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Contributor
notam
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
My Device: playbook

WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

[ Edited ]

I have decided to start a new thread on this subject in the hope that others will monitor their WiFi signal levels and report their findings here.  This may be helpful to people who experience dropped connections and wonder about the cause.

 

To check your WiFi signal level do as follows:

 

Connect the PlayBook to WiFi

Tap gear (upper right corner)

Select Wi-Fi

Tap signal level icon with a “?” (lower left of screen)

Tap Device Information

Select Wi-Fi Information

See Signal Level

 

My ISP is Cogeco.  At 8:00 am this morning (Sat, 31 MAR) my signal level was -46 dBn (plus or minus 1) and the connection was steady with no drops.

 

I logged back on at noon, and from 12:00 - 12:30 pm the signal level fluctuated from -38 dBn to -60 dBn, and the connection was dropped repeatedly.  I have so far found that if the signal level is relatively steady at -44 dbm or higher the connection will hold, but if it is lower the connection will be lost.  It may also be that large fluctuations in signal level, regardless of strength, may cause connection dropping but I can't be sure of that yet.

 

 

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Regular Contributor
foreverempty
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

I haven't had my connection drop but I'll post too. My ISP is TalkTalk, with signal level of -48dBm at 10pm. I was using the wifi at my mum's and at the library, but haven't had any problems so far. Apparently, the PlayBook doesn't like the 'n' type wifi, not sure if this is the reason many users are having problems.

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Contributor
notam
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
My Device: playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

[ Edited ]

Well, just add to the confusion, when I am seated about 8 Ft. From the router the Signal Level is in the -40s and the indicator shows 4 green bands, but if I walk the Playbook to the family room at the other end of the house the Signal Level immediately goes to the -70s and the indicator shows 1 or 2 green bands.  This seems contradictory.  I have done this back and forth a dozen times so it is not a fluke.  Hopefully someone with technical expertise can explain just what "Signal Level" means.

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Regular Contributor
foreverempty
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

I did a quick google search, and the higher the signal level, well, the stronger it is. So -40 is stronger than -70 etc. I'm wondering if maybe you have wifi interference. You could try changing the channel of your wifi signal.

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Forums Veteran I
aandras
Posts: 2,359
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
My Device: Z10 & Playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

What router are you using?
What security
What mode
Is it in auto negotiate?

Just telling us signal strength does not help.
I have 3 bars. -20s using a netgear n900 dual band router.

Be a Shepard and not an iSheep.
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Regular Contributor
foreverempty
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

Huawei EchoLife HG521 ADSL2+ router, WPA2-PSK, b/g/n mode. Not sure about the router or ISP at my mum's house but I know it's definitely WPA. Both routers work fine. I did a quick google search of autonegotiation but can't find that under my router settings.

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Contributor
notam
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
My Device: playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

In my case:

router = D-Link DIR-615 n300

security type = WEP

Other aspects are the defaults for the normal setup as per instructions.  This is not the latest or greatest router, though it has performed flawlesly since installed.

 

It seems odd that a strength indicator should be a negative number, but then no different than -10 is hotter than -20. Thanks foreverempty for clearing that up.

 

It is even odder that yesterday (Sat) I had dropped connections during times of greatest signal strength whereas this am (Sun) not one drop between 6:30 and 7:30 with strengths in the same -40s range. As was suggested, there may be a source of interference in my neighbourhood.

 

Perhaps some testing in public hotspots will be instructive.

 

 

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Forums Veteran I
aandras
Posts: 2,359
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
My Device: Z10 & Playbook

Re: WiFi Signal Level and Dropping Connection

I set my mode to g over now. Better range over the n
Be a Shepard and not an iSheep.
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