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WiFi Diagnostics for Your BlackBerry PlayBook

Because of the importance of WiFi to the BlackBerry PlayBook, the operating system includes a very detailed set of diagnostic and testing tools. Here you can find out more than you ever thought you might want to know about WiFi (or to be able to provide information to a support technician).

To get to the diagnostics, do the following:

  1. Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the home screen.

  2. Tap the WiFi tab on the left side of the screen.

    You’ll see the WiFi panel.

  3. Tap the WiFi bars that have the embedded question mark.

    This opens the first of a number of troubleshooting pages.

  4. Tap the Diagnostic Information arrow and choose an option.

    • WiFi Information. Information here includes the current connection status. Assuming an active link, you’ll see the name of the SSID (the identifier used by the router), information about its communication and security methods, and the Signal Level being received, expressed in dBm; received signals are negative numbers, and the closer they are to 0 dBm the stronger they are.

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    • Internet Connection. The report tells you details of the hardware at the router.

    • Logs. This geeky treasure trove of information is something a technician might use. The logs can be copied to a file and then sent by e-mail for review.

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    • Ping. This isn’t a video game. This tool sends short messages to a test site and then calculates the time it takes for a response. Shorter is better than longer. You can compare the ping results across differing WiFi networks or locations; the information can be affected by network congestion and other conditions.

    • Traceroute. This tool allows you to enter an IP address or a web domain name and then see how many hops it takes to reach the address. You have no control over the route, but it does tell you whether a particular domain requires a great deal of digital gymnastics to reach.

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