Few days ago I faced a strange problem on one of my little old mobile phone manufactured by Sony Ericsson. It was not detecting my WiFi router’s SSID. Whenever I scanned for available Wifi networks, the required Wifi name was not showing up in the list. It was really a strange problem. On my other devices, iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy S3, my laptops, MacBook Pro 13″ and ProBook windows 8, I was not getting any such problem.
Before finding the exact reason behind this issue, I tried many workarounds. I even reset my phone to factory settings, reset the router but all in vain. The phone was successfully detecting the signals of other WiFi routers which were transmitting the signals around my home.
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Finally I found it was the wireless channel which was the culprit. When you open the settings page of any router, you’ll find the different options under Wireless. The names and options’ placement may vary from router to router. So it is better to consult the documentations of your router for the required information. I mostly use routers manufactured by TP-Link due to two reason. One, these are easily available in our area and secondly they are little cheaper than any other brands.
When you open the Wireless settings page, you’d see Channel. The Channel determines which operating frequency the router will use to transmit the data. If you see any problem in connecting with the router or any issue with data transfer, it is always recommended to change the Wireless Channel number before looking for any other solutions.
So, when this Channel option was set to “Automatic“, my phone didn’t recognise the router’s SSID. But when I set it to any other number manually, the phone could see the router. Then I tried different channels and found that if the channel is above 9 or below 3, the phone was unable to detect the Wireless signals but if the channel is between 3 to 9, there was no problem in connectivity.
I don’t know what’s the exact science behind it. But I think a little older phone models support few channels than the newer ones. In other words, the older devices support less operating frequencies than the newer ones.
So if you have a phone which is not detecting/connecting with the router but it can scan other routers, first change the channel manually to any other number before looking for more solutions.
I really spent a lot of time to find the exact cause, but I don’t want you to do the same. That’s why I am sharing this little tip today.