How to Set a Data Connection on an iPhone

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Apple's iPhone allows you to access the Internet using a built-in Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) receiver, exactly like the iPod Touch. But unlike the iPod Touch, the iPhone also allows you to take advantage of data connections, enabling you to access the Internet wherever you have an AT&T signal. Depending on your iPhone type and signal area, you may have access to a 3G or 4G signal, influencing the speed at which you can navigate cyberspace on your touch screen.

  • Activate your iPhone. If you purchased your iPhone secondhand or purchased from a retailer without activation, you will not have the ability to access a data network until you activate your phone. Visit your nearest AT&T store or AT&T-authorized retailer and allow a representative to provide you with a new SIM card and AT&T Wireless registration.

  • Turn on your iPhone to access the main menu. Click the "Home" button on the front of the device (directly below the screen) and drag the "Slide to Unlock" arrow to the right to see your main menu.

  • Tap the gray "Settings" icon on your menu. If you do not see an icon that reads "Settings," make sure that the first page of your menu is currently visible. Click the "Home" button once to return to your first page automatically.

  • Tap the "General" tab with your finger and then tap the 'Network" tab that appears on the following page. Here you will find your data and Internet settings.

  • Tap the gray switch appearing beside the words "Enable 3G" to turn your 3G data on or off. By leaving the 3G setting on, you allow your phone to access the fastest available wireless Internet connection (without the use of Wi-Fi). By turning off 3G, your iPhone will default to the "Edge" data network, which allows you to access Internet features more slowly and use less battery life.

  • Tap the gray switch beside the words "Data Roaming" to turn your roaming feature on or off. Roaming allows you to access data while outside of AT&Ts signal area but will lead to additional charges. When traveling abroad, you should always turn off the roaming feature.

  • Tap the "Wi-Fi" option at the bottom of your screen to access an Internet signal from a nearby wireless router. When you tap the icon, a list of available networks will appear. Password-protected networks appear with an image of a lock, while open networks appear with only a name. Tap any network to select it. If the network is password-protected, you will need to enter the password on the pop-up menu that appears on your screen. Using Wi-Fi allows you to preserve your data usage and potentially access faster Internet signals.

  • Click the "Home" button to save your changes and return to your menu.

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