09-16-2012 07:40 PM
I just got my new 32 GB Playbook yesterday and was immediately hit with a massive download speed penalty trying to update the Playbook to OS 188.8.131.528 from whatever version the unit shipped with when trying to initialize and configure the device straight out from the box. I managed to get the update to install on the PB but it took 1.5 hours to download a pretty small file (~50 MB) so I knew something was wrong. Once I rebooted I noticed in the notifications that there were some game updates and app updates. Need For Speed was 299 MB and I just laughed...not going to happen at this rate. I figured this was the reason why the Playbooks were so cheap these days because they didn't work on wifi - I mean what good is a wifi tablet that can't connect to the internet?
Anyhow, I have spent a LOT of time on this in the last day to find out that the 184.108.40.2068 update definitely screws up connections to a wireless N router and network. My router is a D-Link 825N device. I am running the latest firmware 2.07NA. I have searched the D-Link forums and there are lots of people with problems with the Playbooks also. All working fine before the update and all NOT working since the update. Crackberry.com is full of complaints of wireless N problems too. Some even have the same router I am using.
I have 2 desktop computers, 3 laptops, 1 BB Torch 9810, 1 HP Touchpad and 1 iPad in this house all working flawlessly with the existing wireless N network setup. It's only the brand spanking new Playbook that can not function on the N network.
Researching solutions I learned that with the D-Link 825N you could have two different networks running. One running N mode and one running G mode using a Guest Mode. This meant that all my other devices could run on the N network and I could get the Playbook to only use the G network (Guest Mode). I also learned that there is a multimedia setting called WMM which, if disabled will not allow any of my other devices to work on the N network. They simply fail to get any network connectivity but it DOES allow the Playbook to work on N mode in that instance.
Anyhow, setting up the two different networks (one with N and one with G) allows me to get all the devices working. I hope the Playbook will get an update to allow me to use the N network.
I have read a lot about TKIP/AES WPA/WPA2, WMM (Wi- Fi multi-media) and it's got me to the point of being dangerously knowledgeable. I believe the Playbook has a serious N mode network flaw and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Is there any word on when/if this is going to happen?
Using the Playbook locally here on G mode is fine for me now. I will not have the same kind of connection options in the outside world though. You take what you can get (A, B, G or N) and you won't be able to configure your settings like I have done at home. I am not exactly a newbie when it comes to technology, but I am a newb when it comes to the Playbook. If I ran into this kind of trouble out of the box, others are going to do the same. Hopefully after reading my post, some of you will try to connect in G mode on your router (if possible) until a permanent fix is released.
Thank you for your time reading this lengthy post.
Solved! Go to Solution.
09-17-2012 03:36 AM - edited 09-17-2012 03:43 AM
First see http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/KB26522 where PlayBook are recent enough to actually comply with 802.11n specs.
Everyone in forums blames the latest update for every ailment. I don't believe earlier versions were any different.
It is unlikely that public hotspots will include 802.11n with either WEP or TKIP as they are deprecated now.
Set your router to WPA2 with AES.
Unless both router and laptop or playbook have THREE antennae you cannot get full 300Mbps, and most tablets will have 802.11n at 65Mbps anyway.
The slow download is more likely to be the Web and the update servers.
Unless you want to play need for speed I recommend you uninstall it and other similar dross to avoid unnecessary update alerts.
09-17-2012 10:50 AM
Thank you for your reply. However, I have tried setting the guest mode on my router to:
Security Mode: WPA-Personal
WPA Mode: WPA2 Only
Cipher Type: AES
For both the 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHZ bands and the Playbook will eventually connect but wireless connection rate is slower that 28.8 kbps dial-up rate. In fact, web pages will not download any images and it is not functional. Sorry, but I've tried these settings previously without success.
I am "in these forums blaming the latest update" from my own personal experience. See, when I took the Playbook out of the box and was configuring it for the very first time, part of the process involves network connectivity and downloading updates. Well guess what? It was working to a degree (very slowly mind you) UNTIL the update was downloaded and installed. Then it did NOT work at all after. This is why I am here, in these forums, sharing my story. I promise you that I have other things better to do with my time than spend it complaining about the lack of Playbook wireless N connectivity availability.
I find it very hard to believe that out of all the wireless devices in my home that the Blackberry Playbook is the ONLY ONE that implements the N standard "properly" and the rest do not - though all those devices are all working fine on the network EXCEPT the Playbook with these settings. That's amazing isn't it?
As also mentioned above, running with G connectivity for the Guest Mode will allow the Playbook to connect to the network just fine just minus all the benefits that N mode provides of course (throughput, range, etc). I can even download the 299 MB update for Need For Speed quite quickly thanks to Cable Modem speeds. It sure would be nice to do it on the N network though...
It is true that the WEP security mode is deprecated. TKIP Cipher has flaws too but I can promise you that some people don't know what they're doing with wireless setups and you will still find them in use out in the world unfortunately. You are correct in saying that unless I have three antennas on my router it is not likely that I am going to get 300Mbps throughput on my network, but I do get 150 Mbps no problems which is a lot faster than 65 Mbps.
You are incorrect in saying that the slowdown is most likely the web and update servers. Again, the web works fine on all devices EXCEPT the Playbook. I wish you could post video on here for I'd record it to share for a picture is worth a thousand words...
09-17-2012 11:00 AM - edited 09-17-2012 11:01 AM
Armed with the additional data in your second post i have to agree with you.
I never use n for any device as g is perfectly fast for my connection, but if I suggest playbook and 802.11n don't mix and n is a crock of "bleep" there is always someone comes back who has marvelllous n connection. I just don't think it's worth it for the leap from 54Mbps to 65Mbs.
09-17-2012 11:06 AM
I have had my fair share of issue with N
I use only G at home or at work. No one can get internet faster any ways.
N is good for data transfer from PC to PC. I hardly use it that way even at home. Wired at 1 gig is faster than wifi.
Look at my thread solving my WiFi issue.
09-17-2012 11:23 AM
Well thank you for your time and reply Jarviser. I sincerely appreciate it.
What is interesting is that when reading the D-link router interface it states the following (the bolding is not done by me fyi, it's a copy/paste from the interface text):
Use WPA or WPA2 mode to achieve a balance of strong security and best compatibility. This mode uses WPA for legacy clients while maintaining higher security with stations that are WPA2 capable. Also the strongest cipher that the client supports will be used. For best security, use WPA2 Only mode. This mode uses AES(CCMP) cipher and legacy stations are not allowed access with WPA security. For maximum compatibility, use WPA Only. This mode uses TKIP cipher. Some gaming and legacy devices work only in this mode.
To achieve better wireless performance use WPA2 Only security mode (or in other words AES cipher).
OK, so when I set it to use WPA2 Only mode, it says that this mode uses AES cipher by default and if I use AES, I can not connect or get webpages to load with the Playbook. BUT, there is a setting directly below to override this and select TKIP cipher which WILL happen to allow me to connect to the network over riding the more secure AES cipher...so I am not sure exactly where the problem lies now. Is it a problem with the router or is it the Playbook? It feels like a chicken vs egg kind of situation...sigh!
I will just go with WPA2 and the less secure TKIP cipher and call it a day I suppose...
09-17-2012 11:44 AM
Hello Knottyrope. Thank you for your reply. I can appreciate the time and effort you've spent with your network trials and can sympathize with you also.
FYI, I posted just a bit earlier with some findings that seem to work for me now. Perhaps you might wish to try them if you are feeling adventurous.
For the guest mode account I have setup specifically for the Playbook, I selected WPA2 Only mode as a security type and overrode the default AES cipher type by selecting TKIP and now I can connect at very fast speeds. Not sure exactly what connection rate I am at now but my next step will be a speed test just to satisfy my curiosity I suppose. I am really just interested in the wireless transmission range of N wireless myself. I'd like to make it out into the back yard with the Playbook now and then before it turns wintertime. Transferring large media files wirelessly from the PC to the Playbook at 150 mbps would be a bonus, but not required. That's a pretty cool inbuilt feature I must say...
09-17-2012 11:50 AM
I just checked the settings on the Playbook under Wi-Fi Status and I seem to be connected at 802.11g and therefore 54 Mbps using WPA2 Personal security type. Got all excited there for nothing I suppose...oh well, at least it works.
09-17-2012 12:11 PM - edited 09-17-2012 12:12 PM
I have 2 Playbook that will only connect as 802.11N at home and so is my Bold 9900, they completely refuses to connect to 802.11G
The funny thing is that my laptop is suppose to be 802.11N compatible and this one refuse to use it for some reasons
BTW the router is a Cisco/Linksys E3000
09-17-2012 12:42 PM - edited 09-17-2012 12:45 PM
Well that's interesting...lucky you? I'd be pleased...
Actually, I have no idea what speed my Torch 9810 connects at now that you mention it - I am assuming N. Is there an info box on the BB phones that lists what connection rate you get? Or did you run a network test app or visit a website? Just curious...I'd like to know now that I've gone this far.
Further to my wordy posts (must uphold tradition afterall ) I have noticed that the OS 2.1 beta might solve my problems after reading this post http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-
I am not much of a beta guy so hopefully a full release occurs soon and then I might get some N love afterall.