Tips and Tricks: Mobile Phone Troubleshooting

Mobile Phone Basically, how to use your phone like a boss…

In this issue of Steve writes a blog, I will be demonstrating a few extremely useful troubleshooting methods by using a mobile phone. Primarily, I focus around a rooted Android Operating system due to its ease of use and my personal preference, but other devices may work for most of these tips as well. Read on and enjoy!

Test Hosted Website Public Access

Is your site not loading from your home, work, corporate or other network? Do this:

  1. Turn off your WiFi
  2. Load your site on your Mobile Phone.

I prefer to do this in Chrome. Since it is my main Browser on all devices, all my credentials are saved on any device I am signed into with my Google Account. If the site loads via the mobile network, then the issue you are experiencing is likely a local networking issue. See if you can load other websites, ping your own site or browse your site by IP.

You Can Ping from a Mobile Phone

Just load your favorite Terminal Emulator and run basic Linux Commands all day, such as ping. Do yourself a favor and either get a Terminal Keyboard installed or use a Bluetooth Keyboard. It makes working on Android much easier for these tasks. Terminal Emulator If you are not Linux inclined, fret not. The beauty of Smartphones shines through—there is an App for everything. My favorite app for quick Ping and HTTP tests is HTTPing. This tool will let your run a ping, return Status codes and measure latency. Just remember that Mobile Data Networks Latency is generally pretty high when you run this tool on the go. And here’s a fairly handy link if you need to check Status codes. HTTPing

Speaking of the Terminal Emulator

You can do much more than Ping. Mobile Phones are just small computers, and with the right tools you can also run:

  • Nslookup
  • SSH
  • WGET
  • Telnet
  • FTP
  • Traceroute
  • Many more

One of those “Right Tools” is Tiny Utils. This allows you to run commands you are used to having while working at a GNU/Linux Terminal. Get your research on: check out the full list of BusyBox commands. Some commands may require Root Access. If you are unfamiliar with Root and basic GNU/Linux commands, steer clear and download App’s with specific purposes instead.

More Specific Purpose Apps!

  • FingFing
    • Fing lets you perform Network Discovery and Port Service Scans on your Wireless Network. In my opinion, this is one of the best apps for this purpose. For you techies, it does have more advanced features too.
  • InSSIDerInSSIDer
    • A very competent WiFi Scanner and Analyzer. I’ve used this on many occasions.
  • IP Network CalculatorIP Network Calculator
    • I don’t know about you, but I don’t have subnets 100% memorized. Not yet at least. Luckily, despite the many Subnet Calculators out there, this one has all the information you would need.
  • Microsoft Remote DesktopMicrosoft Remote Desktop
    • It might not be the easiest way to remotely control a machine, but it serves its purpose. Pair this with a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard and it’s not much different than the real thing.

Do you have any other must have Apps for IT professionals? Let us know in the comments.

Hey, What’s Your Wifi Password?

Today’s Passkeys are great for security, but terrible for human memorization. If you aren’t able to use WPS to pair the requestee’s device, you can always check a hidden file that has the Key saved on your Android Phone as long as you have a Rooted Device. Do this:

  1. Download a File Explorer with Root Permissions. Root Explorer does just this.
  2. Navigate to the root directory: /data/misc/wifi
  3. Open the document wpa_supplicant.conf

Or, open a Terminal Emulator and Type: $ Su $ Cat /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf This is going to show you every Saved WiFi networks you have connected to and the known PSK (Passkey). Pretty Nifty, if I do say so myself. network={ ssid="[SSID Name]" psk="[WPA passphrase]" key_mgmt=[Encryption type] priority=[XX] DO NOT Modify this file unless you know what you are doing— or unless you enjoy not having WiFi Access.

Wrap It Up Already!

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that could be helping you every day, but it is a start. If you have more ideas to share, sound off in the comments below. As always, if you liked this post, link it, like it, and subscribe for more like it!

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