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Domitan Redenblack

"Free" WiFi will not run Second Life viewers - help and ideas please!

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I have a friend who gets "free" WiFi internet where she lives, no other option for her swampland location in Florida...

It works fine for browsers and other apps, but SL does NOT work through it.

Is there advice on what to check for ways to get around this?

 

( I also found this true recently on hospital WiFi -free but would not run SL )

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SL isn't, of course, designed for wireless connection.

For what it's worth, I discovered during a spell in hospital last year that, while the hospital wifi didn't work too well, my own 3G connection was more than adequate to run Lumiya on my Android tablet.    If your friend can get 3G out there, that might be worth investigating.

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Domitan Redenblack wrote:

I have a friend who gets "free" WiFi internet where she lives, no other option for her swampland location in Florida...

Hi Dom!  The problem with Wi-Fi and SL isn't that WiFi is "Free", but that it's WiFi!   It's a wireless connection that uses radio waves!  

"Wi-Fi, also spelled Wifi or WiFi, is a technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using 2.4 GHz UHF and 5 GHz SHF radio waves"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi

That means lots of potential interference and interruptions, as the signal is being carried on radio waves.  (Scroll down and read the section called "Interference" in the Wiki article.

Also, check out this thread where the same issue is discussed:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Technical/WiFi-vs-Ethernet/qaq-p/786789

Also, it sounds like your friend may be piggybacking onto someone else's paid Internet connection, as she's getting it her Wi-fi "free".  That mean her connection is even more precarious, as she's lucky to make the connection at all, and could lose it anytime.  Her option for a better connection is to pay for a connection herself.   If there is a Wi-Fi signal close to her that's "free", than that means that someone in the swampland area is paying for it. 

One more thing, I have a friend who lives in the Florida everglades area, he uses a swampboat to get around, and he has a solid ethernet Internet connection, so I don't think it's her location in Florida that is limiting her options.

 

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Domitan Redenblack wrote:

I have a friend who gets "free" WiFi internet where she lives, no other option for her swampland location in Florida...

It works fine for browsers and other apps, but SL does NOT work through it.

Is there advice on what to check for ways to get around this?

 

( I also found this true recently on hospital WiFi -free but would not run SL )

Dish Network offers satellite Internet. It could be that she isn't getting enough bandwith to run SL, the WI-FI owner has throttled it down, she has a crappy semi-stable connection, or a dozen other issues. I tried to log in from McDonalds the other day, did a speed test first with decent results, could not connect. They may be blocking certain applications as well.

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I use wifi to access the internet in my home, no problem at all with one router, it will not work a damn with the other router. When I travel (a fair amount), I will get onto SL from the hotel wifi, if I can.

In about 1/3 of the places I stay l use the wifi without incident.  

in about 1/3, I can use it with annoying lag.  Such places usually have plenty of bandwidth, but run high packet loss when doing SL.  For these sites, throttling back the max bandwidth to 300 or 400 kbps will sometimes help a bit.  Also, disabling http textures can help; I've seen it make a big difference on some connections, none at all on others.  And setting graphics prefs to low and cranking in the draw distance.  Minimize the load on the connection.

and about 1/3 are unusable for SL. 

Bandwidth is not a good predictor of wifi performance.  I find I need a minimum 500 kbps result from SpeedTest.net, but just because a line tests out at 20 mbpt does not guarantee SL.  Packet loss when running SL is the best predictor for me.  So at a new location, I log into SL, let things rez and stettle, then got to help>about and run the report.  If the packet loss is less than about 0.5%, then it will not be an issue.  1% to 5 %, noticable lag, but more or less usable.  >~5%, I look for other entertainment, SL is not going to be fun. 

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WiFi is not a problem with SL, despite what some will tell you.  It is the overall connection speed, which is often slower on WiFi versus hard connection to a router, that is the issue.  In my experience SL will connect ok above 1Mbps, but naturally faster is better.  I am currently in a busy bar with other internet users and the Wifi here always runs SL fine when I try it.

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Since she is out in the sticks... swamp... she likely uses a cell phone or knows someone with one. Get the app WiFi Analyzer (android). Check the signal strength she is getting. For a good connection it needs to be above -60. -70 and below can give problems.

If it is weak signal, look a getting a repeater or booster. Possibly an antenna enahncer for the computer. A better signal may improve things.

Read through http://blog.nalates.net/2011/10/26/troubleshoot-your-sl-connection/ for more ideas.

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It's a drawback of "free" or "included" internet.  They throttle what they want to spread less bandwidth thin enough to satisfy people who don't watch video, download alot, etc.  The free stuff is ok for browsing the web and email and the like, but forget video, at least decent resolution video, and the only solution is to buy a real connection from a provider.

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