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-   -   Wifi problems, really shoddy, feel short-changed, feature not up to RIM standards (http://www.blackberryforums.com/wifi-hotzone/201209-wifi-problems-really-shoddy-feel-short-changed-feature-not-up-rim-standards.html)

Smacca 08-17-2009 11:58 AM

Wifi problems, really shoddy, feel short-changed, feature not up to RIM standards
 
Before anyone jumps down my throat for daring to criticise RIM on this forum, please understand that I am a big fan of the Blackberry, and will always be. I just have a problem with this one feature on my device, where I think I am being short-changed.

I am on my second Curve 8900 and have identical wi-fi problems with both. I notice dozens of people on this forum having the same difficulties. RIM cannot fail to be aware of these problems.

In brief, I can connect to a wi-fi network, whether open or password protected, but only very rarely can I get the green check (tick) and the bright wi-fi logo that indicates that I am connected to the Blackberry server through wi-fi.

I have tried everything that has been suggested to me, and lots more. I have a Blackberry data plan. I have switched to "hotspot browser" and back, battery pulls, absolutely everything -- and I still can't get my Blackberry to connect to the RIM server using wifi.

I feel cheated. I have a very clear understanding of wi-fi from using it on laptops and other devices, and here is what I thought I was getting when I bought my 8900:

* If I am within range of a wi-fi signal, I can connect to the Internet and anything connected to the Internet, such as the RIM server, where I have paid for a service.

* I will be able to use this wi-fi connection instead of using my slower (and, if roaming, costlier) EDGE connection from my mobile phone company.

* The wi-fi feature on my Blackberry is as important as any other feature, and should be as easy to use. It should be as easy to use wi-fi on my Blackberry as it is using a laptop -- just click and go.

* It is my choice whether to connect with ease using either wi-fi or using my mobile phone company's signal.


Instead, I have found it is impossible to rely on being able to connect to a wi-fi signal, even if I am sitting right beside it. Sometimes it connects, but most of the time it doesn't.

I find this unacceptable. RIM's engineers are among the most brilliant in the world. I simply cannot believe that they are incapable of building a one-click wi-fi feature.

Several years ago, I had an annoying Dell Axim handheld using the even more annoying Windows Mobile software -- but its wi-fi feature was infinitely better than the one on my new 8900, using OS v4.6.1.250.

Shame on RIM for this. Perhaps I am an unintelligent person who just cannot figure out how to get it to work, but if I am there are clearly many, many like me.

Surely it is time for RIM to build a proper wi-fi feature? Obviously the next step would be to build a VoIP app, or let Skype do it.

So, let the attacks on me begin from all of the very knowledgeable experts. But before you start dismissing what I'm saying, ask yourself two things:

(a) How many other people are there out there like me who just cannot get their wi-fi to work consistently and have simply given up and resigned themselves to paying high data roaming charges as a result?

(b) Is this seriously the best wi-fi for Blackberry that RIM's top engineers can come up with?

Best wishes to all, and special thanks to all those who over the past few months have tried to find solutions to the wi-fi problem -- I sincerely appreciate your efforts.

Seán

P.S. If there IS checklist I can work through (yes, I have searched, but in vain) any chance of a sticky?

hrbuckley 08-17-2009 12:25 PM

Go to Manage Connections -> Wi-Fi Options the press the menu button and select Wi-Fi Tools -> Wi-Fi Diagnostics

Have a look at that, it may tell you what is wrong. If you don't understand it, post it here or PM me and I'll see if I can find anything.

NJBlackBerry 08-17-2009 02:01 PM

What version of the software is loaded on your 8900? Options / About will tell you that.

BTW - I have solid UMA all the time at home and work. I know that doesn't help you, but the technology does work.

monkeypaw 08-17-2009 03:39 PM

The brand and OS of the wifi router makes a difference. There were lots of people in the UK who had problems with the 8320. There just tends to be different brands in use versus the US and Canada. Those problems have seemed to go away, but might be the issue.

Smacca 08-17-2009 05:11 PM

Hi hrbuckley, thanks for the query. I've done that, it says:

Current Profile:smcparis (this is the name of my wi-fi in Paris)
SSID: smcparis
AP MAC Address: 8A:A2:0B:00:73:34
Security Type: Pre-Shared key (PSK)
Local IP Address: 88.174.41.148
Signal Level -78 dBm
Connection Data rate: 54Mbps
Status: Network acquired

Then under VPN it just has tickboxes with grey/yellow slashes through them. At the end it says:
Status: VPN profile is not found


Next comes Blackberry Infrastructure:

Connecting [tickbox with a red x in it]
Authenticating Router [tickbox with a grey/yellow slash in it]
Authenticating Server [tickbox with a grey/yellow slash in it]


...and that's it.

regards, Seán

Smacca 08-17-2009 05:17 PM

Hi there. I'm using OS v4.6.1.250. I'm in Europe, and using GSM/GPRS/EDGE. I'm thinking UMA is what yu get to use on Verizon or Sprint in North America, but I may be wrong about that (also!) -- in any case, the UMA is over my head, I'm afraid. Thanks, Seán

NJBlackBerry 08-17-2009 05:19 PM

UMA is a wonderful voice over WiFi feature offered by some GSM carriers. Including T-Mobile US.

Verizon and Sprint use a technology called "CDMA".

Smacca 08-17-2009 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeypaw (Post 1453197)
The brand and OS of the wifi router makes a difference. There were lots of people in the UK who had problems with the 8320. There just tends to be different brands in use versus the US and Canada. Those problems have seemed to go away, but might be the issue.

Thanks for that... at this stage I'm so desperate I'd buy a wi-fi router in the US or Canada and ship it over here and connect it by wire to my existing router -- if I thought that would work. Maybe I'll go and by a Belkin or Netgear or Linksys router here in Europe, just to see. I might as well buy an 'N' one (even though, as far as I can tell, the BB uses only b/g), unless blackberryforums users advise me against that...

hrbuckley 08-17-2009 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smacca (Post 1453262)
Hi hrbuckley, thanks for the query. I've done that, it says:

Current Profile:smcparis (this is the name of my wi-fi in Paris)
SSID: smcparis
AP MAC Address: 8A:A2:0B:00:73:34
Security Type: Pre-Shared key (PSK)
Local IP Address: 88.174.41.148
Signal Level -78 dBm
Connection Data rate: 54Mbps
Status: Network acquired

Then under VPN it just has tickboxes with grey/yellow slashes through them. At the end it says:
Status: VPN profile is not found


Next comes Blackberry Infrastructure:

Connecting [tickbox with a red x in it]
Authenticating Router [tickbox with a grey/yellow slash in it]
Authenticating Server [tickbox with a grey/yellow slash in it]


...and that's it.

regards, Seán

Ok, so do you have DHCP configured on your router?

You should see something more like this:
Current Profile: JasperWPA
SSID: JasperWPA
AP MAC Address: 00:10:18:90:20:DB
Security Type: Pre-Shared Key (PSK)
Association: Successful
Authentication: Successful
Local IP Address: 192.168.1.217
Signal Level: -52 dBm
Connection Data Rate: 48 Mbps
Status: Network acquired
Authentication Failure Reason:
Network Type: 802.11b/g
Network Channel: 5
Pairwise Cipher: TKIP
Group Cipher: TKIP
Gateway Address: 192.168.1.1
DHCP: Successful
Primary DNS: 192.168.1.1
Secondary DNS: 0.0.0.0
DNS suffix: lan
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Server Domain Suffix:
Certificate: Not Applicable
Software Token: Not Applicable
L3 Auth:

You need to have at least a Gateway Address because what you want to see below that is:
BlackBerry Infrastructure
Address Used: //216.9.242.88:443
IP Used: 216.9.242.88:443;51268
Connecting: Successful
Authenticating router: Successful
Authenticating server: Successful
Last Contact At: Jul 30, 2009 6:11 PM

BTW you can email these reports to yourself to save typing. When you get a gateway it should start to work, but you also want to have at least a Primary DNS configured.

monkeypaw 08-18-2009 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smacca (Post 1453274)
Thanks for that... at this stage I'm so desperate I'd buy a wi-fi router in the US or Canada and ship it over here and connect it by wire to my existing router -- if I thought that would work. Maybe I'll go and by a Belkin or Netgear or Linksys router here in Europe, just to see. I might as well buy an 'N' one (even though, as far as I can tell, the BB uses only b/g), unless blackberryforums users advise me against that...

Draft N routers used to cause problems. In fact that was one way to about guarantee an issue. But that seems to have gone away with more recent OS versions. So I'm not sure anymore. If you can, try to find another router to try out and narrow down a problem with the phone or router. It could still be the phone and you'd just have bought a router for nothing.

Other things that caused problems were proprietary methods of boosting speed and certain model routers or router OS versions. Plain old g routers used to be most likely to work.

Having said that, there are a whole lot fewer complaints these days so it's hard to tell if there are the same issues with N routers or non-g routers.

Smacca 08-26-2009 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hrbuckley (Post 1453331)
Ok, so do you have DHCP configured on your router?

Thanks for all of that, hrbuckley. I've been trying to figure out how to configure my router. It's integrated with my cable and telephone service, but I think I have DCHP enabled.

I'm still not getting a bright wi-fi logo, although occasionally it comes on for a minute or two, then goes grey again. And I'm not getting a full report, like yours. here's one from just now:



Wi-Fi
Current Profile: SmaccaNet
SSID: SmaccaNet
AP MAC Address: 42:84:04:83:87:00
Security Type: Pre-Shared Key (PSK)
Local IP Address: 192.168.0.11
Signal Level: -74 dBm
Connection Data Rate: 54 Mbps
Status: Network acquired

VPN
Current Profile:
Concentrator Address:
Contact: N/A
Authentication: N/A
Secure Device IP:
Status: VPN profile is not found.

BlackBerry Infrastructure
Connecting: Error
Authenticating router: N/A
Authenticating server: N/A

hrbuckley 08-26-2009 08:59 AM

Do you have any other computers on that router wi-fi or wired? How are they configured for networking?

It is possible to configure IP, subnetmask, DNS and gateway manually on the Blackberry but normally we want to avoid this and let DHCP look after that for us.

If you edit your profile on the Blackberry there is a checkbox "Automatically obtain IP address and DNS" which controls whether the BB uses DHCP (checked) or you enter the values manually (unchecked). What is the state of that checkbox?

Smacca 08-26-2009 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hrbuckley (Post 1459126)
Do you have any other computers on that router wi-fi or wired? How are they configured for networking?

I have a wired computer on the network (I'm writing this on it), and whatever way it is set up it was done automatically because I haven't a clue how to configure it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hrbuckley (Post 1459126)
If you edit your profile on the Blackberry there is a checkbox "Automatically obtain IP address and DNS" which controls whether the BB uses DHCP (checked) or you enter the values manually (unchecked). What is the state of that checkbox?

That checkbox was ticked, and I haven't unticked it. In fact, for some reason, right now I have the full wi-fi connection, and have had for several minutes -- hey, maybe it's here for good, in which case, Happy Days! If you had anything to do with this, I thank you a million times, hrbuckley! Here's what my wi-fi diagnostics say now:

Wi-Fi
Current Profile: SmaccaNet
SSID: SmaccaNet
AP MAC Address: 42:84:04:83:87:00
Security Type: Pre-Shared Key (PSK)
Local IP Address: 192.168.0.11
Signal Level: -74 dBm
Connection Data Rate: 54 Mbps
Status: Network acquired

VPN
Current Profile:
Concentrator Address:
Contact: N/A
Authentication: N/A
Secure Device IP:
Status: VPN profile is not found.

BlackBerry Infrastructure
Connecting: Successful
Authenticating router: Successful
Authenticating server: Successful

Smacca 08-26-2009 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry (Post 1453271)
UMA is a wonderful voice over WiFi feature offered by some GSM carriers. Including T-Mobile US.

Hey, that sounds fabulous -- can anyone use it once you get it, or does it only work through a carrier? (I'm with O2 Ireland, and I'm nearly sure they don't offer that -- they're far too busy figuring out new ways to fleece me!)

NJBlackBerry 08-26-2009 05:25 PM

It is only on certain devices, on certain carriers. My T-Mobile 8900 (and 8220) have UMA, and T-Mobile SIM cards. If I roam, UMA travels with me. But VERY few carriers offer it.

Smacca 08-26-2009 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smacca (Post 1459549)
In fact, for some reason, right now I have the full wi-fi connection, and have had for several minutes -- hey, maybe it's here for good, in which case, Happy Days!

Well, I spoke too soon; it's back to grey, I'm afraid -- and I touched or did absolutely nothing. Oh well...

At this stage I'm seriously considering getting an iPhone or maybe a cheap android handset, just for when I'm travelling, because this is ridiculous. I wonder can you transfer all your contacts and files onto one of those?

I see there's a new OS for the Blackberry coming soon -- I've just downloaded a beta version marked 5.0.0 rel 285 -- does anyone have any idea whether this new OS might make my wi-fi work properly?

(By the way, should I ask that last question as a new post in the 'beta' section? I guess it would be relevant to both.)

monkeypaw 08-26-2009 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smacca (Post 1459559)
Well, I spoke too soon; it's back to grey, I'm afraid -- and I touched or did absolutely nothing. Oh well...

At this stage I'm seriously considering getting an iPhone or maybe a cheap android handset, just for when I'm travelling, because this is ridiculous. I wonder can you transfer all your contacts and files onto one of those?

I see there's a new OS for the Blackberry coming soon -- I've just downloaded a beta version marked 5.0.0 rel 285 -- does anyone have any idea whether this new OS might make my wi-fi work properly?

(By the way, should I ask that last question as a new post in the 'beta' section? I guess it would be relevant to both.)

No harm in trying the new OS. Make sure to manually back everything up.

I'm still thinking router - brand, settings, or OS. You've never said what kind of router, but have you tried searching this forum for that brand? Maybe someone with prior solutions.

One thing that shouldn't matter but may is using psk (WPA) security. I had terrible performance so I had to go to WEP security. It's terrible security but since I have no home network to protect, just the internet, I don't care. But it fixed my wifi problems with my 8320. This was a really old problem that later OS versions probably fixed.


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