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Old 09-29-2007, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Proof my 8320's wifi ain't all that

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[edit: this story has a mostly happy ending. my 8320's wifi, it turns out, is all that.]

Here's the short version: I love my 8320, but the wifi is a joke in its present state. I'm looking for suggestions and opinions about whether I have a defective 8320, or whether there's anything I can do about poor performance.

The longer version? Same story I've read from others about UMA not working. If "mobile network" is enabled, no UMA call lasts more than 20 seconds without switching over to the GSM network. And with GSM disabled, I get varied (and unacceptable) results, but usually the call has alternating periods of silence on one end or another. This evening I tried the same test at starbucks, and at my mother in law's house, and got the same results. During one test yesterday I was able to get a few minutes of reliability out of a UMA call, but sadly that was the exception that seems to be proving the rule.

Even if there were no wifi on this handset it would be the best cellphone I've ever owned. But the box says wifi, and so I want it to work: I want fast browsing and I want UMA.

What other diagnostic methods are available? Are there T-Mo servers I can ping or site statistics I can check? How on earth can I figure out where the trouble is? Would it be any use to call T-Mo for help? Do I have a defective unit?

Below, proof that my network is OK. First, here's the bandwidth usage reported by my router when I visited a page here from my BB, not 5 feet from the router. During this test my 8320 reported full signal strength. Note the prolonged, sporadic download, at speeds less than those advertised for EDGE:



Next, my MacBook, downloading the same page via wifi, through two walls and about 30 feet:



Then a little showing off: downloading a big file from a fast server using wifi on my MacBook:



Finally a little confirmation from VoIP Providers - VoIP Services - Broadband Phone Company Providers that my latency is OK:



What to do?
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Last edited by spblat : 10-01-2007 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Reset your 8320. I had to do this also ... from what T-Mobile said, some devices have incorrect security and this clears it up. I didn't believe it until the tech, who I started to trust, told me this. He confirmed with the onsite BB rep.

Backup the unit first. Afterwards, go to the security options, general, menu - wipe handheld.

After a reboot, it will sync the service profiles and then if you are a BES user, it automatically re-registers and starts to sync. That are the steps I remember

Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Router, settings ect???

Most, if not all, are having issues because they are using older routers or routers with old firmware...

Get a T-Mobile router (D-Link or Linksys) as it's free after the mail in rebate...

Kris
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok. Wiped the 8320 and got good UMA performance on my generic router. We'll see how it looks after BES activation.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default ok about the router...

ok if i have the 8320 for me to have the wifi enabled, do i need to buy the router??? i keep hearing about everyone buying a router from TMO well i have a linkis router would that be enough, even tho im already using it for my pc's and laptop???? Thanks
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Standard Routers should work but it depends on how old, what type, if the firmware is up to date, and if all the settings are correct.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spblat View Post
Ok. Wiped the 8320 and got good UMA performance on my generic router. We'll see how it looks after BES activation.
After activation it was hosed again. There's a RIM help page that says if you upgraded you have to make sure the two T-Mo certificates are installed. This implies that without the certs, you'll get no UMA connection whatsoever, and I'm getting intermittent performance (and the certs are there). So something else was wrong, and it was coming from my BES server. I checked Options -> Advanced -> TCP and found APN blank. So I put in "wap.voicestream.com", left the user and pass blank, and pulled the battery. VOILA!

I've attached bandwidth profiles for a good UMA call (before BES activation, alternating sending and receiving as one party or the other talks, consistent speeds) and a bad UMA call (both sending and receiving are dropping out every few seconds). After I fixed my APN, pulled the battery (just for laughs) and tried again, my UMA call looked like the "before activation" picture.

Well THAT is a relief.
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Proof my 8320's wifi ain't all that-8320-good-uma.jpg  Proof my 8320's wifi ain't all that-8320-bad-uma.jpg  
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As Lunk and others mentioned, the older routers seem to be a stumbling block for a lot of people, which sort of makes sense. This device is using newer technology which may stress parts of the specs that older firmware/routers are lax about, or possibly implemented incorrectly.

Corollary: a project at work required that we find a cheap router *without* wifi that was UPnP capable -- we went through... wow, probably 15 routers of varying forms before we finally found one that the UPnP actually *worked* correctly. All these devices advertised UPnP capability but they all screwed up the implementation itself and were useless.

Regarding your bandwidth tests, I learned something new that posted in another thread. If you turn on WiFi and use the *Internet Browser* on the device, all your traffic is routed through blackberry.net proxies via WiFi. Yup, all of it. So what you need to do to get a more standardized, rational test is to make a Browser Bookmark as WiFi Browser or set the default Browser to WiFi - a forced WiFi bookmark does *not* proxy - then make sure to visit http://www.checkmyip.com/ from both the desktop browser and the BB browser to ensure the IPs match up. If you see the BB IP starting with 216.9.250.* then you're proxying over blackberry.net still.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Could this be what caused BoyGenius' test to show the same (slower almost) speed for wifi than EDGE.

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Old 09-29-2007, 10:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Could this be what caused BoyGenius' test to show the same (slower almost) speed for wifi and EDGE.
I might highly suspect that's the case -- in my (highly informal) testing my browsing is definitely slower when it's using the blackberry.net proxies, i.e. default mode. If I flip to a forced WiFi things are way snappier depending... (I'm sure at 3am when nobody is using "the internets" it might be the same, you know)
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivviepop View Post
If you turn on WiFi and use the *Internet Browser* on the device, all your traffic is routed through blackberry.net proxies via WiFi. Yup, all of it. So what you need to do to get a more standardized, rational test is to make a Browser Bookmark as WiFi Browser or set the default Browser to WiFi - a forced WiFi bookmark does *not* proxy - then make sure to visit Free - Ip, My IP, What is my ip, Linux Man Pages from both the desktop browser and the BB browser to ensure the IPs match up. If you see the BB IP starting with 216.9.250.* then you're proxying over blackberry.net still.
Nuts. I'm getting an IP assigned to my employer, even when I force wifi. This explains why I get sporadic failures to reach a server inside my home LAN. How can I override this?
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Nuts. I'm getting an IP assigned to my employer, even when I force wifi. This explains why I get sporadic failures to reach a server inside my home LAN. How can I override this?
Forcing WiFi browsing (or whatever we'll call it) is the only way I've discovered so far, but I'm on BIS not BES like you. :-/ Keep beating on all the options - like try turning off all of GSM *then* turning on WiFi and stuff, just random variations. Perhaps we'll stumble onto some combination of factors that will force a BES connection to not proxy - I'm afraid I can't help not having/using BES.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a thought -- do you have any control over your BES? I maintain the caching proxy server at work and write the AutoConfig (PAC) file; if you can somehow get your BES to return 'DIRECT' mode (or whatever the BB equiv. is) back to a proxy config request from the device, you might be in business...maybe.

(I've never even seen a BES so run with the idea in the proper parlance...)
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivviepop View Post
I had a thought -- do you have any control over your BES? I maintain the caching proxy server at work and write the AutoConfig (PAC) file; if you can somehow get your BES to return 'DIRECT' mode (or whatever the BB equiv. is) back to a proxy config request from the device, you might be in business...maybe.

(I've never even seen a BES so run with the idea in the proper parlance...)
Me neither. And the company I work for is large. VERY large. And the 8320 isn't approved on their network. So I'm inclined to look at calling the BES guys as a very last resort, lest they be forced to pry this phone out of my cold, dead fingers...
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Most strange. Here's what I just did. I added a bookmark for checkmyip, and made the bookmark a wifi bookmark. Then I visited the bookmark, got my corporate IP. It was in the BB's cache. Then I hit R to reload, and got my home address!

This tells me that when you hit G in the browser, enter an address, use the menu to switch to the wifi browser, that this is an unreliable method for getting it to do what we want. (By the way, this whole evening, I've had GSM turned off. We're routing BES traffic through wifi.)

Here's the newest question: what are the available methods for forcing a wifi connection? It seems that using a wifi bookmark is the best approach so far. My applications list has "Browser" and "T-Zones" but no "Internet Browser" or "BlackBerry Browser."
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Me neither. And the company I work for is large. VERY large. And the 8320 isn't approved on their network. So I'm inclined to look at calling the BES guys as a very last resort, lest they be forced to pry this phone out of my cold, dead fingers...
As an IT type dude, might I recommend bringing them a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies? Cookies man, they go a long way with your average geek...never underestimate social engineering.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spblat View Post
Here's the newest question: what are the available methods for forcing a wifi connection? It seems that using a wifi bookmark is the best approach so far. My applications list has "Browser" and "T-Zones" but no "Internet Browser" or "BlackBerry Browser."
"Internet Browser" and "WiFi Browser" are not app links, they're config options. Open the Browser, Menu -> Options -> General Properties. Set the Default Browser to WiFi and see how that works out for you.

note: when set this way the BB will *not* fall back to GSM browsing when WiFi disappears - you'll have to set it back to Internet Browser in order to get GSM love back. See this thread here:

WiFi goes through blackberry.net?
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sweet. I have achieved 8320 nirvana.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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im not savy enough to follow all of the ways people have stated they could maximize wifi.
can someone summarize it, please??
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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