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Droid Incredible Crashes Wifi Networks

Well, I’ve been holding onto this dirty little secret for over a week now.  I was hoping Verizon and/or HTC would address this issue BEFORE the story got out into the hands of the general media.

Why have I waited to release this story? Personally I think the Incredible is a great competitor to the iPhone.  In fact I terminated my contract with AT&T just last week.   Boy did that feel good after 3 years of no cell service ANYWHERE in the country and especially here in Charleston.  I truly want the Droid Incredible by HTC to be a success.  I want the dominance of AT&T and Apple to be tested by the likes of products such as the Incredible.  Good healthy competition is good for all of us.  Better phones, better service, better prices.

BUT… the problem has gone on for too long with only a warmed-over “must be your network” response from the people at HTC.   And that response came after more than a week of telling them “I think you have a problem” and “is anyone home?” messages.

I told Verizon about the problem as well.  To their credit they did ship a replacement phone overnight.  It didn’t help, but at least they tried.   Guess it was what I expected after I explained the problem to the local “tech” at the Verizon store down the street and got nothing but a blank stare in return.   I knew then & there that the guys at the local store knew as much about wireless networking as they did quantum mechanics.    When I brought the problem up with Verizon Corporate they simply bounced my mail back with a URL on “how to connect to WiFi” (thanks, NOT useful) and a tacked-on “not our problem – call HTC”  note at the end.

So now it is time to let the story out…

What Is Going On?

Well, I first noticed a problem the day I brought my new HTC Droid Incredible home.  My network was pathetically slow.  It would crash at odd hours, and I’d get NO Internet connection at all.   Odd, I thought, must be the new Comcast service.    I called Comcast, and after missing their first appointment and showing up 30 hours late they finally got a knowledgeable technician to the house.   Everything checked out fine.   No problems at the home, on the line, or down the street at the head-end router.

Yet, every so-often the network would just crash.   Then a week after working with Comcast, tracking network connections and sniffing packets on my network I figured it out quite by accident.   I was online on my PC running a diagnostic when I wanted to check email.  Not wanting to interrupt the CPU intensive task I reached for my HTC Droid Incredible and started reading my email.  One of the attachments was rather large so I flicked on the Wifi switch.   That is when the world came crashing down.  My wife ran into the room saying “Did you DO something?  The network just crashed!”   Sure enough, I was looking at my PC and seeing a “service disconnected” right in the middle of my testing.   Turn off the WiFi on the HTC Incredible, reconnect and everything starts running along just fine.  Flick.  On goes the Wifi on the HTC.  Off goes the network.   Hmmmm….what an ODD coincidence.

After several hours of testing, checking configurations, and re-testing I realized… this HTC Droid Incredible has a serious design flaw.

Proving The Fail

A few days after realizing that MY HTC Droid Incredible indeed crashed MY network, I visited the local Verizon store.  They expedited a replacement phone which arrived a few days later.   I immediately went into test mode.   Shut down the original phone, power up the new phone, activate, and connect to my network.   Same results… the network slowed to a crawl and crashed almost immediately.

Next test – a different network.  I brought the original HTC to my office after sending back the replacement phone (it had the same result, so it didn’t fix my problem).  Power on the wifi and connect to the office wireless.   Instant failure.  Every wireless device was unable to connect to the outside world.

The HTC Droid Incredible has effectively taken down 2 different networks at 2 different locations.  The only thing they have in common is that they are open networks with a 40/64-bit (10 character) all-numeric WEP key enabled.     Whether or not that is the trigger or whether it is more generic still needs to be tested.   One thing is certain, this phone is adept at crashing the only 2 networks I use on a regular basis.   Luckily I can stay online with 3G and not get on wifi, but this is still a problem.  Not everywhere I go will have 3G access especially in the bowels of various commercial buildings where I visit clients.

Current Status

Fast forward to today.  I have received a communication from HTC (finally) and they basically asked a few questions and hinted that it must be my network.  Reconfigure & reset the HTC.   Yup, been there done that.   At this point I KNOW the HTC crashes at least two networks with absolute certainty.   Later this week I plan to roam various public WiFi hotspots and the homes of various wired (wireless) friends and see what happens.   My guess – the problem will be 100% reproducable with little effort.

Sorry Verizon & HTC, this story is just too big to keep to myself.  The word is out, both to let people know there is a potential problem & to see if I’m alone in this situation.

So how about it Droid Incredible owners… anyone else run into a problem like this?

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37 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Jeff
    June 5, 2010 at 4:04 PM #

    I have used my Droid Incredible on my wifi network at my home (using a Linksys router & AT & T broadband service) several times and not noticed anything out of the ordinary. I have connected my Incredible and a laptop to the internet at the same time and moved seamlessly between web pages on all devices. I will try my Incredible on some wifi networks here in Chattanooga this week and give another update.

    • lcleveland
      June 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM #

      Yeah – I can’t imagine it is a common occurrence or they’d be a big uproar over this by now. However it has happened on 2 Droid Incredible’s on 2 different networks. Maybe just a bad batch?

      It also may be specific network settings. Both networks are on an open network, both use a 40/60-bit WEP key, both use an all-numeric key. What we have not tried is turning off wifi security completely, using a random router-generated key, or connecting to additional networks (we’ve only tried two thus far).

      However this has happened with TWO Indredibles on TWO networks, so that is a bit of a coincidence. Rebooting phones, routers, etc. after full power-off state doesn’t fix a thing. :/

      • Barbara
        April 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

        Verizon cannot get my wifi configured and up-and-running. Said it was my internet provider. Internet provider said nothing wrong if my desktop and laptop are working correctly which they are. Have a Samsung Incredible. Help!

  2. Scott Emick
    June 9, 2010 at 7:04 AM #

    I use mine all over the place, on uverse wifi at home (WPA2), and a hidden network at work linksys WPA2, absolutely no problem.

    I’m very happy that I can keep the wifi on all the time and it doesn’t seem to suck down the battery like previous smartphones i have had.

  3. Billy
    June 16, 2010 at 6:33 AM #

    I seem to have some sort of the same problem, but I dunno if its an HTC incredible or other HTC.. it is clearly an HTC though, given its MAC address.. (38:e7:d8:*:*:*)

    right now I have 2 other HTC`s in a different WLAN, and the dont reek any havoc so its a bit odd.

    anyways… more info later as I dig deeper in this problem

  4. Brian Kramer
    June 16, 2010 at 12:10 PM #

    It happens to me. Everytime I tried to connect my incredible to my wifi network, the network went down. I tried everything and gave up…. glad it wasn’t just me.

  5. lcleveland
    June 16, 2010 at 12:51 PM #

    Ok – so this is odd. Yesterday I tried to reconnect to network because the 3G signal was unavailable inside the house.

    The phone connected to the wireless network without any problems and did NOT crash the network.

    Maybe not having a 3G signal had an impact? Nothing changed on the router end, anywhere else on the network, and no new phone updates were installed. The only thing I could find different was the Verizon 3G network was not reaching my house yesterday (maybe a tower was down?).

    Another wrinkle… this was less than 24 hours after my phone had a complete batter drain. 100% dead because I didn’t plug it into a charge for a day. Even the emergency power-on wouldn’t work, the battery was depleted.

    Could it be a 3G v. Wifi issue? A system memory issue that was resolved with battery drain? If the later, maybe the fix is to remove the battery, try to power on to drain any capacitance in the device, and re-install the battery?

    Very, very strange indeed.

  6. lcleveland
    June 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM #

    Well, HTC is being responsive at least. The bad news is the problem is still here, though “less aggresive”.

    Now the Incredible can surf most of the time. Sometimes it even lets one or two other computers on the wireless, if they get on first.

    However, at the office this past week I’ve had a few people show up and not been able to get online. They get to enter the WEP key, show a “connected to wireless” response, but then never get a proper DNS entry back form the DHCP server.

    I turn off wireless on the Droid Incredible and within a minute they are surfing along no problem. If I keep the phone wifi turned on they never get access.

    We’ll see if Josh over at HTC comes up with anything on this one. Definitely an odd one.

  7. Bill
    June 30, 2010 at 2:32 AM #

    Just FYI I found this page looking for an answer to the same problem. Only difference is I am experiencing the same problem with the MotoDroid. Just makes me think it’s not an HTC problem.

  8. Paul
    June 30, 2010 at 12:49 PM #

    Hmm funny I was in Charelston and had no problems with AT&T Coverage.

  9. Bill2
    June 30, 2010 at 1:42 PM #

    I have a mytouch 3g slide from t-mobile and have the same issues. I have two wireless networks at my office one is wep encryption and the other is wpa2/psk tkip. The wep router crashes everytime I connect. When I walk into the office in the morning with wifi enabled on my phone and connect to the wep router….internet goes down for the entire office (lol). I deleted the wep connection and only connect to the wpa router and I have no problems with anyone on that connection. IMHO it appears to possibly be wep related .

  10. Lloyd
    July 19, 2010 at 2:16 AM #

    I have this exact problem but im on an HTC Desire. Its so odd… as soon as I connect to the wifi everything drops.
    My wifi is running on a motorolla surfboard cable modem. I just bought this phone so am quite dissapointed with this.. please let me know if anyone finds a solution

  11. DaveInSF
    August 1, 2010 at 6:12 PM #

    EXACT same problem with my Incredible–connecting to a WEP-encrypted, hidden SSID, Linksys router brings it down immediately.

  12. Vito
    August 30, 2010 at 9:13 PM #

    I am having same issue with MotoDroid. I even went as far as replacing router and WAP, as I thought they were the problem, but problem persists.

  13. wes
    September 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM #

    Just updated my incredible five days ago and now it is crashing WiFi. After resting router, can only get my WiFi signal about 15 minutes to an hour before it crashes again. Have not had any problems with incredible until now but this is a major problem. Have had the phone four months with no WiFi problems until upgrade from HTC/verizon.

  14. Lance
    September 18, 2010 at 4:48 PM #

    Noticed my internet kept crashing over the last two weeks. I was ready to contact ATT then remembered that it all started around the same time as I got my Droid. I turned off the WiFi and poof never another problem.

  15. Vito
    September 30, 2010 at 9:59 AM #

    I have had my Droid for about 9 months and have had this issue since early on. It crashes entire home network, including wired systems and requires reset of router. I have replaced router and WAP, I have also crashed friend’s and family’s home networks that use a variety or brands of routers and a variety of security coding for Wifi. No real pattern to any of it other than if I leave wifi OFF on droid, no crash. If I leave it on, may not crash immediately, but it will within a few hours.

  16. will
    October 15, 2010 at 5:11 PM #

    This put my mind at ease. I’ve been racking my brain as to why my network kept crashing and low and behold it was the Droid. Would love to hear a solution.

  17. n
    November 12, 2010 at 11:59 PM #

    have the same exact problem. who do we call?

    • lcleveland
      November 14, 2010 at 9:38 AM #

      Ghostbusters?

  18. New Incredible Smartphone User
    December 2, 2010 at 3:50 PM #

    Just got my first Smartphone, the Incredible. My home WiFi crashes within 20 minutes of my phone connecting to it. Any new news on this issue? What to do next? Help!

  19. Lyle
    December 13, 2010 at 2:19 PM #

    I have this issue as well. I have an Airport extreme and have a Toshiba laptop running Vista, 2 Xboxs (one of which I trade for a PS3 occasionally), 2 Blackberrys and 2 Imacs who have been sharing my connection for a very long time without issue. I connected my Incredible and all wifi was lost to the point that only a power cycle would bring my network back online. I have messed with some settings, used WEP, WPA (all available methods) and have even gone without security. I also set it up as a hidden network and assigned static IPs to all devices. None of this did a lick of good. As a side note, I am a technician who specializes in wifi network installation for a large telecommunications company. I’m no amateur, so this is definitely a real issue, maybe not for all… but for me and obviously others too.

  20. Stephanie
    December 22, 2010 at 6:05 PM #

    I haven’t had a problem with the phones crashing the network (I have had other major issues with the phone). Today I received another replacement phone and when I connect to the Wi-Fi the 3G connection disappears. On my old phone this was never an issue. My husband has his original Incredible from a few months ago and I tried connecting the Wi-FI to his phone and the same thing happened.

    Why is the 3G signal dropping from the Incredible when the Wi-Fi is connected?

  21. Martin
    January 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    Same problem here. If I connect my Droid Incredible to my WEP-enabled home network, not even the wired devices can connect to the internet. I have a Rosewell WiFi router connected to a linksys router connected to the cable modem. It seems I have to turn off the DI’s WiFi and reboot the cable modem in order to get everything back online again.

  22. Lori
    January 14, 2011 at 11:29 PM #

    I have the exact same problem! We have 3 laptops, an Xbox 360, and Ipod Touch, PS3, wireless printer, and a desktop computer connected to our router with never a problem…..until I connected my new HTC Incredible. It shuts down everything, and the kids keep screaming “the internet crashed!”

    I guess I will just have to make sure my wi-fi isn’t turned on when I am at home. Glad I am not the only one with this problem.

  23. Bill
    February 8, 2011 at 1:15 PM #

    I just got the HTC Incredible last week and have noticed that I keep having to reset my router at home any time the HTC connects via WiFi… huge FAIL

    I am using a D-Link DIR-415 router with no encryption and MAC-Address filtering enabled.

    I am trying to find a solution to this problem, otherwise the phone is getting returned for a different brand.

    HTC has been a huge disappointment, the lack of quick search or detailed instructions for the phone has also been another gripe. I had to hunt down and install Astro File Manager just to get videos and pictures to my micro SD card. The uploads to YouTube and Facebook always fail, however I did get uploads to Flickr to work, but they don’t accept videos yet… another huge FAIL by HTC

  24. ginny
    February 18, 2011 at 12:35 AM #

    I have this problem. I have had my new DInc for three days, and it randomly crashed my internet, I have to power cycle the router and modem to bring it back. I previously had a Moto Droid 1 and this never happened. I use WPA2-Personal security, MAC address filtering, my SSID is broadcasting. It doesn’t happen immediately each time I turn on wireless on the DInc, but it does always seem to happen eventually.
    Also, possibly related? When I try to stream music on wireless at home, it stops playing a few seconds after the phone screen sleeps. When I switch to 3G, it doesn’t do this.
    Also, sometimes when the wireless has crashed, the 3G isn’t coming through, I have to go in and actually turn off the wireless on the phone, and uncheck/recheck boxes for mobile data settings, then finally 3G comes online. Weird.
    But I already love my DInc and am willing to be patient figuring these problems out, so if anyone has found any solutions, please post them!

  25. Sal
    February 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    I just recently got two Droid incredible phones. They both crash my dlink DIR-655 router. No doubt about it.. the phones are the culprit.. (both of them). Either one of them left connected to wifi will crash the router within a few hours. Prior to having these phones my wifi was stable and never went down in years. Now I must reboot it every few hours. Hope they find a fix.

  26. chris
    March 2, 2011 at 1:46 AM #

    I have opposite problem. My htc droid turns my router off when i disconnect from home wi fi through phone (wi fi router light goes off) then can connect with droid and router wi fi light comes back on?

  27. Paul
    June 12, 2011 at 12:07 AM #

    I just recently purchased a HTC Inspire from AT&T and I have had nothing but problems with WiFi on home network.

    Round 1: Crashed my network on my Dlink router and didn’t allow any other devices to work.

    Round 2: Exchanged for a new phone as AT&T told me it was the device. Tried again and crashed the network again.

    Round 3: Pulled out Linksys router and initially worked and crashed the network on separate router.

    Sounds like this is an HTC issue!

    Has anybody found a reason for this???

    • ThomKinCA
      August 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM #

      I’ve noticed a couple of people in this thread say they have the problem with their dlink. I just got a HTC mytouch 4G and have a dlink wireless router which crashes as soon as I try to connect to a websie through the mytouch.

      I’m thinking about getting a new router!

  28. EricinVA
    August 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM #

    I have had my Incredible for almost a year and have had this problem since day one. I have a D-Link router with 2 PCs hard wired and Wi-Fi connecting to a laptop, wii, ps3, xbox 360, ipod touch and bluray player. These all run without a hitch but turning my incredible’s wifi on will crash the network within 15 minutes usually. I found this page right after I got my phone and I’m surprised they still don’t have a fix for it.
    I am on my way out to best buy to try a different brand of router. If it still doesn’t fix the problem I’ll just return it. I’ll let all of you D-Link guys know if it helps.

  29. Nick
    August 29, 2011 at 4:59 AM #

    I have the same problem. I have a Nexus S and after about 30 minutes, it crashes my network. I also had the same issue with my Palm Pre, and when my brother connects with his HTC Desire HD, the same thing happens.

    I’ve had two routers in the space of a year, both Belkin and I have also used my phone at my friends house who has a router from BT, and the same thing happens…

    Any ideas on a fix?

  30. EricinVA
    September 11, 2011 at 5:23 PM #

    Okay, to update my last post. I went out and Got a Netgear N600 and set it up (hightest security settings).

    I won’t say that the problem has gone away 100% but it’s pretty dang close. I can actually surf the internet and stream video on my phone without the network crashing. I can go for days at a time without having to reset anything at all.

    The only time I seem to have a problem is sometimes when I come home the phone won’t automatically detect the network. I’ll just have to reset the PHONE’S wifi and it will then connect.

    It would be nice if HTC would address the problem themselves but in the mean time this seems like a pretty good fix for me.

  31. Wojt
    October 31, 2011 at 4:31 PM #

    I too have this problem. The phone crashes my work internet connection. My home internet connection through wifi is fine. The router we are using is a d-link wbr1310. Very frustrating!

    Hopefully they figure out whats wrong and fix this!!

  32. John Smith
    November 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM #

    This is also happening to my personal Droid Incredible at home. I use a linksys wrk54. I have access to a very powerful wireless controller (Cisco 4400) at work. Initially it appears to have some issues connecting, but the Cisco 4400 is able to overcome and does not crash.

    I checked the logs on the Cisco 4400 and I got an error stating that Decrypt errors occurred for client (my cell mac address) using WPA2 key on 802.11b/g interface of AP (ap’s mac). Some searching through cisco support forums indicates usually a client driver issue. I believe HTC needs to update the wireless driver on the phone to resolve this issue. Convincing them of that will be impossible however since they like to send boilerplate response emails about how to connect to wireless networks.

  33. TMo
    March 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

    I had this same problem with my HTC Thunderbolt. I did some digging and found a number of people have had this problem with various HTC products. I finally found a fix on the android forums:

    http://www.cybersprocket.com/2010/gadgets/droid-incredible-crashes-wifi-networks/

    See also:

    http://www.cybersprocket.com/2010/gadgets/droid-incredible-crashes-wifi-networks/

    (where I first found the fix).

    Good luck.