How to Make the Most of Inflight WiFi

Airplane ticketsFor airline companies, flight experience of their passengers is a priority. This is why they are racing to equip their airplanes with inflight WiFi.

Starting off as an exceptional idea, inflight WiFi has quickly turned into an amenity for passengers. Flyers are willing to pay for improving their inflight experience. You can now utilize those long hours onboard sending out emails, browsing on your Facebook, sending texts to a friend and putting an end to insufferable boredom.

However, the downside is, download speeds can leave you unsatisfied with hundreds of passengers fighting for the same connection. Since the onboard Internet usually comes at a price, you would need to make the most of what you get. Let’s find out how.

Know the Details Before Booking

Did you know that nearly nine out of ten people access the WiFi service on domestic flights and two in five do so on an international flight?

Not all flights have similar WiFi amenities. If you are willing to pay extra for a better and faster WiFi connectivity, then it is always advisable to be aware of which airlines provide the best WiFi and go over the details.

Keep in Mind the Length of Your Travel Time

It is always advisable to purchase a WiFi enabled airplane ticket according to the distance you will be traveling. Typically the price to connect increases with the route. And the price of a WiFi pass hikes up to almost a double when in air.

It is best to pre-purchase your WiFi pass if you are on a cross-country trip. If you have connecting flights, then a day pass may keep you connected on each flight you board throughout the day, saving you the trouble of your access being shut off as soon as you disembark.

Limit Your Browsing Windows

Multitasking has made the world smaller and our lives easier. Therefore, it is quite unsurprising that your device will have email opened in one window, Facebook opened in the next, Twitter in the third and so on.

But the problem is, even when these tabs are hidden, they constantly keep updating. Now multiply this across several open windows and hundreds of passengers onboard. That’s how much bandwidth you are losing out on while already on a slow connection. Therefore, it is wise to shut down all these windows and keep only the required ones, open.

Disable the Automatic Update Software

The automatic backup feature uses up valuable bandwidth and your WiFi session duration. Be it Apple’s Always Update, or cloud-based backup, or automated web-browser update, these can use a lot of data. It is always recommended to put a pause to your automatic software update and backup while onboard.

The same scenario is applicable for smartphones. Applications like Dropbox attempt to download large files as soon they are fed with an Internet connection, cutting down your WiFi usage session. In addition to that, it also slows down the Internet speed considerably.

Use Your Smartphone or Tablet for Data Consumption

Needless to say, data consumption will be lesser on your smartphone than your tablet or laptop. Many airline companies have put this principle to use by slapping on a price tag variation to this aspect.

Obviously, the price of a WiFi usage pass for a smartphone will be lesser. With a wide array of smartphones available in the market with screen sizes of 5 inches or more, it isn’t really that difficult to find your way around the Internet. Additionally, there are ways to reduce data consumption while browsing the web on a smartphone.

Use Webmail

If your email software isn’t configured to download attachments on request, then it is highly likely that an arriving picture-laden email will use up the data allowance that you have been allotted. This may slow down your browsing speed considerably.

However, webmail allows you to check your emails without downloading all attachments at one go. You can easily download specific attachments without massively affecting speed or data allowance.

Track Data Usage

The downside to using inflight WiFi is that you are seldom warned on how much data you have left in your session. If the progress bar isn’t available, you can employ the built-in counters in your laptop to keep a tab on the data usage.

You must also keep in mind that connection speed isn’t the only thing reducing your Internet usage. Your laptop’s battery could die out prematurely, making you incapable of using the Internet. Keep a close watch on the factors that you can control to optimize your connectivity and make the most out of your mid-air connectivity.

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