Your experience is not typical (I am glad to say).
Do you have multiple WiFi networks defined in your laptop and are they visible to your laptop at the same time as you are using the T-Mobile Hotspot?
It sounds like the WiFi portion is being dropped by your Notebooks, what is the signal strength of the WiFi signal according to your notebook?
I have experienced interference issues, not with T-Mobile but with my other devices in my home, my cordless phone base station...if too close to my Hotspot would cause the signal and speed to be affected.
And you are trying the net best thing, bypassing WiFi altogether by using the USB connection.
Please let me know how that goes for you, i know that it canwork, working with so many variables (where PCs are involved) the possibiltiies are many.
First, there are several people on this very blog with the same experience, so it probably more "typical" than you think.
I suppose if T-Mobile selling the device, it should work with typical Windows XP notebook which typically has several network profiles on it. Well, it does not really. It keep dropping connection every minute or so.
My signal strength is Very Good to Excellent on computer side and I have all bars and 4G on the Hot Spot , so there is nothing wrong there, unless T-Mobile alter the system to show all bars and good speed all the time, even if it is not so. I have deleted all other network profiles, except Sonic from my notebook Still dropping connection as of Feb. 17 evening. Today Feb 18 Saturday morning it seems to hold connection on one of my notebooks and dropping it little less on another (where I did not delete all network profiles.) I will try it in Brooklyn on Monday to see if it work there and I have third machine there to try it with Sonic.
I hope it work! I need this service, but I'm getting very disappointed with T-Mobile's exaggerated sales claims about their poorly engineered device and underdeveloped 4G network.
I don't know what to think any more!
I just want for the device and service to work as it should for the money I paid!
Here is an update on the situation.
I tried Sonic Hot Spot in Brooklyn NY. Signal was excellent but the device keep dropping connection every few minutes on all three machines. It did work stable on USB connection but the speed was slow due to USB port limitations. I really don’t know why it does not work in wireless mode. In fact it did drop connection three times while I write this post.
Does anybody know what to do in this situation?
Is my device defective and should be exchanged?
Any good advice will be appreciated!
Here is update on update. Tried to send an email to T-Mobile support, - get auto-reply with no-reply email address. Tried to go to Live Chat with T-Mobile Support, - no one on the other end. All answer I was able to get from T-Mobile is reply from dthomps4 in a spirit of “our device is all right and your computer is wrong"! Well, I have three of them and they all can’t hold connection with Sonic Hot Spot. And I want to reiterate, I'm not talking about speed here. I just want a steady connection that could allow me to browse websites without interruption on two notebooks at the same time, or say, make a Skype call. That's it.
My exchange and return window is running out in a few days, so I need to make some decision soon.
Please give me some useful advice on what to do in this situation.
Reading the above, I gather the issue is happening from multiple locations, regardless of signal and regardless of application you are using, correct? If that is the case, I would recommend exchanging the device for another one - a hardware defect is certainly a possibility. If hardware replacement does not help, then I would be at a loss - I experience symptoms like what you describe, but only in certain geographic locations and certain indoor environments, typically when signal strength is poor.
I really can't figure out what is wrong with my Sonic Hot Spot. Nobody seems to know anything about the problem I'm having.
I will probably try to exchange it, unless I find some other solution. I have two concerns about exchange though. First, I don't want to pay restocking fee (which is $50); because it is not my fault that device is not working. Second I don't want to get some refurbished device, or worse yet some device that somebody already returned once.
I really don't like to deal with people at T-Mobile shop. They are not very helpful with any technical questions. For example, when I asked what is the speed of 4G network, the only answer I got was, - “it is fast." It took them 15 minutes to figure if I can connect my computer to Sonic Hot Spot using USB port. Every time I go there I'm in for some surprise, unless I’m very alert and read every letter of what they give me to sign, no matter how much time it will take and ask a lot of questions and check everything twice. I'm trying to avoid going there. It's look like I have no choice but to go there this time.
I will wait a few more days until I try to exchange it, so if anybody knows any solution to the problem, I'm willing to try it.
With so many variables at play is difficult to provide the cure right out of the gate.
The connection by USB was stable but slow? What was the speed you were seeing?
Your testing with USB does indicate the connection between T-Mobile and the Hotspot is stable, the issue would then reside in the WiFi link between your PC and the Hotspot.
Do all three laptops you are using have the same software/security software/connection manager? Are they identical?
If you had another device that uses WiFi it would be interesting to try that and see if you have a stable connection.
It it is stable that would point to your PC environment is the culprit.
Given the end of your trail period is fast approaching I agree with dives425 and return to a store and try another device. If possible bring one of your laptops to test it right there.
We want you to have a great experience and want to help you resolve your issue.
I am having the exact same problem. I connect to the brand new 4G Sonic Hot Spot from my Windows 7 laptop via WiFi. The WiFi signal is full bars, and the T-Mobiles bars on the Hot Spot are full. Randomly, I'm notified on my laptop that I've lost internet connectivity, even though I'm still connected to the Hot Spot. If I manually disconnect the Wifi then reconnect, internet connectivity is restored.
This loss of internet connectivity happens in a few minutes (2-3), so this is not the default 30 minute timeout kicking in (which I have not changed).
This is frustrating beyond description. Please advise on next steps.
What connection manager are you using on your laptop?
Do you have any programs on your laptop for other connection devices? (USB data sticks for example)
We have seen issues with laptop environemnts running multiple connection managers and program 1 interupts program 2...dropping a connection.
Are you using the laptop when it fails or is it during idle time?
Is it any specific program or just normal browsing?
When you reconnect do you have to enter your password?
Have you tried to use the USB connection to your Laptop? (if so what was the result?)
Trying to isolate where the issue may reside
My USB connection was slow not because of Sonic, but because of USB2 port limitations I think. In my observation there is nothing wrong with connection between Hot Spot and T-Mobile network. Speed is very fast when connection holds and there all bars and 4G on a Hot Spot. All my three notebooks are from Dell and running Windows XP, they are all different models and generations. All working just fine with any other wireless router or device. I do not think they have the same connection manager/software.
I understand that it is a company policy to blame anything else but the product, but in my opinion two things could be wrong here,- either Sonic don’t have a correct driver to connect to my notebooks, or the radio that connects Sonic to my machine is defective. I more incline to think that it is a software problem. If it is, I would rather find a solution than do a monkey job of swapping devices. As I mentioned, I don’t like dealing with my local shop very much. (they mostly all the same really). I really hope that I could find the way to make it work.
If not, I will look up the exact 14 day cut of date on my receipt and I will try to exchange it a few days before the dead line. If another device is the same way I would have time to return it and terminate the contract. As I understand the return/exchange window is 14 days for the device, but you also have 14 days if you decide to terminate the contract regardless how many devices you tried. If you get a new device you have a new 14 days to return/exchange it but in 14 days from original sign up you can’t dump your contract anymore, even if device still not working.
I don’t think it is a good idea to bring my notebook to the shop, other than demonstrate what happen. T-Mobile employees at the shop are not knowledgeable in any technical aspects, they only skillful in slipping some unnecessary insurance or service on your account to up your bill. IMHO
I would encourage you to bring your laptop to the store and make sure that if the Sonic is replaced that your problem goes away to.
In your trouble shooting steps
" I will try to connect it try USB port to make sure it is not any wireless card/setup problem. If it would keep dropping out on USB connection then it is likely a T-Mobile network problem"
You tried it by USB and it worked (the USB 2.0 supports speeds up to 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s), we know that the connection between T-Mobile and the hotspot is OK.
Some additional considerations (before replacing the device)
In your other wireless networks that you connect to, are any of them using WPA2 for security?
The places you mentioned are typically open networks, you get sent to a web page and log in (at the most) but no authentication password like WPA2
Perhaps going into the admin screen and changing the security to WEP and see if that makes any difference to the stability.
I do use WEP security at home and in the office and at another location in Brooklyn. I do know how to use password protected security enabled networks. I think connection between Hot Spot and T-Mobile network is OK, but wireless connection between Hot Spot and computer still keep dropping out. I think it is some kind of software problem. Just don't try to tell me again "Your computer is wrong and our device is all right." It just offend my intelligence and do nothing to resolve the problem. If you know some steps I should do to make the device work, I'm all ears!
I am sorry if you perceive my comments as offending your inteligence, I have no idea what your intelligence is and would never assume anything.
I want to resolve your problem as badly as you do, a paying customer helps contribute to my salary, an upset customer leaves and tells their friends..not contributing to my salary. Nothing in that formula would want me to do anything less than help you out to the outmost of my abilities (and call upon others within the organization if I am unable to). I would rather we determine we cannot help you (before your 14 days) but know we tried to resolve the issue than to have you keep the device and be upset with it.
I have not ruled out the device as being defective, in earlier messages I have requested that you replace the device (but bring your laptop) to make sure the replacement resolves your problem.
I reread my post to make sure I did not state my question in a negative way
"Perhaps going into the admin screen and changing the security to WEP and see if that makes any difference to the stability."
Since you have been using WEB security to connect to your other networks and the SONIC is using WPA2..that is a a major difference, it could be the reason why you are having these issues.
So with your help Alex would you be willing to change the authentication on the Sonic to WPA and see if this improves the stability of the WiFi connection?
I have offered an additional step to try before replacing your device, I hope you you feel that I have treated you with the respect that you deserve
In the event that the stability is not achieved I continue to recommend that you have the device replaced.
And to give you some idea of my support and desire to help you.....I finished working 3 hours ago but wanted to help you out and i do so with a smile and the sincere hope that you find a solution.
I'm not using a Connection Manager, just using the WiFi capability built into Win 7. The disconnects happen with everything, not just one program/type of traffic. Will try with USB to see if anything changes, but I need to be able to use this over WiFi. I have the same problems when trying to use it w/my iPad, by the way.
This is particularly insidious because sometimes it seems to work just fine, and others the connection to the internet won't stay up longer than a minute before Windows reports I've lost internet access (but I'm still connected to the Hot Spot via WiFi).