Question

Cannot Reliably Connect Devices Home Internet

  • 9 January 2021
  • 21 replies
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I just got T-Mobile Home Internet and while the speeds are great and very consistent, the internet service is not very robust.  I have the 5G Grey Cylindrical router.  If I try and connect Samsung TVs or my Directv box to the network, either by Wifi or wired ethernet, it often won’t connect.  When the devices do connect they are unreliable.  Most streaming services won’t work.  The connection to the router is fine, but the connection from the T-Mobile end to the internet often just hangs.  

 

The same is true on my PC or Tablets.  It all appears to work well but it’s very prone to just hanging one process as if its trying to open a connection that will never open.  A good example of this is uploading videos to facebook, this almost always hangs.  It never begins the upload although other processes can use the internet fine at the same time.  It can USUALLY upload ok to Vimeo or Youtube but these also periodically just stall.  It’s very flakey and unreliable internet.  This is with wired or wifi connections, and while one program is stuck trying to open a data connection, another program on the SAME PC at the SAME time can open a data connection.  

 

It makes the entire internet unuseable and frustrating.  While it generally works it’s not reliable enough to play games etc.  You can be playing a game, or updating software, and all of a sudden that program will hang with 0 bytes going in or out.   But if you open the browser or start a different program that uses the internet, that new program can connect and download fine while the old one is still hung.

It’s all inter-related.  The reason a lot of devices can’t connect very reliably is because they are doing some sort of test that shows this internet is flakey.  Usually they will say something like the auto settings didn’t work and to configure the network manually.  

 

It’s very frustrating because my speeds and latency are fantastic, the connection to the T-Mobile network from the router never wavers it’s always solid.  The connection via wifi never wavers its always solid.  But data ports from programs often just hang and won’t open.

 

I still have Verizon Home Internet and I switch back and forth.  Verizon is MUCH slower but its reliable, I never have any issues like this with them.  Even right now.

 

Can anyone help?  Is there something that T-Mobile can do on their end to make data connections work more reliably.

 

The only thing that is really always reproduceable that demonstrates this is uploading video to Facebook, that pretty much never starts although once in every 20 or 30 tries it will start and when it does it works fine for that file.

 

-Roger Uzun

San Diego, CA


21 replies

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My guess is that this is related to congestion and the T-Mobile gateway switching the tower and band the device is connected to when trying to determine the best connection currently available for what you are trying to do.  Although T-Mobile’s internet can multitask basic things.  Mobile internet is no where near at the level of being a replacement for Fiber connections or a good cable connection.  Those larger streams of bandwidth that would allow you to game while streaming and uploading content all at the same time while still doing other things through connections like what fiber and cable offer just aren’t possible over cell towers.  Especially in areas with congestion issues already.

You should reach out to support though to get the most accurate answer possible.  

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I think it’s something more basic.  Something that’s not right about the T-Mobile internet service regardless of traffic.  Certain apps generally don’t connect correctly.  Steam doesn’t usually startup right, it says there is no internet for example.  You have to launch the app several times to get it to login.  You generally cannot upload videos to Facebook, you have to try and upload several times before it finally will get a connection that actually uploads rather than staying stuck at 0%.  Whether from a PC or from a phone connected to the router via Wifi.  But sites like Vimeo and Youtube rarely fail, they are pretty much solid all the time.

 

So certain sites work pretty much 100% of the time with no issues, and certain sites/apps/programs rarely work correctly but will work occasionally if you keep retrying to start the app/upload over and over.

 

-Roger Uzun

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I wonder if it’s related to the fact that I have no phone plan.  I do not have a phone from T-Mobile, only the Home Internet.  It’s pretty reproduceable, if you try and upload video to facebook it rarely works, it hangs at 0%.  If you try and start steam about 3 out of 4 times it will say there is no internet.  Sites like Youtube and Vimeo work flawlessly. They don’t seem affected.  Regardless of how many programs are running in the PC.  If you are doing nothing with the internet other than facebook it won’t upload video.

 

Uploading photos to Facebook works fine all the time though.  Trying to connect TV’s Roku Boxes, Directv boxes etc doesn’t work well at all.  They usually wont get through the network setup process, but if they do the internet streaming services never work properly.  Things like Amazon Prime and HBO Max generally do not work from TVs or Streaming boxes.  Even if you can get the device to connect to the network.

 

 

 

I live in Chicago, and having to restart my modem daily. This is a test to try to replace comcast, when it's up and running it's fantastic but when it disconnects it takes time to reprogram all the devices to the modem. I think it would be more profitable to work out most of the bugs before rolling out in a major city. Have no issues with my 4g phone which is also t-mobile, maybe run on that platform instead of crawling and stumbling on 5g???

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I was on the phone all morning to tech support, nothing helped really.  They reset my account/line and that made it work well for a half hour or so but it went back to its old ways soon after.

 

Most things work fine, you can not usually upload any video to facebook from the PC’s but you can from an iPad.  You can upload to most video sites from the pcs.  Using wired ethernet compared to wifi makes no difference.  Most streaming boxes/devices cannot get to the internet from these routers.  There is a major issue of compatibilty and web access with these new routers, but even with a 4G connection I am getting about 150mbps downloads and up to 50 mbps uploads.  Its amazingly fast and stable on sites that work well.  It’s 4G because I logged into the device menu via the 192.. address and it shows its 4G, but its really fast regardless.  I am in a 5G area so when they synch these to 5G its going to be fantastic.

 

For now I have to keep Verizon, and I will probably keep this as well in the hopes it gets better.  I will just switch between them as needed.

 

Playing games on Steam does not work well either, you often cant login or when you can you lose internet while playing, and that makes you lose progress as well.

 

 

uzun, I've unfortunately had a very similar experience. Got my gray router a few days ago and was really excited. Setup was pretty easy, and after connecting the router to my PC with an ethernet cable, I was getting what I considered to be breakneck speeds (around 240 Mbps download) after having to deal with AT&T 12 Mbps DSL the past several years (no fiber in my neighborhood here in Chicago). But while the Internet on my PC works great for the most part, there are random times when I’ll click on a link to go to a website (i.e. ESPN.com), and either it won’t load it at all (it just hangs) or it’ll take way longer than it should to start loading (like 10-20 seconds). Sometimes I’ll go to a website and the pictures won’t load for several seconds.

I’ve also connected the router to my Roku TV with an ethernet cable, but when I do an Internet connection test, it usually only averages between 40 and 60 Mbps (while my dad’s PC upstairs, connected via wifi, gets 175 Mbps). It also occasionally tells me that I'm not connected at all. Streaming is hit or miss, sometimes it works, sometimes it says I’m not connected to the Internet.

The most frustrating part is when I try to connect my Playstation 5 to the router. I tried it via wifi first, and the connection was just very unreliable, constantly connecting/disconnecting and switching between 2.4G and 5G from one minute to the next. I tried adjusting the settings in the PS5 to make it stay on only 2.4G or 5G, but neither band worked consistently. I thought connecting with an ethernet cable would fix the problem, but even with a wired connection, online play isn’t possible because the connection is too flaky and unreliable. I tried connecting with my PS4 as well, and that wouldn’t work either.

All these problems I've listed, none of them were a problem with AT&T. It was slow, but reliable. T-Mobile Home Internet has been blazing fast but unreliable. Thankfully I haven’t canceled my AT&T Internet yet so I can still use that for gaming for now, but I can't afford two Internet services for long. I called T-Mobile a couple days ago about some of these problems and the lady told me that she would talk to their engineering department and they’d call back in three days or so if they had any solutions. I don’t have a phone plan with them either by the way (just Internet), but I don't know if that has anything to do with the router connection problems, probably not.

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I have both Verizon LTE home internet and T-Mobile Home Internet up now as well.  Verizon is about 50-60Mbps download and about 6 Mbps upload.  T-Mobile (4G) is about 140 Mbps download and 10-50 Mbps upload.  But T-Mobile just doesn’t work on a lot of websites, and is not at all reliable with any streaming boxes or Televisions.  I am in a 5G area so once T-Mobile turns on 5G for home internet it’s going to be even faster I think.

 

So for now I’m keeping both and switching as I need to between them.  I am hoping in the coming few weeks they fix this.  Right now this new Router is fantastic in performance, but very flakey in actual practice.  And not very compatible with devices or across all websites.

 

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I changed browsers to Mozilla Firefox and it allows me to upload video to facebook with T-Mobile.  Neither Chrome nor Edge would allow video uploads to facebook over T-Mobile, although it all worked fine under Verizon Home Internet.  I think this points to a greater issue with T-Mobile home internet.  Apps that don’t account for the fact that t-mobile acts more like a cellphone and a real internet service provider fail a lot.  Steam for example.  It’s just not very reliable over T-Mobile saying you’ve lost connection frequently.  But apps that are designed to work in a tablet or cellphone environment know to retry more or do things somewhat differently that accounts for T-Mobiles little momentary rejections. 

I see this on certain websites with Edge or Chrome on T-Mobile.  The NOAA weather site for example.  If you type a new zip code to look at the weather forecast in a different area, sometimes on T-Mobile it will briefly flash a “You are not connected to the internet page” before it refreshes and gives you the forecast.  If you use Verizon Home internet this never happens.

 

Hopefully they will address this but t-mobile home internet has to be more like real internet for it to work well with PC’s/Macs.  This rejection or just hanging and not opening data ports confuses a lot of PC programs/apps and they are not handling it well in general.  Making T-Mobile home internet somewhat impractical for regular use on Macs/PCs.

 

 

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Well that didn’t last long.  For a while after I installed Firefox T-Mobile allowed me to upload video to facebook.  Now Firefox is acting the same as Chrome or Edge.  I can’t upload video to facebook at all from any of the browsers.  Not sure why T-Mobile allowed it from the newly installed firefox for a little while then shut it down.

 

Uploading using Verizon Home internet works fine, as always, on all browsers.   The connection / flakiness issues are all on the T-Mobile side only.

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This is definitely something we’d need to have our Tech Care team file a Service Desk Ticket for. I’d reach out to them to see if they can get one created for you.

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They did file a service ticket I believe.  I could call again I guess to be sure.  I dont know how long that takes to look at but it was a few days ago.

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… But T-Mobile just doesn’t work on a lot of websites, and is not at all reliable with any streaming boxes or Televisions. 

I am seeing the same issue too. my Samsung TV failed to streaming news in haystack and CBSN app not working too. Anyone seen this and have solution?

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This is definitely something we’d need to have our Tech Care team file a Service Desk Ticket for. I’d reach out to them to see if they can get one created for you.

@tmo_mike_c  How do you get ahold of this “Tech Care team”? If it is the main support line, then they don’t have answers. They are just reading from a script and say they will forward to engineering and they never get back to you.

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I got a call from Tech Support today regarding this issue.  The new 5G Cylinder routed is ipv6 ONLY, it does NOT have ipv4 enabled.  The hardware allows it but they are not yet legally able to expose those settings to the users.

 

So for now this is an ipv6 ONLY router, which means MOST devices will NOT connect reliably to the internet using this router.  PC’s work but are flakey as a PC can sometimes get ipv6 connnections to a certain site or operation and sometimes they get ipv4.

 

So that is the source of these issues, they are working on allowing users to be able to change the settings or changing them on their end.

^^ Why does ipv6 mean that most devices will not connect reliably to the internet using this router? I’m not network savvy at all and have no idea of why ipv6 vs ipv4 would make a difference. I’m using the T Mobile router by itself and just want my PC internet to work and my PS5, Roku TV, my dad’s PC, and my phone to be able to connect to the router. My phone oddly enough seems to be the only device that doesn’t have any connection problems with the T Mobile router.

T Mobile support called me last Friday saying that they needed another 24 hours for my support ticket and said they’d call me back Saturday. I haven’t heard from them since. If they don’t call by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll call them myself for an update.

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The router will not be able to connect to an ipv4 data socket.  Windows thinks that it can use ipv4 or ip6 freely.  many older devices are ipv4 only.  If a router cannot open data sockets to sites requiring ipv4, then the application will hang.  So even if the PC basically seems to work most of the time, the first time it encounters a site that wants to communicate using ipv4 the router will NOT pass any data, thus it hangs.  So even if the PC basically works, it will open dead sockets from time to time.

 

Even if the streaming box/tv etc basically connects, the first time an app tries to open an ipv4 data stream it will hang, and your streaming will say no longer connected to the internet.

 

You see this a lot, it happens momentarily sometimes and corrects itself or other times the app just hangs waiting for data that will never come/go.

 

The way devices and the internet works right now, in 2021, you need a router that can pass data via ipv4 and ipv6 connections for the apps to work reliably.  I’ve noticed with a cellphone, or with an ipad websites and apps seems smart enough that they ONLY use ipv6.  Or at least almost NEVER require ipv4.  But with streaming devices, and with PCs this is NOT the case.

 

^^ Is this a problem that can be solved via a software/firmware update fairly soon, or is it more complex than that? My first bill for this service is due on the 23rd, and I’m trying to decide whether to cancel or give them another month to try to fix these issues.

 

By the way, what is the software version for your router? Mine is 1.2003.03.0143, I’m not sure if that’s the latest or not (I’ve seen a couple people on Reddit have a different one, 1.2003.00.0620

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They have to expose the router settings to the user so we can enable ipv4 in addition to ipv6.  They are aware of the issue but they need to get authorization and figure out how / when they will do that.

 

I suspect in the next few weeks they will address this in some manner.  They are aware of the problem and it can be corrected in the Router settings but they have to get authorization from other depts to allow this, or figure out how they want to do it.

It might be a couple of weeks or maybe a few months. It’s all on their end.

Same issues here. I have had T-Mobile Home Internet since December 2020 and many apps simply won't connect or function properly on my Android phone. I don't seem to have issues with my PC and surprisingly I can use it with my Xbox. I think I'm at the point though where I'll return it because I can't stream from my Android using Chromecast. 

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Must be so frustrating. I’ve had my 5G21 router for about 6 weeks. Just for comparison sake, I have had no problem with any websites, apps, or VPN to my office. Also, I have FireTV with YouTubeTV on three TVs w/o issue.

Sorry for the issues. Inexcusable for an ISP.

 

I just got T-Mobile Home Internet and while the speeds are great and very consistent, the internet service is not very robust.  I have the 5G Grey Cylindrical router.  If I try and connect Samsung TVs or my Directv box to the network, either by Wifi or wired ethernet, it often won’t connect.  When the devices do connect they are unreliable.  Most streaming services won’t work.  The connection to the router is fine, but the connection from the T-Mobile end to the internet often just hangs.  

 

The same is true on my PC or Tablets.  It all appears to work well but it’s very prone to just hanging one process as if its trying to open a connection that will never open.  A good example of this is uploading videos to facebook, this almost always hangs.  It never begins the upload although other processes can use the internet fine at the same time.  It can USUALLY upload ok to Vimeo or Youtube but these also periodically just stall.  It’s very flakey and unreliable internet.  This is with wired or wifi connections, and while one program is stuck trying to open a data connection, another program on the SAME PC at the SAME time can open a data connection.  

 

It makes the entire internet unuseable and frustrating.  While it generally works it’s not reliable enough to play games etc.  You can be playing a game, or updating software, and all of a sudden that program will hang with 0 bytes going in or out.   But if you open the browser or start a different program that uses the internet, that new program can connect and download fine while the old one is still hung.

It’s all inter-related.  The reason a lot of devices can’t connect very reliably is because they are doing some sort of test that shows this internet is flakey.  Usually they will say something like the auto settings didn’t work and to configure the network manually.  

 

It’s very frustrating because my speeds and latency are fantastic, the connection to the T-Mobile network from the router never wavers it’s always solid.  The connection via wifi never wavers its always solid.  But data ports from programs often just hang and won’t open.

 

I still have Verizon Home Internet and I switch back and forth.  Verizon is MUCH slower but its reliable, I never have any issues like this with them.  Even right now.

 

Can anyone help?  Is there something that T-Mobile can do on their end to make data connections work more reliably.

 

The only thing that is really always reproduceable that demonstrates this is uploading video to Facebook, that pretty much never starts although once in every 20 or 30 tries it will start and when it does it works fine for that file.

 

-Roger Uzun

San Diego, CA

The 5G silver tower does produce great wifi speeds BUT it does not connect to all smart devices. I cannot connect my blink cameras, wemos or my ecobee thermostat anymore. It decides which band—2.4 or 5.0–to connect to and if it is not the right one you are out of luck. You can connect 128 devices but if you can’t get your devices to connect to it what good is it.  It is only good for your computer tablets and phones. T-Mobile has to address this through the tower or the GUI to allow you to choose the correct band….help!

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