Simultaneous Wi-Fi and cellular connection [Update]

In coastal navigation, so often within range of a cellular network, we can download GRIB files, weather maps, or simply communicate with friends. But what if our smartphone or tablet is already connected via Wi-Fi to a multiplexer?, or an NMEA gateway, without cutting the data that feeds our favorite navigation application ?

This is the summer trick…

[Update 25/09/2020] The trick in question depends on the iOS version used. Details in the article.

This cannot be done, of course, only if a SIM card from a telephone operator is installed on the tablet (iPad Wi-Fi+Cellular, for example). For a smartphone the question does not arise.

Depending on the iOS / iPadOS version, the Wi-Fi connection is managed differently by the system. Clarification is required because iOS 14 changed the behavior of the system again.

  • Operating systems up to iOS 11

The trick is necessary. You have to access the settings of the mobile device, Wi-Fi section, and open the settings page of the gateway to which you are connected via Wi-Fi. In the example below a MiniPlex.

Needed :

  1. Set the IP address to "Manual", to enter a fixed IP. In the example below " 10.0.0.100 ". The number " 100 »Is chosen at random, it can just as well be between 2 and 255 (knowing that the MiniPlex IP address is 10.0.0.1). If several devices are connected to the same multiplexer, each will have to set a different fixed IP address.
  2. Leave the subnet mask at 255.255.255.0
  3. Delete the router address (or leave empty).
  4. Save.

Configuration of a MiniPlex access point

Warning : check that the Proxy is disabled.

  • IOS operating systems 12 and 13

The trick is useless. With these two O.S. the system detects if the Wi-Fi access point allows internet access. Otherwise, a message appears under the SSID of the access point (the name of the access point in Settings > WiFi of the device) indicating "No internet connection" and the system automatically switches to cell reception. There is therefore no need to change the Wi-Fi settings of the access point.

  • IOS / iPadOS operating system 14

The trick is essential again. The system no longer detects if the Wi-Fi access point allows internet access. Therefore, the Wi-Fi access point must be set again, with a small modification compared to the configuration previously provided.

Needed :

  1. Set the IP address to "Manual", to enter a fixed IP. In the example below " 192.168.4.10 " The number " 10 »Is chosen at random, it can just as well be between 2 and 255 (knowing that the IP address of the Yacht Devices YDNR is 192.168.4.1). If several devices are connected to the same multiplexer, each will have to set a different fixed IP address.
  2. Adjust the subnet mask to 255.255.255.255
  3. Leave the router address blank.
  4. Save.

Example with the YDNR from Yacht Devices

Warning : check that the Proxy is disabled.

The message "No connection to the internet" then appears again under the access point SSID (the name of the access point in Settings > WiFi of the device) and the system automatically switches to cell reception.

In conclusion

Like this, depending on your version of iOS you will be able to access the cellular network while remaining connected to the multiplexer, especially if it controls the autopilot to an active waypoint, in order to refresh your GRIB files. But beware : the versatility of the system suggests that a future update of iOS will once again change the game !

Unfortunately this system does not work in connection sharing between a tablet and a smartphone, since you have to connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.

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Related items :
3G/4G
Wi-Fi
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7 Replies to “Simultaneous Wi-Fi and Cellular Connection [Update]”

  1. Hello,
    I must have missed something because I don't see the point…
    A hub, my iphone and my ipad are connected to the multiplexer in wifi in auto mode… and I stay connected to the cellular network for the weather updates of W4D2.0, emails and all the rest…

    I do not understand what will bring the fact of configuring the connection manually…

    Note : I am not using PA control with W4D2.0

    1. You're absolutely right ! I just checked, thanks to your relevant remark, that what was indispensable two or three years ago is no longer essential today. Probably a more recent iOS version has overcome this problem, since when ? I do not know, never having changed the settings of my iPhone since the time when I needed this specific setting. Thank you for reading my posts carefully and critically, nul n’a la science infuse !

    2. Verification done, from iOS 12 the system tests if the activated Wi-Fi accesses the internet. Otherwise, the connection automatically switches to cellular, and therefore maintains the two simultaneous connections. QED.

  2. As I live in North America, this website kindly offers me an English version of the articles. However, translation is or less acceptable most of the time. It's heavy like English, even if we understand the general meaning.
    Can we make sure that he always shows us the original article without having to go to the language selection menu? ?

    1. I just added the possibility to choose a default language. If the English translations seem heavy to you, know that I correct them systematically with the help of Deepl, the best translator to date, because English is not my native language.

  3. Thank you Francis ! Great idea to be able to use Wifi and cellular network on the same device.

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