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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Dark Penguin's Avatar

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    HYdroROM 1.1.0

    Default WiFi internet issue: What the heck happened? Please help me understand this.

    (tl;dr version: internet access at home, over my WLAN, has (sort of) stopped working, after having the same WLAN configuration for over a month, and my phone for about a year and half. FTR /this phone is rooted and running Cyanogenmod 10.2.)

    For about a year and a half I've had a Samsung Galaxy S2 E4GT, and it's been an excellent phone phone for most of that time. Like most people, I prefer to use my wifi connection at home because the data speed is obviously better. I don't have to worry about a data cap, but I've never lived on a street where the mobile network was better than barely adequate.

    Conversely, I almost never use wifi in public places because the signal is usually weak, and in commercial areas I usually find that that the mobile signal is better. Therefore it's only once in a blue moon that I've logged into the network at places like Starbucks.

    So everything worked fine up until yesterday, when I found myself unable to access the internet through the wifi connection. (The configuration of my WLAN, which has two access points, has been the same for at least a month.). The device says it's connected to my WLAN, and that the signal strength is excellent, but I can't browse to any web pages, or indeed use any apps at all that depend on internet access, e.g. news and map apps. My wife happens to have the same model phone but hers is unrooted stock, and as far as I can tell there's no issue with her wifi access. Ditto for all our other devices--computers, a Roku streaming player, and an IP camera.

    I've spent a lot of time poking around for a solution to this problem. Usually, respondents suggest certain adjustments to the configuration of the WLAN, which leaves me scratching my head since I haven't made any recent configuration changes in the first place. And, it doesn't seem right that I should need to reconfigure the whole network, forcing me to reestablish connections with all of the other devices. I'll probably be upgrading as I become eligible in less than two weeks; I'm happy with my carrier so don't see any objection to signing up for a couple more years.

    Although that makes the issue with my current phone somewhat moot, I would still like to run this down. Today I decided to try a couple of public networks to see if I would experience the same issues that I'm having at home, so off I went to the local Starbucks. When I got there I found that my phone did the same thing it's been doing at home--i.e. appear to connect successfully at which point the signal indicator turns blue, only to change to white/grey a second or two later with browsing and other internet dependent functionality disabled.

    The Starbucks was so crowded, and the line was so long, that I didn't even stay long enough to get something to go. Walking home, I decided to stop at the local McDonalds, since they have wifi as well and I would be able to run another test. Strangely enough, my wifi based access to the internet worked perfectly using McDonald's network, although it seems to be set up just the same as Starbucks'. At both locations, it's essentially an unsecured network which requires you to indicate that you accept their terms and conditions before you can do anything online. I stayed at McD's for a good 15 minutes just to make sure I wouldn't lose my internet connection. I didn't.

    And so home, without bothering to disable wifi on my phone.

    When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my internet connection, which had been initiated automatically on my coming into range, was just fine. The signal indicator was blue and all the apps, including Maps and the browser, are working fine. For whatever reason, just by walking home and coming into range of my WLAN, my phone connected itself (which, in itself, isn't that surprising), and I got a functional internet connection. But when I tried to disable and re-enable wifi access, it no longer worked. I went outside and walked sufficiently far enough from the house to be out of range of my WLAN, and then walked back, hoping to duplicate the automatic connection I had just gotten on returning the first time. This time I found that my access to the internet was still disabled, but after changing my connection from my secondary router to the one set up by my current ISP, I was once again connected to the internet with no problem. Notwithstanding this, in the past I've never had any trouble when using the secondary router. Our apartment has a living room with a bedroom on either side, and the primary access point is in the master bedroom. I set up the secondary in the living room to improve range throughout the apartment.

    So what gives? Is it just because my phone is old? FWIW I do a lot of media streaming, mostly audio/radio, but I don't do anything in the way of games. I also rarely stream any kind of video content.
  2. #2  
    srkmagnus's Avatar

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    ROM
    Stock 4.4 (KitKat)

    Default Re: WiFi internet issue: What the heck happened? Please help me understand this.

    I don't think it has anything to do with the age of the device. Rather, it's likely the router or isp. Whenever that issue occurs again, try rebooting the router and reconnect. Let us know how it goes for you.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    Dark Penguin's Avatar

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    HYdroROM 1.1.0

    Default Re: WiFi internet issue: What the heck happened? Please help me understand this.

    I still don't know what caused the problem but I suspected an issue with the secondary router, and therefore unplugged it. Now my wifi access is working again through just the one main router provided by the ISP.

    I'm too relieved to have it working again to want to mess around with it in further troubleshooting, so I'm just going to let it go for now. However, I do begin to suspect that it may have been due to a wireless channel conflict between the two routers.
  4. #4  
    Rukbat's Avatar

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    ROM
    Modified Stock 4.4.2

    Default Re: WiFi internet issue: What the heck happened? Please help me understand this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    (The configuration of my WLAN, which has two access points, has been the same for at least a month.).
    Configuring a LAN with two access points can be difficult, even for someone experienced. Read Wired Bridge with two WAPs using the same SSID

    My wife happens to have the same model phone but hers is unrooted stock, and as far as I can tell there's no issue with her wifi access. Ditto for all our other devices--computers, a Roku streaming player, and an IP camera.
    IPIO, also known as "the best we can come up with is "it could be because ...". Something's happening with your phone that's not happening wih the other devices, that makes it not work with the way you configured your WAPs.

    Walking home, I decided to stop at the local McDonalds, since they have wifi as well and I would be able to run another test. Strangely enough, my wifi based access to the internet worked perfectly using McDonald's network, although it seems to be set up just the same as Starbucks'. At both locations, it's essentially an unsecured network which requires you to indicate that you accept their terms and conditions before you can do anything online. I stayed at McD's for a good 15 minutes just to make sure I wouldn't lose my internet connection. I didn't.
    They may seem to be set up the same, but all you're seeing is one app, not the network configuration. The fact that your phone connects to a wifi access point with no problem says that there's nothing wrong with your phone. (BTW, forget the color of the icon - look in Settings/Connections/Wifi to see if you're stuck on "Obtaining an IP address, or if you're connected. And be aware that "connected" means "to the wireless access point, it doesn't mean "to the internet". You'll get the same "Connected" indication if you just plug a router into the power outlet.)

    So what gives? Is it just because my phone is old? FWIW I do a lot of media streaming, mostly audio/radio, but I don't do anything in the way of games. I also rarely stream any kind of video content.
    If it were because it's old, it wouldn't connect to any router. The fact that it does (and that the N standard hasn't changed in years) means that the problem lies elsewhere. The fact that your phone worked at McDonalds means that it works with wifi. So I still suspect that it's your dual-WAP setup that's causing the problem. Why all of a sudden? Maybe because of a new signal in the area on the same channel. (There are apps that will show you who's on what channel.) Maybe because of a minor modem update to the phone. Maybe because something just changed in the phone - electronics, at its most basic, works at the quantum level, and we're just barely beginning to learn how much we don't know about that. If you get it fixed, you'll know one of the ways to fix that sort of problem - and hat's about the best you can hope for in some situations, even if you've spent your entire life in electronic communications.

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