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  1. Cale M's Avatar
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    Default Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    I've seen a large number of threads out here regarding Playbook and WiFi, but none seem to be solving what I'm seeing. Here are the specifics...

    64gb Playbook running 2.1.0.1088

    I'm trying to connect to an Open Authentication WiFi network here at work that uses WEP encryption. When I first started using the Playbook, it worked fine. Connections and authentication went off without a hitch. Over time, however, that began to degrade.

    At first it was just the nodes on *this* side of the building that would refuse to authenticate my connection... or, when they did, would not actually resolve any communication attempts. Stepping across a hallway to the *other* side of the building and a different set of nodes would allow the device to function just fine once more. I'm assuming that set is making use of a different router, but as I'm not in charge of any of that technology I can only guess.

    My WiFi attempts have further degraged to the point where the connection itself fails. Where, before, it would connect and then refuse authentication, now I'm not even getting a connection response regardless of where in the building I stand. The system is acting as if I'm supplying an incorrect password. I am not. I'm supplying the correct password and simply not getting a response back from the network.

    Our in-building cafeteria has a WEP network that I'm able to connect to just fine. I've yet to see those connection attempts degrade in the same way that my company's have. I could spend some more time seeing if they eventually break, but as of yet I've not done that.

    My network at home uses WPA encryption and I've yet to have a problem with that, ever. My Playbook connects just fine and stays connected for as long as the device is active. No issues. Just the WEP network here at work.

    Oddly enough, my Torch is having the same problems as my Playbook. I'm running 7.1 Bundle 1997 and it saw the same, slow, degradation through failed authentication to now being unable to even establish a connection.

    Any ideas? I've ran this past our support group and their response was a flat "We do not support personal devices. Don't waste our time with that nonsense."

    The Dell laptop I'm using has no problems connecting and I've seen Android based devices run without issues. So far it's just been my BB world that is unhappy.

    So, without having any access to any WiFi routers and encountering an uncaring technical group, does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going on?
  2. kboya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    this is not ideal and may not work, but I had similar problems with a wpa2 network. I had the degradation issue too. initially, deleting the wifi profiles then reprogramming worked, but it degraded again. I then did a security wipe followed by an os reinstall via the pc desktop manager (somtimes called a debrick). all has been fine since.

    remember to back up first, though!
  3. Cale M's Avatar
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    Default

    Of course, two details I forgot to mention. Yes, I have deleted the saved network on both devices and rebooted. Even to the point of popping the battery on the Torch and resetting it to the default WiFi options. None of this has made any sort of a difference.
  4. Cale M's Avatar
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    The full security wipe on the Playbook is not something I've attempted yet. If all else continues to fail, I might give it a shot. With full backup of course.
  5. kboya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    good luck... it's not ideal, and somewhat tedious, but worth a shot if nowt else appears
  6. Cale M's Avatar
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    I do have my doubts, though, in that both the Torch and the Playbook developed the same problem at the same time. I would expect it to creep on one or the other, but not both at the exact same time.
  7. hutch0707's Avatar
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    I would check with your IT team to see if they have made any wireless security changes that would be impacting mobile device access, in particular blackberry devices. Seems odd that both phone and tablet have similar issues connecting to wireless network.
  8. Cale M's Avatar
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    According to them, the network is not firewalled and has nothing set which would interfere with any line of devices. But, as these are personal devices, they have no interest in pursuing the matter in the slightest. If they were tools issued by the company then I could expect some degree of assistance. Unfortunately that is not the case.

    I've even asked if a list of devices that have earned a spam/hack/ban status is being maintained. Apparently not according to them.
  9. Rickster1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    I am having a similar issue with a pb at home. wifi is open yet pb wants a password and won't connect. Just did a security wipe yesterday to transfer the pb from my daughter to wife. 2 other pb are fine. I just rebooted and will try to connect again. Hope there is an answer to this. first issue with wifi I have had.
  10. kboya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    btw, the wipe was only part of it. the main point was reinstalling/fixing the os using the pc program.
  11. Cale M's Avatar
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    Performed a full backup, followed by a security wipe which re-installed the system software and performed an upgrade to the latest OS. A restoration of the backup then followed.

    My WPA2 connection was un-phased (still works flawlessly), which only leaves trying to connect to WEP at work in the morning. I'll report on the effectiveness.
  12. Rickster1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    Updare: a simple reboot fixed it for me! No more issues.
  13. Cale M's Avatar
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    Not so fortunate for me. The backup, security wipe and restore has left me in the same situation as before. No network response at all when I attempt to connect.

    I can only assume that the support group has indeed either installed or activated some setting that's not BlackBerry friendly. Getting them to take the time to find out what that might be and admit to it... well, that's not going to happen. I was hoping someone here might know what it could be.

    Better luck next time, I suppose. Thanks for the suggestions, though!
  14. madhusudansk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet Another Playbook WiFi Issue

    playbook does not connect to wi fi networks that have the options "hidden SSID" or "client id isolation options usually checked on networks using WEP. I ve tried these options on my personal wifi router and playbook can't connect. if there is a way to uncheck these options establish a connection then check these options back again. only then will ur pb save this profile and connect to this network hassle free...
    this may not be the exact solution but all I m saying is its worth trying.
  15. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cale M View Post
    Not so fortunate for me. The backup, security wipe and restore has left me in the same situation as before. No network response at all when I attempt to connect.

    I can only assume that the support group has indeed either installed or activated some setting that's not BlackBerry friendly. Getting them to take the time to find out what that might be and admit to it... well, that's not going to happen. I was hoping someone here might know what it could be.

    Better luck next time, I suppose. Thanks for the suggestions, though!
    Try a security wipe and operating system software installation again. This time do not restore anything until after testing the tablet's WiFi connectivity with WEP authentication at work. If it works without issue, then perform a selective restore of individual applications. Full restoration simply puts the bad configuration back onto the tablet verbatim including any potential problems which caused you to reinstall the device software in the first place. Let us know the outcome.
    kbz1960 likes this.
  16. Cale M's Avatar
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    And... joy! Security wipe without restore allows for a good connection. It's now performing the auto-update to version 1.2.0.1088. We'll see if communications are still solid after that.

    If it turns out to be an app that's causing problems, I have concerns that it may be my Antair Nightstand. It seems like their latest update was somewhere around the time when this became an issue. Hopefully not. That's my favorite third party piece of software.
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  17. Cale M's Avatar
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    Continued joy. Not only does my Playbook now connect with the WEP network just fine, but my Torch's problems have resolved as well. Which leads to a natural question...

    Could there have been a Bridge issue that was causing the problem? What else would correct an issue with the attached phone by resetting the Playbook? Just for fun, here's a list of apps that I currently have uninstalled. If any look to be suspect by anyone here, please let me know. I have reinstalled both the Antair Nightstand and Evernote. If either of these cause the problem to repeat then it may be some time before I see the results. At that point I may just try deleting and re-installing my Bridge software if that's even possible.

    A Day in Life - Journal for BlackBerry PlayBook
    Advanced App Manager by eDroid Apps
    AIR Browser
    Battery Level and Time Left
    Bridge OS2 Alternative (only installed after connections became an issue)
    Comics (a CBZ/CBR reader)
    Conqu
    Dark Galaxy
    Dolphin Browser
    ePub Reader Lite
    File Manager Lite Free
    Flash Browser by What The Apps
    Flashlight Free
    Free Chess
    Free Solitaire
    Ghost Commander File Manager
    Incognito Browser by Wiki Apps
    Maxthon Web Browser for BlackBerry PlayBook
    Mongoose
    Print
    qPDF Viewer - PDF Reader
    Room Escape
    Rotate and Roll - Free
    SHADOWGUN
    SimpleBrowser
    Smart Office 2
    Smart Office Lite
    Tablet TV Premium in HD
    Tetris for BlackBerry PlayBook
    Wikipedia

    Remember, these are the apps that are showing as Uninstalled after the security wipe. Some, but not all, were still on the system prior to that.
  18. Chaddface's Avatar
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    I don't know much about this stuff but did you ever try to delete the saved networks and add them again?
    The PB will import the networks settings on your phone when you connect with a BB phone via bridge. If there was a problem with the configuration on the phone it may be the same problem on the PB. Maybe turn off the bridge connection before setting up a new network on the PB if your phone has the network already saved.
    Thanked by:
    kbz1960 (12-14-2012) 
  19. Cale M's Avatar
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    Yeah -- that's the first thing I always try when having connection problems. There's even a function on the phone to reset all WiFi options back to factory default, which wipes out all existing stored information. Tried that and still had the same issues.

    The first time the problem showed was when I tried updating the installed Antair Nightstand to its latest version through the troubled WEP network. My connection dropped out during that download process and I'd experienced random issues from that point out... which is why I suspected that piece of software. I don't know if that was the actual problem, however. I also considered that my device might have been flagged as an unauthorized bandwidth hog and restricted automatically by our WiFi service.

    There's a chance it may have been one of the third party file managers which reads both the PlayBook directory structure and the bridged phone's. I suppose there's also a chance that the Bridge software itself became bloated and was experiencing some odd memory error. There's even a chance that my attempts to force a tether without having AT&T unlock it remotely may have been a problem.

    Who knows? I'll be careful about what I re-install, but it would be nice to have open faith in the PlayBook's ability to run useful or entertaining apps without something being killed off. Certainly, the next time this happens I'll focus more on resetting my Bridge software.

    It still remains odd that this was only a problem with my office network... and that it started as a minor issue which degraded over time to a full death.
    Last edited by Cale M; 12-14-2012 at 11:28 AM.
  20. oilgeo10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaddface View Post
    I don't know much about this stuff but did you ever try to delete the saved networks and add them again?
    The PB will import the networks settings on your phone when you connect with a BB phone via bridge. If there was a problem with the configuration on the phone it may be the same problem on the PB. Maybe turn off the bridge connection before setting up a new network on the PB if your phone has the network already saved.
    I did this , it works. Could not connect to an open wifi connection that is provided on company buses. Tried deleting the saved connection, restarting the PB, manual connection, nothing worked. But thought this was strange because my 9810 had no problems and automatically connects to the same wifi. Then I saw a post here that mentioned a possible bug with BB bridge and to turn off the bluetooth on the PB, connect to the open wifi, then can turn the bluetooth on again. Tried this and it worked after another connection delete and reconnect. And now it automatically connects with the bluetooth bridge on.
  21. Cale M's Avatar
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    Additional update: The connection has been working fine all week. This morning, however, I discovered that my WiFi queries were not resolving even though the Playbook claimed that a good connection had been established.

    I then turned off the Playbook's bluetooth and deleted the saved WiFi network and tried to re-connect. No good. It managed to make contact with the WEP network but could not get a valid association. Checking the Torch, I saw that it is now failing as well.

    So I deleted the Bridge software from the phone and popped the battery. The Torch still could not get a good connection. I then ran the setup routine on the Playbook's Bridge utility to force a wipe and re-install of that. Still no association.

    I have a feeling that a full security wipe will allow me to associate with the WEP network once more. I'm just not really sure that performing that on a regular basis is something I'll want to do. Drag.
  22. samab's Avatar
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    Using WEP or WPA/TKIP will kill your wifi throughput because the router has only hardware acceleration for AES (which is used in WPA2/AES). If you use WEP, the encryption is done in software which kills your router's wifi throughput.

    Linksys WRT600N Review: Dual-Band 11n comes to Linky-land - Wireless Performance, Max Throughput-2.4/5GHz - SmallNetBuilder

    Basically, the only reason to use WEP or WPA/TKIP at this point is because you have a Nintendo DS or a Sony PSP which both of them can't do WPA2/AES.
  23. Cale M's Avatar
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    Remember that it wasn't my decision to use WEP. It's the open WiFi at my office and I have no control over the setup. My only problem is that the bridged Torch and Playbook eventually loses the ability to connect to that network and only that network. It'd be nice to find a solution that doesn't involve full device wipes.
  24. samab's Avatar
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    I know that it wasn't your decision.

    Besides the hardware acceleration issue, it isn't even respecting the 802.11n spec.

    Apple's Airport wifi router will NEVER allow you to set your 802.11n as n-only and then with WEP or WPA.

    AirPort: Slow 802.11n connection speed when connected using older WEP or WPA security mechanisms

    Other wifi router manufacturers ignores the 802.11n spec and kinda allow you to set their wifi routers to 802.11n only with WEP or WPA --- but RIM respects the 802.11n spec and will not connect the Playbook to a 802.11n router that uses WEP.

    KB26522-BlackBerry PlayBook does not connect to 802.11n Wi-Fi network configured to allow TKIP

    There is a probably 99% chance that your office's router is a n-capable router --- what RIM is doing is the correct response.
  25. Broxster's Avatar
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    WEP was no good for me at home with the Playbook,dropping and refusing to connect etc.....changed to WPA2 and all has been good.
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