By eHow Contributing Writer
The iPhone relies on a wireless, or "wi-fi" Internet connection for many of its exciting features, including web browsing through Safari, accessing email, watching YouTube videos and purchasing music from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Though the iPhone will automatically connect to wireless networks within its range, there are a few steps you must follow in order to change wireless networks manually.
Review the list of available wireless networks provided by your iPhone. The default settings will instruct your iPhone to display the names of any wireless networks that are within range and automatically connect to the last wireless network that you used, assuming it is available. The "wi-fi" icon at the top of the iPhone's screen will appear when you are connected and will display a number of signal bars based on the strength of the wireless network's signal.
Tap the name of the wireless network to which you would like to connect. If required, enter the network password. Wireless networks that require a password will be marked with a small icon shaped like a lock next to them in the list.
Set your iPhone to request your permission to join a new network, if you do not want it to connect automatically to available networks. Tap on the "Wi-Fi" icon on the "Settings" menu and select "Ask to Join New Networks." You can also set your iPhone to ignore certain networks by tapping on "Forget this Network."
Change to a closed wireless network, which is a network that is blocked from appearing in available lists of networks to people who do not have permission to access it, by entering the necessary security information. To access a closed wireless network, tap on the "Wi-Fi" icon, select "Other" and then type in the name of the network using the keypad. If a password is required, tap on the "Security" tab and type the password into the field that appears.
Connect to a wireless network outside of your phone carrier's network. AT&T is the only phone carrier authorized to provide primary service for the iPhone, but you may be allowed to use certain Internet services on other carriers that have agreements with AT&T, who will most likely charge your roaming charges. When these networks are available, a "Carrier" icon will appear that will automatically connect you to the available network when tapped.