Q: I have a child with a new iPod touch and went to check on homework to find her on FaceTime with a friend. We have a password protected wireless network and she does not know the password. This way she can only use the Internet outside of the home where HOMEwork is supposed to take place. When confronted, she said she was using a neighbor’s network. I checked and there were no available networks in the neighborhood. Her friend was able to FaceTime her but when she tried to FaceTime the friend she couldn’t because she can’t get on our network. Is it possible that friends with wireless can FaceTime to her and she not be able to initiate FaceTimes to them? How did her friend get through to her if my daughter doesn’t have wireless access. These are two new iPod touches.
A: There must have been a nearby Wi-Fi network available at the time which may have simply disappeared by the time you checked, either because it was barely within range or because a neighbour simply turned off their Wi-Fi network. The iPod touch has no means of getting onto the Internet except by accessing a Wi-Fi network, and if your home network is password protected, your daughter’s iPod touch will not be able to connect to that network unless she knows the password or you have previously connected to the network from her device, thereby storing the password automatically. You can tell whether the iPod touch is on a Wi-Fi connection by looking for the Wi-Fi indicator in the top-left corner, beside the word “iPod.”
Note also that your daughter’s friend does not need to know the password for your Wi-Fi network in order to communicate with your daughter; she only needs to have access to a Wi-Fi network at whatever location she happens to be in. Basically, any two iPod touch devices that are connected to the Internet anywhere in the world can send and receive FaceTime calls with each other.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to restrict Wi-Fi network access on an iPod touch, so your daughter will be able to connect to any Wi-Fi network that is either unsecured or for which she knows the password. However, you can disable FaceTime in the iPod touch Restrictions in the Settings app under General, Restrictions. Selecting this option will prompt you to enter a four-digit passcode to enable restrictions, and you will then be shown a screen where you can lock down certain features on the iPod touch. Disabling FaceTime will make the icon disappear from the home screen entirely and prevent the device from being able to place or receive FaceTime calls.