Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Discuss solutions for wired and wireless usage for sharing and Internet connectivity.

Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby Tiktaalik » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:39 am

It was working... now it's not?

Back when I first got my XO Laptop I upgraded the firmware to 656 and after a small amount of attempts I was able to connect to my WPA network. Yay. After a few days I put the laptop aside because I was swamped with an unbelievable amount of work and now that I've picked it up again the laptop won't connect at all. Clearly I must have changed something, but what? I've tried switching channels from 11 to 6, and I've double checked the WPA password. It's strange. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I switched from using WPA2 to using regular WPA (I started playing online games with my PSP and that can only use WPA) but can the XO Laptop even get online with WPA2?

I also tried another XO Laptop here and it wouldn't connect, and I tried it at my Mother's house which doesn't have any protection whatsoever on its wireless, and it wouldn't connect there either. This is a different issue I think, but it is part of the same problem, that the XO Laptop is unbelievably flighty when it comes to wireless.

What's going on? Are any programmers at OLPC tackling this issue? Before I got my XO Laptop I expected that I'd be using it in coffee shops around town since it's such a nice small computer, but find that I never take it out because I'm so confident that it'll be unable to connect to any wireless hotspots it finds, which is a shame, because its wireless range is so incredible.
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Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby XOaloha » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:33 pm

We're experiencing the same problems & frustrations. I had really hoped to be able to use the laptop for e-mail around town, but it's become an expensive paperweight because it is so difficult to get it to connect to anything.

Would dearly love any suggestions on how to upgrade it from paperweight status to at least being able to check e-mail.
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Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby karen » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:57 pm

Can connect at the local coffee shop, but not at home. Home wifi told me they don't work with Linux. Now what do I do? :)
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Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby klstartup » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:17 am

I have opposite/related problem. Can connect at home (secure Linksys) but not at coffeeshop with open access. I'm totally confused :?
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Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby ektoric » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:06 pm

There are many different symptoms and different problems here, so it's impossible to give one set of suggestions that could work for everyone. But here are some general suggestions:

1) Wireless works fine with Linux. Manufacturers usually say that because they are lazy and haven't tested their product with Linux. But if they even attempted to follow the 802.11(alphabet-soup) spec, then they will work with Linux.

2) If at all possible, get to a place that you can access the web (coffee shop or home), and update to the latest version. If no wireless options are convenient, try a USB Clean install. As of writing the latest official version is 8.2.0 (build 767).

3) If you are having trouble at home, try disabling the wireless security on your router temporarily. If it connect without security, then reenable security with different options. Reboot the XO between each attempt of settings change.

4) If you are successfully connecting at home, but not at a coffee shop, note that there are usually two categories of public hotspots: route based and key based.

Route based hotspots are "open" wifi connections, for which you first connect to the router, then go to their website, login, and their router allows your traffic to flow through. You should be able to "connect" to these without a problem, even though you may not be able to get to your email. Usually the only trick with these is finding a good strong signal with as little interference as possible.

Key based hotspots are those like your home wifi routers where you have to enter a WEP/WPA key just to "connect", which you usually get from the cashier's receipt or something similar. These are far less common, but ironically I've had better success connecting to these.

Unfortunately, I just realized that to this point, all I've said is that they should "just work" without offering any troubleshooting suggestions. Short of poking at it randomly (rebooting, waiting for the mesh to "settle", connecting to one dot then coming back to the one I want) I've also had mixed success.
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Re: Connecting Problems With Home Wireless Networks

Postby cuprum » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:56 am

There's lots of error messages in /var/log/messages

Try to connect, then look at the last few pages of that file before another program generates messages to confuse things.

The messages you most likely care about are from the programs "dhclient" and "NetworkManager".

If you see stuff you just can't understand, post some of it here and someone will probably have an answer.
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