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I use wifi for podcast downloads mostly. it would also be useful if you are buying an album on amazon mp3 service-that can take forever on 3G. of course, it depends on your home internet speed as this may be the same or slower than 3G at times.
I don't think it will get emails faster, since those files are relatively small.
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I use my over 3g whenever i can. It is faster and you dont use as much of your vz data since the majority of peeps have a 5gb limit. But you will have to be using your phone alot to get to that limit. A lot of wirrless hotspots are password protected and some arent. But when you do connect to an anonymous hotspot, just be mindful. of what you send over that connection.
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