Tips: Choosing a connection
Your BlackBerry device is capable of a wide range of connections, to increase what you can do with your device and how it interacts with other devices. Take a look at the list of connections to learn about the different types of connections, some tips for when to use each connection, and maybe learn a few things you didn't know you could do.
- Mobile network
- A mobile network connection allows your BlackBerry device to make calls and, if you have a data plan, use data services such as Internet browsing. In some locations, such as in a hospital or on an airplane, you need to turn off your mobile network connection, but usually you can just leave your mobile network connection on.
- A Wi-Fi network connection is another way to get data services on your device, but unlike using the mobile network, using Wi-Fi doesn't add charges to your data plan. Your device is designed to try to use saved Wi-Fi networks before it tries to use the mobile network for basic data functions such as using the Internet or downloading apps. You can leave Wi-Fi on so that as soon as you're in range of a saved Wi-Fi network, your device connects to it automatically, but remember that if you leave Wi-Fi on all the time your battery can drain faster.
Connections between devices
- You can use a USB cable to create a two-way connection between your BlackBerry device and your computer. When you connect your device to your computer using a USB cable, your device appears on your computer as a removable storage device. Depending on the functionality of your computer, you can usually use a USB connection to drag files between your computer and your device.
- Bluetooth technology
- Bluetooth wireless technology allows you to create a direct connection between your BlackBerry device and another Bluetooth enabled device. Although you can transfer files over a Bluetooth connection, because of its ability to stream content, Bluetooth connections are more commonly used for actions such as playing the music on your BlackBerry device through a separate speaker or making calls on a headset that is using your BlackBerry device's mobile network connection.
- NFC is a short-range wireless technology that's used for quickly creating connections between your BlackBerry device and other NFC-enabled devices or NFC tags. With NFC you don't need to enter pairing information to make a connection, so it's useful for on-the-go actions such as transferring contact cards with people you meet, or grabbing information from a poster that contains an NFC tag. Depending on your wireless service provider and the applications you have installed on your BlackBerry device, NFC can also be used to turn your device into a digital wallet to allow you to do things such as make payments with your BlackBerry device.
Shared Internet connections
You can use your BlackBerry device's connection to the mobile network to allow other devices to access the Internet. This functionality is particularly useful if you want to browse the Internet on your laptop or Wi-Fi only tablet but you don't have access to a Wi-Fi network.
- Internet tethering
- You can use Internet tethering when you only have one device that you want to connect to the Internet through your BlackBerry device's mobile network connection. You can connect the device to your BlackBerry device using a USB cable or, if both devices are Bluetooth enabled, you can use Bluetooth technology instead.
- Mobile Hotspot
- You can use Mobile Hotspot mode to connect up to eight devices to your BlackBerry device. (The number of devices that you can connect depends on your wireless service provider.) Connecting your devices using Mobile Hotspot mode is like connecting to a Wi-Fi router; you can use the Wi-Fi connections on your devices, but you don't need access to a Wi-Fi network.
You can connect your BlackBerry device to a virtual private network (VPN) over your mobile network or using a Wi-Fi connection. While your device is connected to the VPN, you can send data to and receive data from the private network across the public network.
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