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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 

 

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Sprint Keeps Unlimited Data for iPhone 4S Plans

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Unlimited mobile data as part of cellular service plans has mostly become a thing of the past in the United States. AT&T was first to cut the offering in mid-2010, but grandfathered existing iPhone and unlimited service iPad subscribers. New customers or those who wanted to change plans could pick from tiered offerings with metered overage fees. Verizon Wireless introduced its iPhone 4 model with unlimited data, but earlier this year put the kibosh on that for new customers as well. To add insult to injury, AT&T is now throttling users with grandfathered unlimited plans who fall in the 95th percentile of data transfer use each month. T-Mobile’s unlimited service, by the way, throttles back to dial-up modem speeds after you hit a monthly maximum.

Sprint Nextel is the only carrier remaining with truly unlimited plans, and even it recently added a 5 GB limit to its $30-per-month mobile hotspot feature. News.com has confirmed that Sprint will offer the same unlimited plan for non-hotspot usage with the iPhone 4S, as it does for other phones.

Sprint’s plans with unlimited data and text messages range from $70 with 450 minutes to $100 per month for unlimited everything. Sprint doesn’t count calls to any carriers’ cell phone against minute pools, either. The proviso is that Sprint has a smaller mobile coverage footprint than Verizon Wireless, which uses compatible technology. As a result, Sprint roams customers onto Verizon’s network when out of its own service area, and roaming customers are limited to just 350 MB of usage on Verizon’s network in any month.

 

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Comments about Sprint Keeps Unlimited Data for iPhone 4S Plans

Mark H. Anbinder  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-10-06 16:15
The 350 MB per month limit while roaming on the Verizon Wireless network seems like it will be tough to manage. The phone will have to do a really good job of keeping the user aware of where they are and whose data they're using.