Mobile Hotspot (the LEGAL version)

revelated

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Verizon Mobile Hotspot - WPA2 slows it down

SO I ran the RAZR HD through its paces today - as I figured I would try it to see if it could hold up vs. spending extra for the MAXX.

The good news is that it got really close.

  • I left hotspot on all day long, using it to stream SKY.FM from my Kindle all day and my regular Nexus tablet for internet.
  • I left Bluetooth on all day long.
  • I left GPS on all day long.
  • Screen brightness at half way.
  • Didn't touch the phone except to make three 5 minute phone calls.
From that I reached 10 hours before I ran out of juice. That's not "great" but it's still somewhat impressive.

The problem: the phone's 4G performance tanked when it was hotspot connected. I confirmed this by doing a speed test from both the phone and the Nexus. Instead of the usual 12 down and 12 up, was down to barely 3 down and 3 up, and the SKY.FM stream kept cutting out. Latency was through the roof. This is in an area that my RAZR MAXX has *never* struggled with. Phone was also hotter than expected.

This is distressing, because if it can't do a hotspot correctly without struggling, I'll be forced to go back to the old MAXX.

Anyone else having any issue with the hotspot?

UPDATE: I found out after testing that WPA2 was the culprit. It completely nerfs the data speed on the phone if you use it.
 
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FoxKat

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An interesting assessment. Some questions to see if we can nail down the less than stellar results;
  1. Was the phone in the same geographical area that you've been used to successful results from the MAXX?
  2. What (if any) additional apps or widgets have you installed and/or are running in the background?
  3. With the screen on half-brightness, was the screen "waking up" infrequently or was it either off or on constantly?
  4. How long have you had this phone, or in other words, how long has it been since it was initially activated?
With some basic troubleshooting we may be able to identify one or more reasons why it didn't perform as well as the MAXX. Given the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-Core processor, it should perform comparably well on battery life even with the same sized battery, larger screen and higher resolution.
 
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UPDATE: I figured out the problem. WPA2 kills the speeds for some reason. I expect some slowdown with WPA2 but not that bad and definitely not only the downstream. I'm curious if anyone else can replicate this issue or if it's just this phone being defective, because then I'll swap it out. If others can replicate it (Tethergate), should get the word out for others as I hate adding MAC addresses manually.


An interesting assessment. Some questions to see if we can nail down the less than stellar results;

And I have more data, so that's good.

  1. Was the phone in the same geographical area that you've been used to successful results from the MAXX?

Yes, in my car on the way to work, at work, and in the car on the way home. Same exact routine I've been doing since March.

  1. What (if any) additional apps or widgets have you installed and/or are running in the background?

Nothing. It's out of the box. If anything there's less running - I never set up TouchDown on this phone so I don't have push corporate email (which is a battery killer). In fact I haven't really installed many apps on it. No widgets besides the Circles widget that comes on it. I checked running apps using the Task Manager app from the store, and the only two things running that are out of whack are the Backup Assistant+ Media and Sync Service apps. Can't be disabled, can't be terminated. Every other app is basic stuff: Homescreen, Google Account Manager, Clock, etc.

  1. With the screen on half-brightness, was the screen "waking up" infrequently or was it either off or on constantly?

Off. All the time off except for intermittent power ons to check the time and/or reset the data when it dropped.

  1. How long have you had this phone, or in other words, how long has it been since it was initially activated?

As of now, 2 full days, 2 full charges. Haven't done a full discharge and recharge. Have done a factory reset.

With some basic troubleshooting we may be able to identify one or more reasons why it didn't perform as well as the MAXX. Given the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-Core processor, it should perform comparably well on battery life even with the same sized battery, larger screen and higher resolution.

So today's experiment yielded poorer results. I managed to just eek out 9 hours. That was with the screen brightness at one notch above the lowest. Also, I notice the downstream is significantly slower than the upstream but only on the hotspot. The phone itself is fine, it seems. Pings are not out of whack this time, I think that was a channel issue which I resolved.

In the two attachments the first is from the phone, the second is from my Nexus 7 that is connected via hotspot. Clearly, there is an issue somewhere. The Nexus 7 has no issues connecting via hotspot to the RAZR MAXX, so there's got to be something funky going on with the RAZR HD.

View attachment 57503View attachment 57501
 
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FoxKat

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For sure, those results are disappointing. The terrible throughput you are experiencing on the Nexus 7 are not what I am accustomed to - even using the third party sharing tools.

As much as I cringe when typing this, did you contact Verizon Wireless Technical Support...I mean, you are PAYING for that Hotspot feature, so it SHOULD work AT LEAST as well as the third party hack tools.

Keep us appraised.

Good luck! :biggrin:
 
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For sure, those results are disappointing. The terrible throughput you are experiencing on the Nexus 7 are not what I am accustomed to - even using the third party sharing tools.

As much as I cringe when typing this, did you contact Verizon Wireless Technical Support...I mean, you are PAYING for that Hotspot feature, so it SHOULD work AT LEAST as well as the third party hack tools.

Keep us appraised.

Good luck! :biggrin:

I hate dealing with them. Factory reset this, clear data this, clear cache this...doesn't get to the root of the problem.

I've decided to just deal with leaving WPA2 off and I'll go in on Saturday to the Verizon store and ask about it but my hopes aren't up. I'm also still on the fence about going full-on MAXX instead of the regular RAZR. Today I got about 13 hours BUT I wasn't streaming music all day, only half of the day as I got sidetracked with other things. So accounting for that I figure it's right around 10 hours which isn't bad, but less than expected. But with WPA2 off the experience was well within expectations and speeds were consistently beautiful - so there's definitely something not right on the WPA2.

As a side, FoxFi was even worse. ISDN speeds even.
 

KevGuillot

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Im having this exact problem. Its not just your phone. If you connect it usb tethering the speed is fine but wifi hotspot speed is very slow. Id like to know what's up also.
 

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Frontier Telecomm just replaced my home DSL router/WiFi Westel 7500 box with new Netgear 7550 router that does WPA2. GUESS WHAT? My Tablet speed sucked with WPA2! Switched new router to WEP 64BIT and performance returned. The extra encryption of WPA2 chokes throughput without a really fast processor. Even running WEP 128BIT will slow you down.

Chris
 
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Frontier Telecomm just replaced my home DSL router/WiFi Westel 7500 box with new Netgear 7550 router that does WPA2. GUESS WHAT? My Tablet speed sucked with WPA2! Switched new router to WEP 64BIT and performance returned. The extra encryption of WPA2 chokes throughput without a really fast processor. Even running WEP 128BIT will slow you down. Chris
I consider myself an expert in 802.11 and while WPA and WPA2 do slow speeds, they should not slow them THAT bad as seen in my screenshots. That's a radio issue. Methinks the hotspot radio is underpowered and incapable of keeping up with the 2-way communication properly. My RAZR MAXX did not have this problem at all, so I know it's with the phone, and if others are seeing the same, it's like a "Tethergate" like I suspected. As a side, I've been running with no WPA2 and it's been working almost like the MAXX with WPA2 on. I'm going to swap for the MAXX HD though because while I can last 10 hours in my current use, I simply crave more. I'll do without the white as much as it pains me.
 
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Snoking

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Well with WEP my Acer Iconia A200 will do 2.6 down and on WPA2 it did around 800kb!
 
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Well with WEP my Acer Iconia A200 will do 2.6 down and on WPA2 it did around 800kb!
The A200 is also a sub-$200 device. The RAZR HD is a $600 device. Also, again, the regular RAZR and RAZR MAXX had absotively no issues whatsoever with hotspot via WPA2. Where I might expect 20 down and up, I might get..say...12 down and up. That's more than acceptable for the encryption. What I should NOT see is ISDN speeds from a 4G hotspot. Ever. Definitely not in Western Washington where 4G literally saturates the place.
 

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Well maybe this Frontier 7550 Netgear DSL WiFi router has a problem running WPA2. I will have to switch it back and try my Rezound. Chris
 

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Ok, apples and oranges. Switched router back to WPA2. Rezound ran 2.5m down. Try Acer again at 1.4. Notice Rezound used Denver server and Acer used Lynnwood, Wa. Forced Acer to Denver and got 2.4m. Not all servers are equal, Lynnwood is 55 miles away and Denver 1400! Lesson learned, has to be oranges to oranges(problem with that other word). Chris
 
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See below. I went and traded for the MAXX HD (the girl had trouble with the swap, but the fact she was really good looking and her and her colleague kept flirting with me was a plus to help pass the time). With WPA2 engaged, the phone works perfectly fine and speeds are well within expectations. So either the regular RAZR HD is affected only or there are bad units out there.

Can always depend on the MAXX to get the job done. I will never love another.

View attachment 57920
 
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