One of the early problems of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it couldn’t connect to select WiFi networks. The South Korean manufacturer already acknowledged this concern saying there was indeed a problem with the device’s capability to detect signals from certain routers including two of D-Link’s older models.
One of our readers emailed us describing a relatively remote problem, although it’s still a connectivity issue. Here’s the actual email:
I just bought my new Galaxy S4. Everything is working fine except the WiFi. Here’s my problem:
My husband was able to set up some kind of a hotspot using his laptop and a USB dongle. He gets a 4G connectivity with the dongle so the connection is pretty fast. We have 4 laptops at home and each one connects to the network just fine.
His new phone, HTC One, could also connect to the network with super fast connection. However, mine cannot. It can’t even find the network.
I already tried turning the WiFi on and off several times to no avail. I have already tried doing a factory reset in case there were some inconsistencies during the setup but I still couldn’t connect and the phone can’t find our home network.
Does my phone have hardware issues?
It’s an ad hoc connection!
For sure Mary’s not the first time to be able to experience this problem since there are millions of people who don’t want to be bound to a carrier over internet connectivity.
The USB dongle that she’s talking about is basically the only medium that allowed them to have internet connectivity in their home. Her husband should have been able to find out the unique feature of Windows 7 or Windows 8 that would allow internet connection to be shared via ad hoc (computer-to-computer) connection.
The problem is, all of Samsung’s flagships do not support the connection. Even the company’s entry-level and mid-range smartphones are incapable of detecting the WiFi signals from an ad hoc network. Only Samsung knows why it does not allow its devices to connect to such networks.
Some techie people were able to find ways to connect a Samsung Galaxy device to an ad hoc network but only when using an Open (without authentication) connection; WEP and WPA2 still won’t work.
Sad to say that this problem couldn’t be fixed unless Samsung would release future updates allowing its devices to connect to any sort of WiFi connection. For now, the best advice we could give to Mary is to have a real internet connection at home, which means she needs to sign a contract and have a modem / router setup to provide “standard” WiFi connectivity.
Having problems with your phone?
Tell us about them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include as much details as possible so that we could understand the problem well and find the best solutions for you. If you can share a screenshot or two, that would be better.
We may not be able to respond to every email we receive but rest assured we do read them… yes, all of them even if some do look like spams.