WiFi File Explorer and SECuRET LiveStream, so I thought I would write a post that I can point users in the direction of to help answer their common queries. I should point out that the huge majority of users suffer no problems whatsoever with these applications – it is only a small handful of users that get caught out with this issue.
Both applications are similar in that they both require you to connect your Android device to a WiFi network and then when they start, you are prompted to enter a web address into a browser on a computer which is connected to that same WiFi network. Without going into too much technical detail, both WiFi File Explorer and SECuRET LiveStream are custom web servers that allow you to interface with your Android device using a web browser.
So the common problem is that users will start either one of the applications on the Android device, it will prompt them to enter an address into a web browser and then ... massive letdown - nothing will happen in the web browser; it will just display a connection error, or timeout. This leads to the inevitable poorly spelt, “Dis app sux – don’t even work. Uninstalling.” comment ... by the way, why do so many people include, ‘uninstalling’ in their comments? Do other people really care if they uninstalled the application or not?
Ah, but the applications don’t ‘sux’! The applications are actually pretty nifty and work perfectly, as proven by the thousands of happy customers that parted with cold hard cash to purchase them, or the 4.5 star rating of each one, of the high chart positions (not blowing my own trumpet or anything ;) ). The problem is down to user error or the network configuration; you know, all the stuff that is beyond my control, but I still get blamed for it anyway!
Now, to try and help the users that have difficulty using WiFi File Explorer and SECuRET LiveStream, I am going to give a few pointers below that should help you find the cause of the problem. Remember though, I don’t know how your network is configured, what network equipment you are using or how reliable it is, what security measures you have in place, or what you had for breakfast – I just write the applications, and I can only support them ... I won’t be your network administrator :P
Pointers are listed below ...
1) Is the web browser you are typing the address into on a computer that is on the same WiFi network as the Android device? This is essential and the most basic step of all, so if you can’t confirm this you may as well quit right here!
2) Are you typing in the address in the exact way it was given to you by the application? Make sure you haven’t made any typos or left out a colon or a slash. This one catches a lot of people out, so make sure you double check, and triple check and then check again, before you move on. It should look like http://192.168.0.4:8000/.
3) What is the IP address of your computer and what is the IP address of your Android device? Are they on the same subnet? Assuming you have a default subnet mask, then the subnet is the 3rd part of your IP address, e.g. an IP address of 192.168.20.1 is on subnet 20. If the subnets do not match, then the computer and Android device cannot communicate with each other. Look up on Google how to find your IP address ;)
4) Are there any other applications on your Android device that is trying to use the same port? By default, both applications use port 8000, so if you are aware that other apps are using this port, then stop them or reconfigure them. By the way, the port being used is the part of the address after the last colon, e.g. an address of http://192.168.0.4:8000/ is using port 8000.
5) Are you running any antivirus applications on your Android device that may be preventing incoming connections? Remember, both WiFi File Explorer and SECuRET LiveStream are essentially web servers, so some antivirus applications (most of which are garbage, in my opinion) may be blocking them.
6) Are you running any security or firewall configurations anywhere on your network? Are there any ‘rules’ you may have setup that could be blocking a web server from running on your network? Is it a ‘work’ network – if it is, then I would suggest it could be fairly tightly controlled – you may find the applications work at home, but not at work?
7) What security protocol are you using to encrypt your network? I have had one user state that he could only get it to work when using WEP ... so try using WEP, or another one – have a fiddle ;)
8) Still not working? Well, it’s down to you now – anything up until point 7 should have remedied the problem. If it is still not working, then you have configured you network in such a way (either on purpose or accidentally) that your computer cannot communicate with the Android device ... but remember, the application is definitely working – you just can’t get to it on your network!
I hope this helps you out (as well as saving me from writing the same email reply over and over again). Let me know if it does, or feel free to leave any comments below with any other tips or tricks you found to get either of the applications working on your network.