Chances are that you may experience some sort of connectivity issues that occur randomly when you connect a Windows 7 or a Windows Vista based Mobile PC to particular Wi-Fi networks or “hot spots”. This article analyses the problem and puts forth some solutions to work around this issue.


When trying to connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot, there might be some connection problems which could be either of the following

* The wireless connection has dropped.
* Poor performance issues.

Note that these difficulties may occur even when your Windows 7 or Windows Vista based Mobile PC is connected to a wireless access point in space restricted areas such as homes and offices.


One of the main causes for such a problem to occur is that the Wi-Fi hot spot uses wireless APs or routers that do not support the 802.11 power save protocol.

This difficulty occurs when because of the power saving feature present in both the operating systems i.e. Windows 7 as well as Windows Vista. The default power plan set in such Mobile PCs is Balanced power plan. The following are the cases in Mobile PCs that are set to Balanced power plan

* When the mobile PC is connected to a power source, the wireless network adapter is configured to use Maximum Performance mode. By doing so, the power save mode of 802.11 is turned off.
* When the mobile PC is running on battery backup power, the wireless network adapter is set to use Medium Power Save mode. By doing so, the power save mode of 802.11 is turned on.

When an 802.11 wireless network adapter which is set to use power save mode tries to enter the sleep state, the adapter lets the wireless access point know about this. The adapter carries this function out by setting the power save option in its packets or in the 802.11 frames that it sends to the wireless access point. In such a situation, the following should occur:

1. When the wireless access point receives the frames that have the power save option set, the wireless access point understands that the network adapter which sent the frames wants to enter the power saving status.
2. The wireless access point then buffers the packets that are supposed to reach the client network adapter.
3. When the radio of the network adapter gets turned on, the network adapter communicates with the access point to retrieve the buffered packets.

This allows the wireless network adapter to employ less power and to wake up periodically at the right time to receive the network traffic from the access point.

If the wireless access point does not support this feature correctly, the wireless access point continues to send packets to the client network adapter even when the network adapter radio is switched off. Therefore, these packets are lost. In such a situation, the various occurrences that you might experience may differ depending on the stage of the wireless connection at which these packets are lost.


There are various solution that can be implemented to solve the above mentioned problem. They are listed and explained below


A simple solution would be to connect your mobile PC to a power source. By doing so, the operating system changes the wireless network adapter power setting in the default power plan from the Medium Power Save setting to the Maximum Performance setting. This automatically switches off the power save mode of 802.11.


Follow these simple steps

1. Click Start, type Power Options in the Search box, and select Power Options from the Programs list.
2. Click Change plan settings under the power plan that is selected.
3. Click Change advanced power settings.
4. In the dialog box that appears, expand Wireless Adapter Settings, and then expand Power Saving Mode.
5. In the list that appears next to On battery, click Maximum Performance, and then click OK.


To change from any other power plan to High Performance power plan, do the following

1. Click Start, type Power Options in the Search box, and select Power Options from the Programs list.
2. Select High Performance.