Friday, 15 March 2013

The Ping Test


A number of my applications (WiFi File Explorer, SECuRET LiveStream and BabyCam Monitor) are all web server based applications (i.e. your Android device acts as a mini web server).  They start up and then prompt you to enter a web address into a web browser on a device on the same network to access the web interface.  Simple enough, but a common problem users email be about is not being able to connect to the application when they actually go to enter the address they have been given.

There are a number of reasons this can happen, and I have already listed out most of those at an article I wrote here at this link.  It's a very useful article and I'd urge you to read it, especially since there are many useful comments from users that have solved the problem in different ways.  However, it's over two years old now, and since writing it I have become better at recognising the cause of problem and finding a much quicker way for you to diagnose it.  So before reading the article linked to above, please read the following...

By far and away, the most common cause of not being able to contact the app when entering the address is simply that your network/router is not configured correctly.  The easy way to determine this is to perform a ping test and the results of this will confirm that or not.  If you don't now how to ping, then read this article.  So just ping the IP address of your Android device from your PC (search Google for how to find out your particular Android device's IP address) and if you don't get a reply, then we can say for certain that your network is not allowing communications between your PC and Android device.  And because these apps all use your local network, this will prevent them from being accessed... so not the apps fault at all!!  If you do get a reply, then your network appears to be OK, and so go back to reading the original article I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

More than likely though, you didn't get a reply in your ping test and the devices can't communicate on your particular network.  In that case, I am afraid it is up to you to figure out what is up with your router/network.  I can't really support you in this case because I have no idea what your network is set up for or what your particular use case for it is, not to mention the many different types of routers on the market than I am not familiar with (I usually forget how to use even my own router!), so I am in no position to offer expert support.  I can however say that a lot of users (more than you probably think) "fix" the issue simply by switching the router off and back on again (I know, right!).  Another common cause can be that you have "Wireless Isolation" (or something named similarly - basically, preventing wireless devices from communicating) enabled on your router, so check that option on your router settings.  Beyond that, I am sure a quick search on Google ("can't ping ip address") will yield enough results to help solve your network configuration problem (that's what I would do anyway).

Hopefully I have provided enough information between this article and the article here for you to be able to support yourself on this one, but if you are still stuck after that or your just need help understanding anything I have already written about, then please feel free to contact me again and I'll try to give you some personal support as soon as I am available.

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