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Can turning on your Wi-Fi boost your cellphone battery?

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Does your cellphone have the low battery blues? One company is telling it's customers how turning on their Wi-Fi can actually give their battery a boost.

"I'm a 3G guy. I do always just leave it on 3G," said Ryan Belski. Belski's friends said he has issues with his battery. They say his phone is always dead. His band mates are the opposite. They're all about Wi-Fi.

"I use the 3G network when I can't get Wi-Fi," said Arrah Fisher. "I always use Wi-Fi when it's available, because it saves me data and I guess it saves the battery power as well," said Scottie Kurtain.

Sprint recently sent out an electronic newsletter to its customers saying when your Wi-Fi is on, you can save up to 50 percent of your battery life, talk and surf the web at the same time and increase in-building data speeds.

We asked experts in the IT department at Case Western Reserve University about it. They said it all depends. If you leave your Wi-Fi on while you're in a Wi-Fi zone, like a restaurant, you can save the battery life. But, if you're driving around in a car, your phone will likely use up more battery power, by continually searching for a Wi-Fi network.

Case Western's Chief Information Security Officer Thomas Siu suggests you turn on your Wi-Fi only when you need it. He also warns users of a few risks of using a non-secure or open Wi-Fi network.

"It's the same as now it's a computer. If you're walking around with your laptop and you're using wireless networks you have to worry about the same kinds of attacks on your phone now that would be someone attacking your laptop," said Siu.

Siu suggests you use Wi-Fi with caution. Beware that there are people out there who are trying to intercept your signal to steal your logins and passwords.

Sprint sent a statement saying, "We encourage customers to understand the security protocols associated with the Wi-Fi network they are connecting to, whether they're open or secured, and understand the risks with connecting before they decide to do so."

Fisher and her friends said they understand the risk and appreciate the advice. "I'm all about saving battery," said Fisher.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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