Always do this first before downloading a software update to your phone

Should you use cellular data or Wi-Fi? Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson explains which is best when you are going to update the latest software for your device.

Always do this first before downloading a software update to your phone

We recently got a question emailed to us by Nancy. Here's what she had to say:

Dear Kurt,

I want to thank you for what you do. You have no idea how much you help me! I love that you put step-by-step directions. I love my Apple iPhone and MacBook Air but am not super tech savvy. Everything you write about is relevant to me. Last time, it was about seeing the battery % left.

Today for example you showed how to upload the newest software on my iPhone and why to do it. It did ask me a question, "Do you want to use cellular data or WiFi?" I didn’t really know so I just guessed WiFi and it worked. But always your tips are so great and you truly make a positive difference in my life, and I’m sure in so many others too. Thank you! Nancy 

This is a great question and one that people seem to ask often, so let's go over which option is best to use.

If you’re in a Wi-Fi environment, always use Wi-Fi. When you're a guest at someone's house or even in your office building, it's always best to ask someone what the Wi-Fi password is. Having access to the Wi-Fi where you are will help your phone's internet move much faster and will save you the trouble of worrying if you're using up too much data on your phone plan.

Be aware of unsecured Wi-Fi networks or networks with weak passwords in public places. With technology advancing so quickly, many public places will likely offer a public Wi-Fi hotspot where you do not need a password to use it. 

Yet this also comes with its dangers, as some scammers have gotten quite savvy by using similar names of popular legitimate hotspots hoping that people who aren't paying close attention will use it. It's important to only connect to networks that you trust.

To protect yourself from getting hacked by a public Wi-Fi scam, you should consider using a secure VPN. This type of service protects your privacy and security, especially when you're traveling. A VPN will allow you to not only safeguard your connection from hackers, but will also give you other perks like bypassing censored sites, increasing connection speeds and more.

For best VPN software, see my expert review of the best VPNs for browsing the web privately on your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by searching "Best VPN" at by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top of my website.

Cellular data is very useful when you're on the go and need quick access to the internet. However, if you don’t have an unlimited cellular data plan, you may be charged for any extra usage beyond your plan. Also, if you’re not on 5G, anything you're trying to download could be much slower. So my advice is only to use cellular data when you have to, and if you find that you're needing to use public Wi-Fi a lot, again, get a secure VPN service on your device.

Was this helpful? Let us know if you have other concerns about using cellular data versus Wi-Fi.

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