Slow Wifi to Cellular transition?


#1

Anyone else experiencing the Relay taking a long time to transition to cellular when in a weak wifi area?

Here’s the situation: I added my home wifi network to my Relays… In the house all is good. When the kids play in street in front of the house, more often than not, they find that the Relays report that they’re not connected to the Relay server. It appears to me that the Relays are hanging on to an unusable wifi signal at the very edge of the wifi network, rather than transitioning to cellular. Forgetting the wifi network has resolved the issue.

Anyone else with anything like this?


Slow Wifi to Cellular transtion?
How Did You 'Relay' This Summer?
#2

Yes, I have experienced the same.


Slow Wifi to Cellular transtion?
#3

Not with the Relays, as I haven’t got one yet, but yes with the Republic app. When one roams around the house perimeter while talking the call quality suffers. Also, in busy places with weak wifi (shopping super-centers on busy days) The signal is also spotty and calls/texts are not able to be exchanged. It is best at these times to either walk a bit of ways away from the house or go inside, turn off wifi, or forget the host. This has a lot more to do with degradation of wifi signal and the time it takes to ping (communicate a request to connect) and less to do with Republic’s app. It was much worse when the first Republic phone was out. Calls would get dropped completely. With the apps you can experience a delay, poor quality sound and very rarely a dropped call. If the concern is mostly around the house a farther range wifi router on a different channel from the neighbor’s might help.

Here’s a nifty guide to router channels (https://www.howtogeek.com/197268/how-to-find-the-best-wi-fi-channel-for-your-router-on-any-operating-system/)

You could also use a Wifi protected connection to manually connect the devices to your router. This the best way to link a device to your in home wifi. Here’s a decent how-to here (https://www.digitalcitizen.life/simple-questions-what-wps-wi-fi-protected-setup)

Oh I forgot to mention you can also add access points to increase the Wifi range around your house. There the wireless way (https://www.howtogeek.com/104469/how-to-extend-your-wi-fi-network-with-simple-access-points/) and the wired way (https://www.howtogeek.com/104007/how-to-extend-your-wireless-network-with-tomato-powered-routers/)


#4

Thanks for all of this, but that’s not all all what I’m talking about. I’m quite versed in networks and wifi and aware of methods of extending range. That’s not the issue.

All devices at some point need to decide when to drop a WiFi connection and move to cellular. In the Android developer settings there is even a setting to make this handoff happen more aggressively. I’m suggesting that it appears to me the Relay needs to be more aggressive in this handoff.


#5

I see, it is like the old first gen Republic phones. Where the handoff was slow. Makes sense since it relies on your phones app to adjust settings. I am confused, wouldn’t a WPS connection be more aggressive?


#6

No and no. The Republic app has nothing to do with the Relay. And the means by which you connect to your network, has no impact over the decision-making of when to hand off to cellular. Perhaps me using the word hand off is what’s confusing you. There is no hand off in the terms of a phone call on a republic phone where you’re taking an active connection and moving it from one method of connecting to the network to the other. All I’m talking about here is the transition from Wi-Fi data, to cellular data. WPS is nothing more than the ability to connect to a secure network without having to type the network password.


#7

Right, I would think that the extra step of password authentication would in fact slow “hand-over” from data to wifi. Correct me if I’m wrong but the process would look like this:

Passoword connection
Device: “Is there a wifi signal out there?”
Router: “Yeah I’m here what’s up?”
Device: “Can I connect to you?”
Router: “Sure, what’s the password?”
Device: “****”
Router: “Ok that looks good.”
Device: “Neato.”

WPS connection
Device: “Is there a wifi signal out there?”
Router: “Yeah it’s me again, come on in.”
Device: “Thanks for remembering me.”

My son’s Nintendo uses WPS and it feels as though the range and speed of connection is greater than my phone that I have yet to connect via WPS. My limited TCP/IP schooling is summarizing this coincidence into the above conversation between devices.


#8

I think you’re confused.

That’s not the way WPS works. WPS is used to establish the connection the first time you connect to a network. That’s all. Each and every time thereafter the connection is the same as if you used the password the first time.


#9

I understand what you are talking about and I too have noticed the same exact issue. After I noticed this issue I continiously refreshed the app as my daughter went a few houses down to her friends to see how long it would take to reconnect to the relay from our wifi to cellular network. the relay app showed disconnected for a short time, really it was until my daughter used the relay to let me know she was down there. Again agree with the slow or delayed hand off.


#10

I also experienced this. We live directly across from the local elementary school and my Wifi signal has a pretty long range. Unfortunately when that far away the Wifi signal is likely not enough to stay reliably connected. Our sons were playing in the playground out front of the school and testing the relays. They kept getting the “not connected to Relay server” message, I presume, because the handover between my Wifi and cellular was happening repeatedly and was not fast enough. I did not try to forget my Wifi network as a test.


#11

We’ve also experienced this with our 3 Relays. Not sure what the workaround would be.


#12

My solution is to not have a wifi network configured in my Relay.

Republic’s approach would have to be to make that transition more aggressive.


#13

I was talking to my buddy about it and he suggested the same thing. Don’t configure WiFi at home so as to force the Relay to default to the cellular network.


#14

Sorry if this is a known issue. Had this experience I thought I would share as product feedback:

I recently lost Internet for a few hours and discovered the Relay that I had connected to the WiFi did not fall-back onto the cell network but stayed connected to the WiFi with no Internet. The Relay voice says “The device is not connected to the Relay server.” I continued testing to see if it would cut over to cell, but over at least three hours it stayed locked onto that no-Internet WiFi signal.

I did try to switch it to cell manually using the app on a phone connected to the same WiFi network, but this did not work, showing as “Unavailable”.

If I shut off the WiFi, Relay would cut over to cell an start working again. However, when I re-enabled the WiFi, the Relay connected to that no-Internet WiFi and stayed locked-in.

Lastly, at least two hours after Internet came back on, the Relay device was still showing red. When I pressed the Talk button, I received the “not connected to the Relay server” message, then a split-second later the light went green and everything started working. It needed a “kick” to get back online.

Ideally, Relay would immediately fail-over to cell when Internet is lost, not stay connected to a No-Internet WiFi network, and come right back online when Internet connectivity is restored.

I really want Relay to work for the child and senior use cases, but in both of these cases the holder of the device is not expected to have any technical expertise at all. For them, it just has to work, and work all the time. Therefore Relay must have extremely high availability, aggressive connectivity, and very robust remote management features, otherwise a cheap smart phone with parental restrictions works better. I look forward to the improvements I know Republic is working on!


#15

Related: Slow Wifi to Cellular transtion?


#16

Ugh. Yeah, it ought to be able to ping the server periodically, and if it finds it can’t connect, it should switch back over to cellular. Just like most newer Android phones do. I’m surprised they didn’t think of that - there’s a whole thread on the RW (phone) community about “zombie” WiFi


#17

Remember pinging to often means battery drain.


#18

Oh, we also happened to have internet down today. And yes, the Relays remained connected to Wifi that gave no connectivity. So, no utility. Republic needs to work on this fast.


#19

Good point. But at the very least, when one tries to transmit, on WiFi and can’t connect to server, shouldn’t it then automatically fall back to cellular? That shouldn’t cost much, if any, battery.

Also - does the cellular radio stay on (receiving) when the Relay is on WiFi? If it does, then the server could, on failure to reach a Relay via WiFi, notify it (via cellular) of the WiFi failure and command it to switch back to cellular mode.

Or not - I’m just tossing thoughts out there based on how I imagine Relay communication occurs.


#20

The same will happen when your ISP internet connection goes down or you unplug the line when using a RW phone. The RW phone app doesn’t recognize the lost internet connection.