way out of paying the data plan.
The 5 GB cap is well known.

Moreover, using 3G extensively, like when at home, could very easily hit 5 GB in one month. I used 1 GB in less than a week, mostly due to streaming video, and a lot of app store downloads. That was before I DL'd an app that was over 1GB by itself (DL'd via WiFi). Streaming media doesn't care if you are on a full desktop PC or a mobile device.

Using 3G at home, when you already have a faster broadband connection, is IMO a waste of the 3G network--which is far more bandwidth constrained compared to DSL, cable, or fiber.


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Mike
 
Sep 1, 2007
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#13
I have a question. As leaving 3g turned off to conserve battery life, leaves you with edge and not able to do voice and data simultaneously. I would like to keep edge on only when I am in a WiFi spot. Will i be able to get data and voice at the same time if I am using edge and WiFi?
 

Tinman

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#14
I have a question. As leaving 3g turned off to conserve battery life, leaves you with edge and not able to do voice and data simultaneously. I would like to keep edge on only when I am in a WiFi spot. Will i be able to get data and voice at the same time if I am using edge and WiFi?
If you have 3G turned off but are connected via WiFi, you can use data and voice at the same time. Only when the "E" (or GPRS) indicator is on , and actively sending/receiving data can you not use voice.

Now that I've JB'd and am using SBSettings to easily toggle 3G on and off I too have been leaving it off to conserve battery life, unless I need to use it (ditto for location and WiFi).

Actually, yesterday I was really running low on battery and decided to leave 3G off even though I was using the Web. I was pleasantly surprised at how tolerable EDGE was on the 3GS, compared to my 1G iPhone.



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Mike
 
Sep 1, 2007
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#15
If you have 3G turned off but are connected via WiFi, you can use data and voice at the same time. Only when the "E" (or GPRS) indicator is on , and actively sending/receiving data can you not use voice.

Now that I've JB'd and am using SBSettings to easily toggle 3G on and off I too have been leaving it off to conserve battery life, unless I need to use it (ditto for location and WiFi).

Actually, yesterday I was really running low on battery and decided to leave 3G off even though I was using the Web. I was pleasantly surprised at how tolerable EDGE was on the 3GS, compared to my 1G iPhone.



--
Mike

ah awesome. That is definitely good to know. No need to have 3g draining the battery when WiFi uses less power and is faster. Thanks
 

fury

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#16
ah awesome. That is definitely good to know. No need to have 3g draining the battery when WiFi uses less power and is faster. Thanks
Data during a call isn't the only reason to have 3G... Calls in 3G are higher quality due to the higher bandwidth. If you don't mind the quality of calls over EDGE, though, then by all means keep 3G off while you have wifi. Personally, I find it much easier to hear the other party over 3G; not sure how much if any it improves my voice, since the 3G in this phone doesn't do HSUPA (upload speeds aren't as much faster than on EDGE as the download speeds are)
 

AeroCare

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#17
Here's my recent (yesterday and today) experience. I only have EDGE at my house and switching from a TREO browser to the Safari on my 3GS is earth to moon difference. When I drive through Dallas/Fort Worth or Abilene or Tyler where 3G works I can notice it's way faster than EDGE.

My BIG surprise was when I arrived in New Mexico where AT&T uses Plateau Wireless to roam since they don't have anything in this area. Plateau uses EDGE and it was like using wifi ! I couldn't believe it so I turned off 3G & wifi to be sure and yep, it's way faster than AT&T's 3G. Today I've been opening weather apps and the radars come up in 1 or 2 seconds compared to 4 or 5 seconds in 3G at Dallas or 3G in Abeline and even worse 7 or 8 seconds in EDGE at my house.

STILL I love my 3GS with EDGE at home compared to TRYING to get anything on the TREO and now I can believe why some people here say that they don't tether so much with the iPhone. Before I wouldn't use the TREO unless it was tethered or unless I was on fire and needed to find a water source and had already given up on life...
 

JWiPhone

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#18
I'll make it a priority to get the wifi working at home again and may even try to get it going at work also. My Linksys router must be about 3+ years old and I was having trouble with connection last time I had it hooked up (very likely my fault with some setting, I really don't know much about routers and all that stuff lol).

Thanks everyone for all your replies and advice :)
(don't have the option yet to use the "Thank You" feature or else I would have.. ;)
My old Linksys router gave out on me. I think it was a WRT54G. I bought a D-Link DIR-655 router and it was easy to set up and started working immediately. Just remember that for the router to recognize your iPhone you have to enter the MAC address of your iPhone (you can find it in Settings) into your Router settings. You will then be able to access the WiFi from your iPhone.
 

AeroCare

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My old Linksys router gave out on me. I think it was a WRT54G. I bought a D-Link DIR-655 router and it was easy to set up and started working immediately. Just remember that for the router to recognize your iPhone you have to enter the MAC address of your iPhone (you can find it in Settings) into your Router settings. You will then be able to access the WiFi from your iPhone.

Is that something you need to do with that specific router? I connect to wifi everywhere and never need to give any info, just click on it when the phone asks if I want to connect to a wifi signal. Of course if it's locked I have give the password but it's never asked for any MAC address.
 

JWiPhone

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Is that something you need to do with that specific router? I connect to wifi everywhere and never need to give any info, just click on it when the phone asks if I want to connect to a wifi signal. Of course if it's locked I have give the password but it's never asked for any MAC address.
I wasn't able to get my D-Link router to recognize my iPhone and my iPhone was unable to log onto my Wi-Fi. Once I entered the iPhone's Mac address into my Router's Mac Filter it connected right away. Yes, it might have had something to do with my D-Link setup. I had to do the exact same thing to get my wireless HP Printer to work with my D-Link Router. I just mention it incase the OP doesn't have any luck getting WiFi to recognize the iPhone.