Mobile Device Networking – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 3.2

If you’re using a mobile device, then you’ll need to have complete control over the wireless network settings. In this video, you’ll learn about network options for Android and iOS, and you’ll learn how to navigate the Bluetooth pairing process.

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It’s not unusual for a mobile device to be able to use a lot of different kinds of networks. We, of course, on our mobile phones have a cellular provider’s network that we’re using. We might also have Wi-Fi available on our mobile device to connect to a local network at home. Or when you’re in a coffee shop or in a hotel, you might also have a Bluetooth network as well. And, of course, on the mobile device, you can manage and control each one of those networks independently.

Sometimes you’re enabling or disabling what network you’re using based on where you happen to be. For example, if you’re on an airplane, you may want to turn off every single one of those radio signals. Or if the airplane provides a Wi-Fi internet connectivity, you may only want to turn on your Wi-Fi radio. Or maybe you’d like to conserve your battery so you’d like to turn off any of the network types that you’re not currently using.

In the Android operating system, you should see a section for wireless or network settings and you’ll be able to turn on airplane mode, which disables everything. You can turn on just a Wi-Fi network or turn on and off the Bluetooth network. That way you can manage exactly which radios are turned on and turned off.

It’s very similar in iOS. It’s under the general settings where you have cellular information where you can turn on and off the wireless provider’s network. Or mobile data itself, like Wi-Fi, can be enabled or disabled. And there’s a completely different section for managing Bluetooth radio signals as well.

It’s common to use a cellular provider’s network or Wi-Fi network for your data, but generally we’re using Bluetooth for a very specific set of functions. Bluetooth is something that is called a personal area network, or a PAN. Which means that it only is able to communicate in about a 10 meter radius around your mobile device. This allows you to use a lot of personal devices, like mice and keyboard. You might use a wireless headset. You might get inside of your car. And your phone can talk to your automobile and send music and provide you with visual cues on the dashboard itself.

Once you pair your mobile phone with one of these Bluetooth devices, you can now use them together. You don’t have to pair every time you want to use them. Once you pair them the first time, they automatically recognize each other. And so any time that you are in the general area where that device happens to be, it automatically connects to your mobile device and becomes active.

It’s this pairing process that ensures that your mobile device is communicating to your Bluetooth devices and nobody else’s Bluetooth devices. You have to go through this pairing process which requires that you have both of those devices in your control. Before you can do any pairing of those devices, you have to enable, or turn on Bluetooth on your mobile device.

And in both iOS and in Android, it’s in the settings under Bluetooth. And you would simply turn on and enable that Bluetooth functionality. You then have your other devices in something called a discoverable mode. This may be something your devices do automatically, or it may require certain key presses or settings that you have to physically enable to have that device discoverable.

When that device goes into a discoverable mode, you should see it pop up on your mobile device. You should see every Bluetooth discoverable device listed on your screen. And if there are a lot of different people around you and a lot of different devices, you may see a lot of things on your screen suddenly appear. You then want to select the correct device that you’d like to pair with. And make sure you choose the right one, because you’ll want to confirm this on both your mobile device and the Bluetooth device.

The reason we want to choose the exact device is because at this point we’re going to be presented with a confirmation. And this confirmation may be something like a personal identification number or a pin. There may be a pin that is already defined on that Bluetooth device and it’s going to show you that pin on your mobile phone so that you can make sure you’re pairing the right devices.

For something like a Bluetooth keyboard, you may be asked to type in a particular series of numbers and letters to confirm that you do have control over that keyboard and that you’re pairing the right device.

And at this point the pairing process is complete. If it’s a Bluetooth keyboard or a headset or you’re connecting to your automobile, you should now be able to control your mobile phone using that Bluetooth network.

It’s important to keep in mind that this pairing process is a one-time requirement. Once devices are paired, they will automatically understand and use those features between each other any time they’re in close proximity. So you don’t have to pair every time you get into your automobile. You do it one time, and the next time you step into your car, it automatically recognizes that your mobile phone is right there because it’s using that Bluetooth network.