Wi-Fi

The Surface Pro 3 is an impressive device. In my full review, I gave much personal praise for the all-in-one hybrid computer, though, like all things, there is room for improvement. One bug that I've seen a handful of times is being acknowledged by Microsoft now in their support forums.

The problem in question arises when the Surface Pro 3 wakes up from sleep. In rare circumstances, the Wi-Fi and network connections driver are missing after the low power state using InstantGo (previously known as Connected Standby). The problem is easily solved by restarting the Surface, which takes only around five seconds, but it can be irritating and inconvenient.

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Internet can almost be called the lifeblood of our society; if the internet goes down or our phones lose signal, it is like a part of us dies. Whether you view the aforementioned statement as a glum view of today’s society or an undoubtable truth – we are going to make sure you get internet onto your tablet or PC as long as you have a Windows Phone by your side.

We are going to dive into two different methods to get LOLcats and the rest of the internet to your PC. The first involves using your phone’s built in tethering ability and carrier support to get the job done; the second involves a bit of a proxy configuration, but we will be sure to walk you through both.

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Microsoft has issued an advisory warning concerning a Windows Phone vulnerability when connecting to rogue Wi-Fi networks.

The issue at hand rests in a Wi-Fi authentication scheme (PEAP-MS-CHAPv2) which our Windows Phones use to access protected wireless networks. Cryptographic weaknesses in the technology can allow an attacker to recover a Windows Phone encrypted domain credentials (passwords) when it connects to a rogue access point.

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Yesterday, Microsoft announced that new updates for their Surface tablet devices were being pushed. The updates being pushed include Wi-Fi connectivity improvements, a new Surface USB to Ethernet adapter driver, a collection of improvements for both the Touch and Type Covers, an updated LifeCam driver, and new device firmware.

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Find your hotspot with Boingo for Windows 8

Boingo is a Wi-Fi service that has over 600,000 commercial hotspots around the globe. If you are a Boingo subscriber, the company has recently released a hotspot finder for your Windows 8 device. From Windows 8 laptops to tablets, the Boingo Wi-Finder app will help you find the closest Boingo hotspot in your area.

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It’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft’s semi-regular time to push out OS and software updates to our computers. Today is no different, and if you’re on Windows 8 you’ll get at least 13 important updates (83MB) and if you’re on Surface, you’re looking at 14 patches (38-118MB) and a firmware update. (Some of that will vary for you as different Office 2010 and Office 2013 updates are included.)

So what’s new? Well, the biggest news is that Microsoft has enabled Flash to work now in Internet Explorer 10 for RT. If you recall, Microsoft only allowed a few, specific websites with Flash to work on Internet Explorer 10 citing performance and battery life reasons. There was even a neat little work around that you could do yourself to bypass this. Now, Microsoft have reversed that decision, which they say is due to more sites becoming IE10 compatible.

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The ability to keep Wi-Fi on while the display is off is a Windows Phone OS update not limited to HTC.

With China just launching the Nokia Lumia 920T, information is slowly leaking out about some of the differences between it and the current versions of the flagship phone already on the market.

In images posted on the site WPXAP, we can confirm the existence of two added features that greatly enhance the user experience. The first one is the “Keep Wi-Fi Alive” ability, which we documented yesterday on the just released HTC 8S. At the time, we were uncertain if that feature was an HTC customization or part of an updated build to Windows Phone 8 (10211). As it turns out, it appears to be the latter as the 920T is sporting the same Wi-Fi settings screen.

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We’re not one to delve too deep into the various Wi-Fi security profiles out there. For one, we’re speaking out of league and can’t offer pros/cons to each one and two, it’s just not something we hear a lot of from our readers. But there are a few of you out there and for them, certain protocols like EAP-TLS is important.

The good news is that Microsoft is conscious of the need for EAP-TLS for Wi-Fi security (especially important for enterprise) and it looks like it will come to Windows Phone at some point, but it’s not high on their priority list...

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If there's one area where have heard a lot of complaints on it's the WiFi function on Windows Phone.

The problem is a bit niche but it has frustrated quite a few of you ever since 2010. That "problem" is when the phone goes to the Lock screen, WiFi automatically disconnects. Obviously Microsoft had good intentions in mind here with power-saving as the chief concern. But recently, evidence and personal anecdotes seem to betray the idea that turning off WiFi (when not in use) saves battery.

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From homebrew to err...publicbrew

A few days ago we reported on a new homebrew app called Keep Alive from Windows Phone Hacker. The app basically pings a server every once in awhile to maintain a constant Wi-Fi connection. It’s better than having to reconnect to your Wi-Fi connection each time you turn the display back on and has little impact on battery.

The app though was homebrew meaning only those with developer-unlocked phones could take part by sideloading the XAP file. Since the program itself does not use any illegal hooks, Jaxbot, the developer behind it has submitted it to the Marketplace and almost surprisingly it has passed.

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We’ve covered the whole how-to-keep-your-Wi-Fi-alive issue before on Windows Phone Central. It was first realized that some apps keep the data-connection channel open which then allows your Wi-Fi to stay on when the phone is placed in standby (screen off).

Then a bloke over at XDA Forums created an app to mimic that scenario and it worked quite well except for the fact that it appeared to play a dummy song in your music controls.

Jaxbot from Windows Phone Hacker has now thrown his hat in the ring with Keep Alive. It too is a homebrew app that does not require root, meaning regular ‘dev unlocked’ phones can use it but it uses a slightly different method. Instead of pretending to stream a dummy song, Jaxbot evidently has set up his own server which then keeps your phone connected—data is kept at a minimum as it is just using pings to keep the connection open.

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Earlier this morning we reported on a neat little trick that a few Windows Phone apps can do which is keep your Wi-Fi connection active even when the display is powered off.

That’s pretty useful feature for some people who are using a public Wi-Fi access point that requires you to “accept” the terms of service each time you re-connect. On a Windows Phone, every time you turn the display off it kills the Wi-Fi connection meaning you are forced to reconnect which can be problematic--even more so if you’re downloading some files.

Over at XDA, developer Ha Mai Tung (WinPhoneViet.com) has created a neat little homebrew app called Keep WiFi Alive which exploits the trick that some audio apps use. The app creates a fake music stream that makes the OS “think” it is downloading music, thereby keeping the Wi-Fi connection active.  The app is simple to use—just launch and hit the button.  To disable you can either turn off Wi-Fi in Settings or restart the phone.

Demo of Keep WiFi Alive

The app is homebrew, meaning you’ll need a developer unlocked device (either AppHub or Chevron) and does not require interop access, meaning many of you can use it if you can sideload the XAP. It’s still in beta form so there could be some bugs and of course battery usage will presumably increase, so be warned.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily, Plaffo

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Windows Phone is very careful with how much power it uses. Normal behaviour for the OS is that whilst running on battery it will drop the Wi-Fi connection after a short period in order to conserve as much juice as possible. We have seen reports that point the finger at some apps which are seemingly overriding normal power saving behaviour. Is this a feature or a bug, I decided to do some tests.

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One complaint we've seen in regards to Windows Phone 7 is when people have tried to set up Wi-Fi on their secured home network. In short, there is no easy easy way to grab your MAC address for configurations that require it.

Luckily in this case, the Samsung Focus is different from the others by having a diagnostic screen that reveals this info. The directions are easy enough, as described by Mobility Minded, reminiscent of older tricks from Windows Mobile:

  • Go to the Phone section (as if you were going to make a call)
  • Enter ##634# and select “Call“
  • It did not call anything. There should now be a “Diagnosis” option on the top of your screen;
  • Go to Diagnosis and a keypad comes up and enter *#1234# –It should bring up a menu that includes the WiFi Mac Address

Source: Mobility Minded; via wmpoweruser

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Review: WiFi Hero

There is no question that mobile technology has taken off over the last couple of years. The evolution of wireless technologies and the devices that use them have gone hand in hand. As cellular signals improve, less and less people rely on more traditional connectivity technologies like Wi-Fi. There are those of us however, that live on 802.11 based networks. If you’ve spent any time using the built in Wi-Fi configuration tools in Windows Mobile, the experience has probably left you looking for a bottle of mouthwash.

Panoramic Software’s WiFi Hero is one of the myriad of applications that seeks to fill a void left by Windows Mobile. Obviously, the niche filled by this particular application is that of Wi-Fi configuration. While it’s not the most glamorous of applications, it does fill a need for a very reasonable $2.95.

Stick around for the full rundown.

 

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