Troubleshooting Connection Issues on a Pepwave
Posted by Andy Murphy on 1/26/2020 to Internet Connectivity
Connection issues happen. In most cases for those on the move, it happens once you get to a new location. You get set up and then realize the pepwave isn’t getting a connection to the internet. Hopefully, you are either planning ahead and reading this post before this happens but that is unlikely. ?? I feel it safe to assume you are reading this through another means of internet so let's get to the steps of getting you back online.
Step 1: Double-check the hardware
If you don't see your wifi network at all, make sure the unit has power still, the antennas didn’t fall off or lose connection. Simple, but not always the first thing people check.
Step 2: Check connection on the Pepwave Dashboard
This step assumes you can see the wireless network from your pepwave, but it has no internet connection, or speeds are so bad it's unusable.
- Connect to the WiFi network of the pepwave
- Open up a browser (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, etc)
- In the website address bar, type 192.168.50.1
- Log in. If you never changed it, the default username and password is: admin
The dashboard screen will show your connection priorities. Did you arrive in a new location? Do you need to change the source? Were you connected to campground wifi prior, that is no longer available? Do you no longer have service to your primary sim?
Step 3: Status of Cellular Connection?
At this point, you have checked power and antennas, verified the connection status and priority settings. If there is still no internet, let's look at the cellular connection.
How strong is the connection? How many bars do you have? Does it say 3G? LTE? LTE-A? 3G will be a fairly slow connection vs LTE, but will still hold a connection if available. LTE (4G) is better and normal to see, and the best is LTE-A (LTE-Advanced). LTE-A means you have a connection from multiple towers and should support a good speeds. This is most common in populated areas where there are lots of towers closer together.
The signal strength (RSSI) should give you a number. The smaller the better. If you have a weak signal it could be the reason you are not seeing usable speeds.
Step 4: Possible Tower Overload
There is a chance that if you have everything set up normally, you see a decent signal strength and there is still a very slow connection, the tower could be over capacity.
To best explain this example, think of a garden hose with water coming out at a normal rate. Every time someone connects to the tower (or hose in this example), they are pulling a small amount of water. If 1,000 people connect to the ‘hose’ the amount of water each person is getting at one time is about the flow of a few drips per min. Cell towers work the same way. If too many people are connected, they can't support the load and the service available is very slow.
This is especially seen at large gatherings. Sporting events, downtown areas, RV rallies, conferences, etc. If you have a second SIM on a different carrier, this could be helpful in these situations.
Step 5: Check your billing status
Finally, make sure your account is in good standing. This issue is more common than you think. Verify with your provider that your account is still active and the issue is not from the carrier themselves.
If you are on an unlimited plan through MobileMustHave.com, you can email our data partner at email@example.com to check your status.
If you are still stuck, you can reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.