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Q: Why does my Samsung Galaxy S Android device keep losing its WiFi connection?

  • Why does my Samsung Galaxy S Android device keep losing its WiFi connection?
  • Why does my T-Mobile Vibrant keep dropping its WiFi connection?

Context

  • Android 2.1 (Eclair) on Samsung Galaxy S (I9000)
  • Tested on both unlocked generic Samsung Galaxy S and T-Mobile Vibrant T959
  • MITnet b/g/n wireless (SSID MIT)

Answer

Background

  • The Samsung Galaxy S (sold under various names by US carriers, such as the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant, the AT&T Samsung Captivate, the Sprint Samsung Epic, or the Verizon Samsung Fascinate) is an Andriod 2.1 phone with an 802.11 b/g/n multi-protocol radio in it operating at 2.4GHz
  • At least on paper, this makes it compatible with MIT's 802.11 b/g/n wireless network
  • In practice, the phone will connect to the wireless network, but will stop routing traffic through wireless after a few seconds
  • This problem exists on other 802.11 b/g/n multi-protocol networks (for example, newer home routers or similar networks at other institutions)
  • The phone's WiFi works fine on 802.11 b/g only networks, or 802.11 n only networks

Resolution

  • We are currently not aware of any resolution to this problem
  • On-line forums and Samsung suggest disabling multi-protocol support on your wireless router and switching it to either b/g or n only
  • While this is an option for home networks, it is not an option for institutional infrastructure networks supporting many devices
  • Problem appears to be limited to the Samsung Galaxy S phones, and does not apply to Android 2.1 phones with b/g/n radios in general
  • Update
    • Several reports indicate that the Android application WiFi Fixer may help with this problem
    • The app monitors your WiFi connectivity and will take steps on your phone to refresh or restart your WiFi connection
    • More info at http://wififixer.wordpress.com/
    • Search in your Android Market app for "WiFi Fixer"

See also

Community

Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community


Last Modified:

August 02, 2010

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