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SpikeW
Beginner
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Message 1 of 9

Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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I have an annoying problem that I've been trying to solve for ages, so I thought I'd ask here.

 

I have a BT mobile subscription that allows me to use BTWifi-with-FON nodes anywhere in the UK. The Android app doesn't work with BTWifi-X nodes, but that's a different matter.

 

Since my Windows (v7) PC is within range of a hotspot, I also use the subscription for random Internet stuff at home. And this is where things get odd.

 

When I connect to the BTWifi-with-FON hotspot, the SSID shows as (e.g.) "BTWifi-with-FON 7". It works fine once logged in and all the usual stuff. But then the connection will suddenly drop and reconnect. Most of the time it's fine, but sometimes it'll reconnect without Internet access and with a godawful slow connection.

 

I check the connection and it's suddenly on (e.g.) "BTWifi-with-FON 5".

 

So I disconnect and reconnect, it goes back to (in this example) number 7 and everything works again.

 

This doesn't happen on Android: the connection may drop but it always reconnects properly on its own.

 

So my question is twofold:

 

1. How do I stop this happening?

2. If I can't stop it happening, how can I tell Windows to connect to the "7" node EVERY TIME instead of the "5" that sucks? They don't show as separate connections, obviously. 🙂

 

Any insight appreciated.

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yacoboy
Beginner
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Message 2 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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Hi, you could try forgetting the "5" network in the windows settings.

Network & Internet settings > wifi > manage known networks > Forget

BTWifi-with-FON is insecure and I wouldn't really recommend using it unless you have to. You CAN connect to BTWifi-X if you are technically minded and have access to an iPhone or iPad, here's a useful guide: https://neilalexander.eu/articles/2017/2/27/bt-wifi

Why BT don't support secure wifi for all platforms is beyond me, it's just laziness from their technical team, forcing their uses to jump through hoops.

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SpikeW
Beginner
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Message 3 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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It's not a separate network SSID.

 

My only option is "BTWifi-with-FON". Once I'm connected, it shows the number, which is presumably some kind of sub-node or something. It's not a separate connection: that would be easy. 🙂

 

I'll have a look at that page, thank you: I don't have any iOS devices, but I know someone I can trust who does. That might solve things on its own (and it'd be nice to have extra security!).

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yacoboy
Beginner
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Message 4 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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Yeah not sure why it gives you a seperate network number, maybe its another hub on a different channel?

 

Usually multiple hubs's SSID's should merge together into one, but when your pc switches the hub it is connected to you would have to reauthenticate and log in to wifi again if using the FON SSID.

 

If you use the BTWifi-X SSID, your login auth details are included in the certificate you provide to connect, so you don't even have to login, it's seamless. That would be your best bet. 🙂

 

 

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SpikeW
Beginner
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Message 5 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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Guessed a similar thing from the "one SSID, multiple numbers" thing, but wondered if there was something like a MAC address that would identify the sub-whatever and allow me to lock on. Very annoying when it keeps switching.

Hopefully the -X setup will help, but even if I've reauthenticated on both sub-nodes (yes, that works - I get a login request when it switches from (in the example) 7 to 5), one is always horrifically slow and dodgy. I wish it'd just stick to the one I logged in on originally and stop switching on a whim!

Currently seeing if there are any decent iOS emulators for Windows. Nobody I know has enough money to pay for Apple devices. 😄

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XRaySpeX
Recognised Expert
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Message 6 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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@SpikeW wrote:

the SSID shows as (e.g.) "BTWifi-with-FON 7".


I think you'll find that is not the SSID.

 

  • The SSID is "BTWifi-with-FON" & is unchanging set by the hotspot.
  • "BTWifi-with-FON 7" is an internal network name given to it by Windows when you view it thro' Network and Sharing Centre. It appears to derived from the SSID but sometimes upon new connections to the same SSID the no. at the end appears or changes. This Win network name can be found in the registry under one of Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles\{ID} as a ProfileName where you could change it to whatever you like.

P.S. This isn't a BT Mobile query but a Windows one wherever that goes.

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SpikeW
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Message 7 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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Well, that didn't work.

 

Apparently I don't exist because I'm a mobile-only user and the iOS app wants an @btinternet type of address I don't have.

 

However, after discussing with an old schoolfriend who has an iOS device (I found someone!), he suggested switching off auto-connect. He's an IT guy like me so thinks sideways sometimes: the connection's presumably switching because it thinks the "5" option is better, so stop it switching.

 

Since I lose connection and have to manually reconnect if it switches anyway, there's no real loss in letting it just drop (if it's an actual connection problem). Same result, less annoyance, but hopefully a better result because it'll stick to the one it's connected to instead of chasing shiny new options.

 

Smart. Trying that now.


XRaySpeX: thanks for that - LOADS of profiles in there, including several of the "7"s that work. So - at a guess - it's an internal name as you say, but could be any number of individual routers in peoples' homes (that's what BT does, I believe), so the fact that "7" seems to work could be totally random and, therefore, unreliable to lock in on. Bah!

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SpikeW
Beginner
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Message 8 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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Update: zero disconnects since switching off auto-connect. It's stalled a couple of times, but not lost contact.

Looks like we have a winner! 😄

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SpikeW
Beginner
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Message 9 of 9

Re: Locking on to a BTWifi node in Windows

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So this is still happening and there's still no solution.

It's utterly infuriating because there's obviously some kind of "stronger signal" logic at play but it's demented and complete **bleep**.

It chooses node 10,  connects to the Internet. Roughly 90 seconds later, it disconnects and switches to node 7, which won't connect to the Internet.

If I restart the connection, it goes back to node 10 and does the same thing again.

If I leave it, it takes 5 minutes or so to figure out it has no connection, connects to node 10 and does the same thing again.

Where's the logic for "this one's working, stay here" and "this one isn't working, stop connecting to it"?! Seriously annoying.

Oh, and no -X connections are available because I don't have a BT ID because I'm a second-rate citizen (I only have their mobile option, no fixed broadband). 😕

 

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