Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Keeping a smartphone from dropping the wi-fi connection

This is a "note to self" post covering what I've tried to keep my phone (a Motorola Atrix MB860) from repeatedly dropping and reconnecting to my wireless network.

* Connecting to Wireless G seems more stable than N (probably varies with the router) - on my dual-band router I have the two bands set up as Wireless G and Wireless N networks with different SSIDs for identification.

* Change router DHCP lease time changed from "forever" to the next longest time available ("two weeks" in my case) - I recall reading that "forever" is actually sent as a really large numeric value that is not properly handled by some devices - it instead overflows into a really small value.

* On the phone:
* When you want to stay connected, set Battery Mode to Performance. Depending on the application (such as Netflix or Hulu Plus) you will also want to keep the display from sleeping (set Display Timeout to Never).
* Additional settings I set:
* In Wi-Fi Settings uncheck the options to auto connect to "AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot" - I think this reduces the phone scanning for other wi-fi networks and possible switching when you're already connected to your preferred/home network.
* Uncheck Network Notification > Open Network and Secure Network - again, I think this reduces scanning for other networks.
* In Wi-Fi Networks, remove the Wireless N network and set up the Wirless G one to make sure we connect to the preferred one.

So far so good - my phone has not dropped my wi-fi connection while I was using it over the last two days.

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