Verizon Fivespot WiFi Connection Issues

Recently I was setting up a brand new Toshiba laptop (running Windows 7) to use the WiFi hotspot created by Verizon’s Fivespot, but I ran into a persistent ‘security code mismatch’ issue. Hours of diagnostics later, I came across the workaround which, while not perfect, will work for now.

The Problem

Even though the laptop could see the wireless hotspot, when you entered the security code on the back of the Fivespot, it gave a ‘security code mismatch’ every time — even though other devices could connect to the Fivespot network just fine, and this laptop could connect to other wireless networks just fine. Adding to the peculiarity, if connected via USB to the laptop using the WWAN connection, it worked just fine.

The Workaround

(The tech professional version: Connect to the WiFi hotspot on another computer. Visit with ‘admin’ as the password and change the encryption mode to WEP. Enter a passcode, then apply. Restart the Fivespot. Connect from your device using the passcode.)

You’ll need a different computer that can successfully connect to the WiFi hotspot. I used another laptop for this, but it could be anything with a full browser — iPad, Blackberry, just whatever will connect. Go ahead and connect to the Verizon AC30 network on that device.

Type into your browser. When it asks you for a password, type ‘admin’, just like the username. Click Basic Setup at the top. On the drop-down for Encryption Mode, change it to WEP, then make up a password to fill in to Network Key 1. Click Next, then Apply. You can then close that page. Note that while using WEP mode means your network will not be open, it is not really that secure.

Next, to get the hotspot to show up correctly, I had to restart the Fivespot. Once the Verizon AC30 network shows up on your (formerly nonworking) laptop, connect and use your chosen Network Key as the password when it prompts you.

According to a very helpful Verizon employee who knew the workaround, they know about the issue, and they’re collecting details to be able to issue a firmware update to the Fivespot. Hopefully this will come soon.

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2 Responses to Verizon Fivespot WiFi Connection Issues

  1. Jason Butz says:

    Does the device use an implementation of WPA by default? Is that was is flawed? Also, if you can change the level of encryption with WEP be sure to go as high as possible since WEP is significantly easier to crack than WPA.

  2. Guy says:

    I don’t remember what security it uses by default, but obviously there is some incompatibility between the specific firmware on this laptop and the Fivespot’s implementation, since as I said, I got it to work just fine on several other devices. Good point on the WEP level, though the encryption has flaws enough that if someone is set on cracking you, you’re pretty much sunk either way.

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