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New Contributor
ghenry70
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
My Device: Playbook
Accepted Solution

WiFi connection dropping

Apologies from a newbie for raising a Playbook problem which has been raised before. I get a good  WiFi signal when the Playbook is near the router (upstairs, front of the house) but struggle to pick up signal, or signal keeps dropping, when using the Playbook downstairs at the rear of the house. Realise that distance from router is often an issue but  2 laptops (one several years old), and an Ipad 2, always pick up and maintain signal in same locations. Reluctant so far to try changing Router channel in case this messes up signals to laptops/Ipad, and anyway this won’t help when trying to access free wifi with Playbook away from home when Ipad or laptop has no problems at all. May have to try Homeplugs or extenders but again, these will only help at home and one of the reasons for getting a Playbook was portability.

Are there any USB adapters, antennae etc out there which would help acquire or boost signal?

 

Problem is made worse owing to a strong BT Openzone signal nearby. When remote from Router, Playbook locks on to BT signal and I get a “Verify the Certificate” window. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I click on “accept” or “decline”, the window repeatedly refreshes so fast it often takes me several attempts to even turn the Playbook off. Any ideas out there?

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Forums Veteran I
Lost_at_Sea
Posts: 1,923
Registered: ‎11-28-2011
My Device: PlayBook 64 GB & Torch 9860

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Check your router settings to see if you can change channels. They have a default setting and other nearby signals are on the same channel. The problem will go away if you go to another channel.
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New Contributor
ghenry70
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Thanks. But this won't help away from home, in hotels for example, where my wife's Ipad works perfectly. That's why I was hoping there might be some sort of USB wifi adapter.

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Forums Veteran I
Lost_at_Sea
Posts: 1,923
Registered: ‎11-28-2011
My Device: PlayBook 64 GB & Torch 9860

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Ghenny70,
This will have no effect on other routers. Where ever I go, my PlayBook picks up the available signal. I just drove from California to Ontario visiting family, staying at hotels etc and had no problems. Changing the channel will only move you off a very busy channel to another that likely has no other equipment operating on it. You are not changing the mode or the frequency. Changing it will only help you at home.
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New Contributor
ghenry70
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Thanks. I envy your good experience when travelling. I'm grateful for the advice about changing router channel at home. I haven't done this yet in case it has an adverse effect on other computers, though if I have correctly understood your post it probably won't. But at least at home I can move nearer the router. My experience when travelling has been the opposite of yours. My Playbook rarely picks up and maintains a wifi signal in hotel rooms where an Ipad or laptop has no problems. I've got to the stage where it is almost not worth the bother to take the Playbook, yet in many other respects I think it beats an Ipad hands down. I had hoped that OS 2.1 would help but it seems to have made no difference..

 

I assume from both your responses that there is no gizmo which can be plugged into the Playbook to improve signal acqusition?

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Forums Veteran I
Lost_at_Sea
Posts: 1,923
Registered: ‎11-28-2011
My Device: PlayBook 64 GB & Torch 9860

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Not that I am aware of, however for travelling you can get a wifi hotspot. These pick up a cell phone signal and generate a wifi signal that tablets can use. With the PlayBook you can connect it to your BlackBerry Cell Phone and surf the Internet and they also have a 4G model.
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New Contributor
ghenry70
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Thanks for your very helpful advice.

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Forums Veteran I
Lost_at_Sea
Posts: 1,923
Registered: ‎11-28-2011
My Device: PlayBook 64 GB & Torch 9860

Re: WiFi connection dropping

These devices by the way are about the size of a pager and are sold by the big phone companies and you just turned them on when you want the signal. A bit expensive though.
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Contributor
Graham123
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎10-22-2012
My Device: Playbook 32Gb v2.1.0.1032

Re: WiFi connection dropping

[ Edited ]

ghenry - I have same experience as you. I have done a lot of testing at home and in public areas. Other devices like smartphones and laptops receive wifi signal, but Playbook does not. At home at far end of our home same thing - everything else still works, but not Playbook. If signal is stronger no problems with Playbook.

I believe this is just like the built in gps. Receivers or antennae are just not as sensitive as those on other devices.

It's disappointing and a black mark for RIM when the only device in a public place that cannot access the internet is the Playbook.

By the way, the signal strength that displays when you go to wifi properties, is a measure of whether you can connect or not. I find it should read below -80dBm or better to get a connection.

 

By the way, for home and travel use, a travel router might help. I think I might buy this one: http://www.dlink.com/us/en/home-solutions/connect/shareport/dir-505-shareport-mobile-companion

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New Contributor
ghenry70
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
My Device: Playbook

Re: WiFi connection dropping

Hi Graham123.

 

Thanks for your comment. I was beginning to think I was the only one having problems. I'll look at the D-link gizmo. Do you have a problem with the verification screen when it is trying to pick up a signal? I assume this happens when there is a stronger, locked, wi-fi signal nearby. The verification screen refreshes so fast I have to make several attempts to get past it to search for my own network or the free hotel network, and I haven't yet found a way to disable it. 

 

Trying to save weight and space in carry-on baggage on a budget airline flight to Spain last week, I took the Playbook out of the RIM Leather Journal case and just used the neoprene sleeve it came with for protection in transit, taking the sleeve off when using the Playbook. It may just be coincidence, but without the leather case it seemed much better at picking up and holding a wi-fi signal at the hotel in Seville. I've only been back home for a couple of days and had an overnighter in Oxford last night, and it seemed better in the motel room there. It's still a very poor second to my wife's Ipad, especially when you compare the 2-3 minute boot-up time to the instantly-on Ipad, but there does seem to be an improvement. I'm wondering whether this is because the Journal case has a rubber or neoprene border, which wraps round all 4 edges of the Playbook, and which may be muffling the signal. I notice that the Journal Case no longer appears on the Blackberry site as a Playbook accessory. It would be really irritating if RIM has not only glossed over the Playbook Wi-Fi problems, but has been selling an accessory which may have made the problem worse, and has now quietly withdrawn it.

 

Big question is do we all persevere with the Playbook in the hope that RIM will upgrade it to BB10 some time next year, and this will fix things, or do we throw them away and buy Ipad Mini's. The real shame is that RIM would have a brilliant tablet on their hands, and one which in many ways is as good if not better than the Ipad, if they would only put some effort into sorting out the Wi-Fi problem and slow boot up.

 

Best wishes

 

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