Sony Xperia Tablet Z: WiFi connection issuesAugust 21, 2013
It took a while, but I’ve finally joined the tablet generation ;-)
I actually got my Sony Xperia Tablet Z a couple of weeks back (and I love it!), but as I’ve had issues with continual WiFi connection dropouts, I didn’t want to say much. After the first few days of frustration, I went searching to see if others have had similar issues with WiFi disconnections — and they had. Not everyone, but enough. I followed various options to adjust the settings on my tablet, all to no avail (see the forum posts below).
I also called Sony Support in Australia and they got me to force reset the operating system. Fortunately I didn’t have much on the tablet as this reset/reinstall wiped EVERYTHING (despite me thinking that the backup process I initiated beforehand had actually worked…). I had to download and reinstall all my apps and set up my connections to Outlook Exchange Server etc. But still the WiFi continued to lose connection, even when I was sitting within one metre of the router and the signal was reporting as ‘Excellent’.
Work took over for another week or so, but I finally called Sony Support again yesterday to tell them that the reset hadn’t worked and to ask when the Android 4.2.2 OS would be rolled out to the WiFi-only tablets like mine, in case it helped (I didn’t get an answer to that, BTW). I told Aaron — the helpful guy at Sony — that I’d contacted my PC support people and they’d changed a setting on the router from b,g,n wireless to b,g, but that didn’t work (I changed it back), and that I was already on Channel 6 (i.e. a channel less than 11). I also told him I was loathe to update the firmware on a router that worked fine for absolutely everything else (the WiFi connection for my phone and laptops in the house is fine, and I don’t want to mess with my VPN settings as I’ve got some very critical work coming up in the next few weeks).
Aaron suggested that I try connecting to a local free WiFi hotspot (yeah, but for me that involves a 50 km round trip to get to one!) and see if it still drops out as he suspects it’s the router. But I can’t do that for a while. So meantime, he suggested a free Google Play app, called WiFi Static. He said others with similar issues on their phones etc. had had some success with it, though he couldn’t guarantee anything.
I downloaded and installed the WiFI Static app yesterday, and while I’ve had a couple of dropouts, mostly the connection has remained very stable. Stable enough for me not to get continually frustrated at having to reconnect, which was what was happening before. I’m only on day two of using WiFi Static, and have only had to reconnect about three times. Prior to installing WiFi Static, I would’ve had to reconnect about 20+ times in the same time period.
So if you’re having similar issues, try WiFi Static. It may work for you too.
Once my critical period at work is over, I’ll investigate updating the firmware on my router.
BTW, I don’t have Bluetooth enabled on this tablet yet, so that’s not creating any sort of conflict (for some people on the forums, Bluetooth was a critical factor).
Update one week after the original post: WiFi Static seemed to work fine for a few days, but then I started getting the connection drop-out issues again. Nowhere near as bad as my original experience, but still annoying. On someone’s advice, I also installed the WiFi Analyzer app, which shows which of the channels are good, the strength of the WiFi, available networks etc. It didn’t seem to make any difference, but it was interesting viewing the stats and performance graphs etc.
Update 6 September 2013: Earlier this week, Sony rolled out the Android 4.2.2 update to my tablet. I installed it and wanted to see if it made any difference to the WiFi connection issue. It seemed to, but I wanted to wait several days before jumping to any conclusions. Those several days are now up and I can confirm that I’ve had NO WiFi disconnections since that update was installed. None. Nada. Zip. Whether it was something that changed in Android, or something that Sony changed in the rollout, I don’t know. All I know is that my WiFi connection issues seem to be gone… so far! Further update 1 November 2013: I haven’t had a single connection issue since the upgrade to Android 4.2.2, so it’s all good.
Connection symptoms I had
I had any one or all of these messages when I lost connection:
- No internet connection
- Authentication problem
- Saved, secured with WPA
And the signal strength made no difference — I would get these dropouts when the signal was ‘poor’, ‘good’, and ‘excellent’.
Sometimes it would reconnect automatically if I started using the tablet again after it was asleep; sometimes not. Sometimes it would reconnect and hold connection for some minutes, even an hour or so, when I manually forced the reconnect; sometimes it took 4 or 5 attempts before I could reconnect, and then it might only hold for about 30 seconds.
Forum discussion threads that may be of use
[Links last checked August 2013]