On Wednesday, Microsoft released a new firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 with the intent to continue its line of Wi-Fi fixes. Reports have been thick and steady since the Surface Pro 3 first released that the tablet has Wi-Fi issues. Sometimes it wouldn't connect to Wi-Fi coming out of standby, which would require a reboot. Other times Wi-Fi just wouldn't shutdown, or come on at inopportune times, causing the tablet to come on all by itself sitting, stored in a bag, which would severely degrade battery life.
I see today, that some are reporting that the new firmware isn't a full fix, and that some Wi-Fi problems still exist. In some cases, Wi-Fi has been reported to have gotten worse. The blame is being attached directly to the Marvell Network Controller chip and suggested that a software patch alone cannot fix the problem.
Some are starting to suggest that Microsoft should issue a recall on the Surface Pro 3 with a fix for the faulty hardware.
But, there's the rub. I have personally never experienced any of the issues that have been reported for the past many months. What do you do when things just seem to work and seemingly the rest of the world is experiencing pains? Why am I so lucky?
I rely completely on the Surface Pro 3 for all my daily computing needs. I'm rarely outside of 10 feet from the tablet, as you can tell from Surface Pro 3 Diary series, which means it is in constant use. Don't you think I'd have experienced any of these reported issues by now? I've installed every update, every firmware release, and every driver without issue. And, I'm not alone. There are many Surface Pro 3 owners that have also never experienced Wi-Fi problems.
After understanding that there really are those without issues, is it possible that there's another factor in play that is getting overlooked? Maybe it's a combination of things. My current thought on the problem is that it has less to do with the Surface Pro 3 hardware and more to do with the Wi-Fi connection point, or some other miscellaneous software issue (like VPN software) that is fighting the Marvell driver for Wi-Fi dominance.
So, maybe it's the router? For my home and home office I use the NETGEAR R6300v2 Smart WiFi Router. It's a fabulous router, with deep management capabilities, and I've yet to have a single complaint with it. But truth told, I've also never experienced problems with Wi-Fi when traveling.
It's easy to blame Microsoft and its choice of networking hardware without digging into other possibilities. But, as IT folks, we need to. Our mission on this earth is to fix things. Sometimes digging into the smallest, most obscure, and most unseemly areas produces the desired result.
How about you? Are you experiencing Wi-Fi problems? What is your normal router?
Maybe together we can pinpoint the exact problem.