Andriod Wireless Troubleshooting


Step 1: Verify AP and router settings

Start by verifying that a wireless access point (AP) or router is nearby and actively offering Wi-Fi service. Always start here, using another Wi-Fi client to determine which is the likely culprit, the network or the client. If multiple clients are unable to connect, follow instructions in ourwireless network troubleshooting tip to debug probably AP or router or upstream network problems. Otherwise, proceed to step 2 to debug the affected Android client.

Step 2: Verify wireless adapter

Verify that your Android Wi-Fi adapter is enabled. Before going any further, make sure that your Android device's Wi-Fi radio is not in Airplane Mode and that Wi-Fi is on and ready to connect. Tap Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi as shown in Figure If Wi-Fi is off, tap the slider to turn Wi-Fi on. When Wi-Fi is on, a signal indicator appears at the top right corner of your home screen. Properly connected Wi-Fi takes precedence over mobile broadband, but it can be helpful to disable your device's mobile network connection while debugging Wi-Fi.

Android Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi radio
Figure 1: Verify that the Android client's Wi-Fi radio is on.

Step 3: Check SSID and IP address

Verify your Android client is connected SSID and IP address. Return to your Android device's Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi panel and tap Wi-Fi Settings. Find your network's name (SSID) on the list of nearby Wi-Fi networks.

Note that whenever you're trying to connect an Android Wi-Fi client to any network name, status is displayed on the Wi-Fi Settings panel, in the row labeled Wi-Fi. When status is Connected, tap Advanced to view the client's assigned IP address.

Android Wi-Fi IP address
Figure 2: Verify Android Wi-Fi client's IP address.

Step 4: Verify network connection with Ping

Once your Android Wi-Fi client has a valid IP address, use Ping to verify network connectivity. Most Android devices do not include a user-accessibleping app, but you can still verify network connectivity as follows.

Android network connectivity
Figure 3: Send test traffic using your browser or any Android

Step 5: Wireless-specific connection problems

If your Android Wi-Fi client still cannot connect, get a valid IP address or ping any other system connected to the same subnet, it's time to look for wireless-specific problems. The AP/router and client must use compatible 802.11 standards. Please note the following:

To determine which 802.11 standards your wireless network’s AP or router supports, look for “Wi-Fi certified” logos, or search for Wi-Fi certified products at the Wi-Fi Alliance website.

In general, newer APs and routers are required to provide backward compatibility with older generations of Wi-Fi, but data rate settings must still match. Once you have confirmed that your AP or router and client should be compatible, debug wireless radio settings as described in our wireless network troubleshooting tip, step 6.

Step 6: Check security settings

If a compatible wireless client and AP/router can "hear" each other but still cannot connect or exchange traffic, look for a security mismatch. The client must support the security mode required by the AP or router: Open, WEP, WPA, or WPA2. Unless a WLAN is open (i.e., unsecured), both endpoints must be configured with (or dynamically receive) identical keys to encrypt traffic between them. Compare security settings on your AP/router and Android Wi-Fi client and attempt to match them.

If you choose the wrong security type when adding a network, it may still be saved. You can change the password (or any other security parameter) associated with a saved network by tapping the network's name. However, it is often easier just to click Forget for any misconfigured network and start fresh.

Android Wi-Fi security settings
Step 9: Check for intermittent network connections

If your Android Wi-Fi client still cannot seem to connect to the network, seems very slow all the time or disconnects frequently, you may be experiencing lower-level wireless problems.


Article Credit: Lisa Phifer