Windows Mobile hotspot | Connected without internet

OS Tested #Windows11 & #Windows10 with Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

Update: 03rd December 2022

I am following 2 threads for the same subject, one with Microsoft & other with Intel. My HP Laptop came with Intel Wi-Fi 6 adaptor AX 201 & something is not okay with it. After dozens of combinations, I have reached to a point where my clients are holding up to 20 minutes idle time without showing “Connected without Internet”. Intel asked me to use drivers provided by HP as the OEM tweaks the drivers based on the device, well, in my case, I am having the same issues while using drivers provided by both parties with defaults.

The following works for now:

I opted Preferred band 2.4GHz as my laptop always connects to 5G Wi-Fi band at home. It’s been over an hour time & my phone is still hooked to the network without additional issues. Please note, I have setup the phone with Manual IP and Phone MAC, as discussed below.

Update: 28th November 2022

I’m not convinced that there is something wrong with my Wi-Fi adapter. I formatted my development laptop, that had gone through a series of Windows OS updates to Windows 11 22H2, the day it was released. I updated all the hardware drivers & setup the “Mobile Hotspot” once again, only changing the auto power off when no clients are connected.

I setup my 12 years old PC that serves like a multimedia server connected to TV with an Archer T3U Wi-Fi dongle & setup “Mobile Hotspot”. This PC runs Windows 10 22H2.

I made the following change. Instead of the autogenerated complex password, I setup a simple password “pass@1234”. It’s been hours, my mobile is connected, not a single time it entered into “Connected without internet” shit. I’ve changed this PC’s sleeping plans to 4 hours to sleep when plugged in and checking whether the connection breaks.

Well, I changed the same with my development laptop also, however, didn’t have much time to ensure that the connection holds. Now, I am eagerly waiting to get back to office tomorrow to check whether the autogenerated passwords were the culprits! Stay tuned.

Update: 27th November 2022

I had another round of “Connected without internet” on 26th of November, after setting up Phone MAC for the specific connection. To double check, I setup another PC running Windows 10 at home and was able to recreate the same experience. Unfortunately, it looks like Windows Mobile hotspot behaves little different than the regular routers. Hence, today I setup my phone with a static IP address & it is holding up until this very moment. I will be doing more research and posting my findings here.

We’ve poor cellular coverage by the datacenter area from the service provider & most of the times I use my work laptop as Mobile hotspot & it did work. Well, minimum until recent days.

I started seeing my mobile phone showing “Connected without internet” once in few minutes times & I had to reconnect which was a recent development. Unfortunately, I couldn’t land upon any relevant solutions after spending almost two working days searching for solutions & executing my own logic with resetting network/Winsock etcetera.

As I use Samsung Galaxy A71 5G Android phone, I thought of giving another attempt by searching for “Galaxy a71 5g connected without internet” & one of the first search results was:

Samsung Galaxy Phones “Connected without Internet”

Here, the vlogger talks about “Randomized MAC” Galaxy phones use when connecting to Wi-Fi networks. Although the vlogger suggests Static IP address & other changes to resolve this issue, I only changed the connection property from “Random MAC” to “Phone MAC” & days long frustrations were over.

I wanted to figure out why all of a sudden this issue started. I remember using the Mobile Hotspot without any issues, had a PowerShell script to start the mobile hotspot startup automatically whenever I am connected to work network for months & couldn’t just give up because I found a solution. Hence, I continued to find more answers.

There were more videos discussing the same issue about Samsung Galaxy phones & subsequently I landed on a Samsung community discussion here

My mobile is paired over Bluetooth to my laptop & it connects every time laptop restarts. One of the initial settings I checked was to ensure Mobile Hotspot was not setup for 2.4GHz, that causes issues for Bluetooth which uses 2.4GHz by default.

In my case, at work I am not connected to Wi-Fi networks & mobile hotspot is configured to share internet from my domain network connection. By default, as the 5GHz is not consumed by Wi-Fi connections, mobile hotspot utilizes that frequency and leaves a notification, asking to switch the frequency if devices fail to connect.

Hence, it could be one of the many elements as discussed in the Samsung community thread. All you need is to try and find out one that suits your situation. Regardless, if it is a Samsung Galaxy phone, the first solution you could try is to setup Phone MAC instead of Randomized MAC for the specific Wi-Fi connection that you have issues with. If that didn’t resolve, try others.