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Troubleshooting Connectivity

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Questions to Ask for Root Cause Analysis

We do our best to help customers when they have network performance complaints. Most often our customers have problems with WiFi access points or insufficient Internet bandwidth to meet demand from the organization’s employees and applications.

The following list of questions may be helpful in targeting the root cause of network performance issues.

Problems with handheld devices

  • Do problems occur on one device, some devices, or all devices? Have you tried with another model of device?
  • Are there specific devices or device models that users prefer to use, because they seem to perform better?
  • Have you tried the same operations using TAMobile 6 Desktop? This is a version of TAMobile 6 that runs on a PC.
    • Does it perform the same, better or worse than a rugged handheld?
    • If TAMobile 6 Desktop performs well, then it might be an issue with the speed or age of the handheld devices, or the wireless network the rugged device is using.

Problems with computer workstations

  • Do TrackAbout website users using a browser on a computer have speed or connectivity issues?
    • If users on PCs are using a wired LAN (as opposed to WiFi), and they have no performance problems using the web site, then investigations should probably focus on WiFi.

WiFi (wireless LAN or WLAN)

  • Are there adequate WiFi access points to cover the required area?
  • Are there slow zones or dead spots?
  • How old are the WiFi access points? Are they being maintained properly, with firmware updates from the manufacturer?
  • Can handheld devices quickly and reliably switch between access points as the user moves between zones?
  • Are there too many devices using the same access points, such that competition among devices is causing problems?
  • Are there other devices in the area that might be disrupting WiFi signals (devices that broadcast in the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz range, such as microwave ovens)?
  • Has a WiFi site survey been conducted by a qualified team or company?

The local-area network (wired LAN)

  • Is the LAN reliable?
  • Is the LAN provisioned with enough network capacity (bandwidth) to handle all applications being used?
  • Is the LAN segmented so all company applications aren't running through the same choke points?
  • Is it possible to dedicate a VLAN with Quality of Service (QoS) features enabled to ensure adequate bandwidth is provided to TrackAbout? Does the local network even support QoS features?

The bridge from LAN to Internet

Traffic destined for TrackAbout must exit the corporate network onto the Internet.

  • Is mobile device network traffic being VPNed to another site before exiting onto the Internet? Can traffic be routed directly to the Internet instead of over a VPN?
  • Is there enough Internet bandwidth for all employees and applications?
  • What is your Internet utilization percentage? In other words, how much of the total amount of bandwidth your company pays for is being used at peak usage times?
  • Are you near or exceeding your bandwidth cap? Your ISP could be slowing down your Internet intentionally. This is called "throttling".
  • Does the organization understand which applications are using the Internet and how much bandwidth they each consume throughout the day?
  • Are there any employees or applications consuming too much Internet bandwidth, not leaving enough for TrackAbout?
  • Is your network configured to blacklist sites that are known to consume a lot of bandwidth (video streaming in particular)?
  • Is there a redundant Internet service provider or only a single provider? How reliable is the Internet in general?
  • Are there local tools available to monitor the health of the local network and connectivity to the Internet?

Cellular Networks

  • Are mobile devices using cellular networks?
  • Is there sufficient bandwidth and coverage?
  • Are mobile devices taking too long to give up on out-of-range WiFi networks before cutting over to Cellular, and vice-versa.
  • Check to see if the port being used by TrackAbout is the issue. TrackAbout System Requirements#Firewall and Proxy Requirements

Patterns of Application Behavior

  • Are ALL company locations experiencing performance issues or only one, or some? Do these locations share a common exit point onto the Internet?
  • Are ALL TrackAbout operations slow, or only some operations?
  • Which operations seem slow? (syncing, maintenance, filling, deliveries)
  • Is performance always below expectation or only sometimes?
  • Are there specific times of day when performance is better or worse?
    • Are there any other factors that can be correlated with poor TrackAbout performance? Especially useful here would be total Internet bandwidth utilization percentage over time, correlated with times when TrackAbout seems slow.
  • Do only certain employees have problems?
    • Sometimes the problem can lie with the employee and not the technology.

No Internet Connectivity from Device

If one device is having trouble connecting to the Internet:

  • The best connectivity test is going to be the one performed on the same or similar device or computer as the one having problems, and on the exact same network subnet or wifi access point. For a computer on a physical network, this means plugging a different or separate laptop or other wired device into the same network port as the machine having the problem in order to test speed and connectivity. For a wireless device, it means connecting a reliable device to the same WiFi access point as the device having problems.
  • Check if the issue is only affecting one device or many. Check if other devices using the same network have issues too.
    • If only one device is having problems, but other devices are fine, clearly the issue lies with the device having problems.
  • Contact your IT department or contractor.
  • For small companies, you might reboot your Internet modem and/or routers if you can do so without disturbing operations, wait 5 minutes and try again. If problems persist, contact your internet service provider.

Internet Speed Tests

Are you getting the speed you're paying for? A speed-test web site can tell you whether you're able to download and upload at the speeds you are paying for. However, know that when you run the test, you are competing with all other Internet traffic taking place in the company. Therefore, these tests will be most accurate when run at a time when Internet usage is at its lowest point in the company.

These are popular US-based Internet speed tests. Your country may have its own favorites.

Internet is working, but TrackAbout is not

Check our Status Page

Check the TrackAbout Status Page at http://status.trackabout.com

  • While at this site, please subscribe to notifications and updates so you will be informed when TrackAbout is conducting maintenance or having an outage.
  • If TrackAbout is experiencing an outage, our engineers are likely already working on restoring the service. You may contact the Support team.
  • Our status page indicates whether the application web site and the mobile sync services are basically UP or DOWN. It does NOT guarantee performance of all subsystems is optimal. It only monitors and measures basic tests.
  • The System Metrics section shows independent, third-party external tests (Pingdom).

Check TrackAbout with a Testing Service

Use "Down for Everyone or Just Me" to check if the issue might be just your location or geographical region, or affecting everyone: http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/www.trackabout.com

Test Connectivity using TAMobile 6

Check Internet access using TrackAbout TAMobile

  • Launch TAMobile 6 (TrackAbout on the handheld)
  • Select Utilities then select CONFIG
  • From the drop-down list, select Save Mode and select Wireless Mode

No Connectivity on Mobile Device

  • Using the mobile browser, open the Google search page www.google.com. If Google's search page loads, the general Internet is likely OK.
  • If device has both WiFi and Cellular turned on, your device will favor the WiFi. Try turning off WiFi to fall back to Cellular and try TrackAbout again.
  • In the TAMobile 6 app, use the wireless Lookup feature , entering '111' for serial number or barcode, you should be able to confirm Internet access as well as reaching the TrackAbout servers.

Connecting a Rugged Handheld to a Wireless Network

If you are having problem connecting to your wireless network, contact your IT or network department or IT contractor. See also Advanced troubleshooting below

WiFi Testing Tools

These smartphone apps test Wifi signal strength and coverage

Wifi Analyzer
Network Analyzer Lite
Android and iOS
Fing app

Advanced troubleshooting

Unable to connect to WiFi network from Rugged Handheld

Check and Disable 802.11d

If you are unable to get Internet access but you are connected to Wifi, follow the steps below. This is related to the IEEE 802.11d, a specification that enables support for "additional regulatory domains" such as country information element to beacons, probe requests, and probe responses.

Config Editor

  1. Make sure the Wifi Radio is turned on.
  2. Make sure to uncradle your device. Depending on your PC settings, the WiFi will not connect if the handheld is in the cradle.
  3. Select the config Editor in the Wireless companion (can be different based on your OS). Choose Options:
    1. From the drop-down list, select Regulatory
    2. Settings = USA (if you're in the USA, might be different otherwise)
    3. Enable 802.11d = UN-check this box
    4. Save and Click the 'X' in the upper right to close the app
    5. Back in the Config Editor, click the X in the upper right
  4. Enable Internet
    1. Access the Settings - Connections - WIFI. There select Connect to Internet