Q

Why can't my phone connect to the wired LAN?

Learn why your 802.11g-enabled phone can connect to the Internet through a Lynksys router but not to your wired LAN, in this Q&A with Lisa Phifer.

I am using WPA Personal with a Pre Shared Key on my Nokia N80, 802.11g-enabled phone and can connect to the Internet through my Linksys WRT54G router without problems. But I cannot connect to the wired LAN connected to the same router, on which all machines use WinXP SP2 and a workgroup rather than Active Directory. How can I do this please?

The fact that you can associate to the WRT54G and use the Internet means that you have a successful link layer connection. Presumably, the Windows XP systems on your wired LAN also have successful link layer connections. This means that you have a higher layer problem.

Start at the network layer and make sure you are able to route traffic from the wireless LAN to the wired LAN through the WRT54G. If you have a laptop with a built-in wireless card, try associating that laptop using WPA and the Pre Shared Key used by your phone. Then try to ping one of the wired LAN PCs from the laptop and vice versa. For example, if the laptop is 192.168.1.100 and the PC is 192.168.1.50, run "ping 192.168.1.100" from the PC and "ping 192.168.1.50" from the laptop. (Temporarily disable any firewall running on both ends before you try these pings.) If both sides say the destination is reachable, go to the next step. If not, look at your WRT54G's settings to see why it is not routing traffic between those two systems.

Once you have verified network reachability, it's time to look for application layer problems. You did not say which applications you are trying to reach from your Nokia N80, but verify that the target PC is listening on the port you are trying to reach, without having a firewall block incoming connections to that port. For further hints, check out Nokia's FAQ page on using your phone with a WLAN. Note that you must install software on the PC to copy media from that system to your phone.

This was first published in May 2007

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