Widespread reports of Sony Vaio notebook Wi-Fi issues

By on September 5, 2013, 7:45 AM
sony, vaio, laptop, networking, wifi, problems, widespread, sony vaio fit

Several people have come forward to report wireless problems with select Sony Vaio notebooks – particularly the Vaio Fit – over the past few months. Issues range from capped speeds over Wi-Fi to signal strength significantly diminishing the further the system is from a router.

One of the most prominent threads on Sony’s support forum seems to suggest the issue stems from the Broadcom wireless card (BCM43142) inside the machine. One user reported a max signal strength of just two bars with speed tests resulting in just 1MB/sec download speeds and anywhere between 1-5MB/sec upload.

Sony issued a series of updates for the wireless card about a week ago according to Vaio Fit owners but these did little to quell the connection issues. Multiple users said they have contacted customer support and have been offered numerous fixes – most of which didn’t work. The only solution it seems is to physically replace the Broadcom card with a unit from Intel (Centrino 6235).

Replacing the Wi-Fi card is a simple enough procedure that could even be accomplished by those that aren’t very tech-savvy but having to do so on your own dime on a brand new notebook is uncalled for. We’ve reached out to Sony for a comment on the issue but we have not received a reply as of writing. If we do hear back, we’ll update this story accordingly.

Do you own a Sony Fit laptop that has experienced similar Wi-Fi issues? If so, have you had any luck with Sony customer support in solving the problem?




User Comments: 50

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wastedkill said:

Could it be they skimped out on the wifi to save money? haha or it could simply be bad wifi from their router?

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

And that is why I dont buy Vaios. They have too many issues.

1 person liked this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

And that is why I dont buy Vaios. They have too many issues.

Yea, its a pricey laptop that does not have top of the line products in it. There's better alternatives to buying a Sony Vaio.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Yea, its a pricey laptop that does not have top of the line products in it. There's better alternatives to buying a Sony Vaio.

My sister has a Vaio and she hated it so much she bought a Mac haha.

RzmmDX said:

Wifi Card? Easy to replace?

Last time I removed my wifi card and plugged it back in, I could no longer turn it on...

Herp derp.

Guest said:

Replacing the Wi-Fi card is a simple enough procedure that could even be accomplished by those that aren't very tech-savvy

are we talking about Vaio? Sir I think you live on another planet

Guest said:

Techspot is publishing this news to get more customers for Apple.

Guest said:

Shushh... Strawman.

Guest said:

Just bought the vaio fit 2 days ago... I've had the wifi stop working at least 10 times already.

futureshop allows me to return within 14 days... if this isn't fixed by then... it's going back.

Guest said:

Same story here, in the Netherlands. Bought a Sony VAIO 13", 3 days ago but the wifi is dropping all the time. Using skype is not possible, only for chat, and chrome is telling that webpages are not reachable anymore. First thought it was only at my house but it is also the same on other locations where my HP used to work perfectly. So I checked the internet and I see I am not the only one with this problem. But so far I could not find a solution. Frustrating.

Guest said:

Search the net and it seems that many Sony products have wifi issues, from mobile phones to laptops. Quite a disaster.

Guest said:

I've sent back two Vaio Fit's with bad wifi cards now. First one was an exchange, this one is a straight return. Sony's support was terrible. I've bought 5 straight Vaio's before this, but will never purchase one again.

Guest said:

Received this beauty yesterday and had my head scratched over night....decide return it today...what a shame on SONY to ship a product like this with obvious flaw...

had another sony for 5 years but now they force me looking for something else...

Ayjay Cee said:

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Vaio Fit 15 (Core i7) for UK £950 (around US $1500) which had all the issues mentioned elsewhere. Initially, I thought it was a great laptop but once I stated using it in anger, it kept losing the internet connection due, I think, to very poor wifi reception. Sitting alongside my 2 year old Samsung Ultrabook and a Nexus 7, the sony showed 2 bars signal strength and 19Mbps whereas the Samung had 5 bars and 150Mbps and the Nexus 7 4 bars and 65 Mbps. Sony support were very nice but ultimately useless - they admitted it was a known issue and said they were passing the case to 2nd Line support who would respond 'within 48 hours' - it's now been 4 days and I have not heard a thing. As Sony had not responded, I took it back to the store who exchanged it for a Sony Duo 13 but I had to pay another UK £ 250 / US $400. Initially, I thought this was a very cool piece of kit until it started showing all the same wifi problems as it's predecessor. Looking into the Device Manager, it would seem that the Duo had the same Broadcom wifi adapter as the Fit and was equally rubbish. In the end, I kept the Duo for one day and then returned it to the store who gave me a full refund without any argument. As a consequence of all this, I am now in the market for another laptop in the £1000 - 1500 price bracket but WILL NOT being looking at another Sony - indeed, I think the whole experience has poisoned me as far as Sony products in general are concerned. Don't know what to go for yet though - any suggestions much appreciated.

Guest said:

The same here.. I bought Vaio Fit 15 Touch in Slovakia.. It's really frustrating :(

Guest said:

The same in Poland. Vaio Fit 15 and bcm43142 issue! Sony has informed me that it is a driver problem and they are working on it! We will see how long we have to wait to fix this problem.

Guest said:

Sony is not being responsible! They should stop selling this defective Vaio Fit and should recall the ones they've already sold. I have a laptop that can't get Wifi - what good is that? Do not buy this laptop!

Guest said:

Well, I purchased my VAIO Fit through Best Buy months ago and have had this problem since the beginning. I posted on the forums immediately upon discovering it in hopes that a viable compromise might be made somewhere down the line, but apparently that is out of the question. The fact that the moderators refuse to even discuss the problem with us on their own support forum is disgusting. The solution is simple enough; SONY needs to recall all of these defective machines immediately and replace the Wi-Fi cards themselves instead of forcing their consumers to clean up the mess. I paid top dollar for this notebook so I didn't expect something as trivial as a Wi-Fi card to be an issue... ridiculous...

Also, replacing the card myself is not an option simply because the $300 warranty I purchased through Best Buy will be voided if something goes wrong when I open it up. Then it becomes a much larger problem for me.

Seriously SONY, get your **** together. Your reputation is suffering even more-so now over something that could be fixed so easily.

Guest said:

Same story here in Belgium. Bought a VAIO FIT 15, terrible wifi performance, talked about it with support, they fortunately acknowledged it's a generalised problem. I sent back the unit and received email notification today that I would be refunded. Owned several other VAIO's before and NEVER had this kind of problem. My trust in Sony suffered greatly, fortunately they were easy on doing the refund, which shows they know there is a serious problem. How did these units ever make it past Quality Control? On the outlook now for another laptop, and seriously doubt it will be another Sony.

Guest said:

I bought from USA and now use in Qatar and it is the same problem. I use MacBook, Kindle, I Pod Touch, I Pad and Dell computers with the same router and there is no problem. I think Sony should recall this product and fix it considering we paid almost 1000 USD. Meanwhile, it is a Vaio Fit Premium.

annie9000 said:

I just got this beautiful laptop yesterday, and now I am having the same wireless problem!! it is so frustrating. called the sony service, they said will send me a wireless adapter.. is there anyone use that wireless adapter before? should I just return the laptop? but it is really beautiful from the outside and it is slim :( if I change the wireless card inside to the inter Centrino 6235 model , will that work perfectly??

can anyone reply me about this??

Guest said:

It is best to return the laptop, for more beautiful it is, not worth having a device that expensive and you have this type of problem so serious, I returned my vaio yesterday and wait for another option (yoga, surface pro, etc)

Guest said:

I called Sony and said I wanted to return my Vaio Fit and before I could complete my sentence the guy on the phone said wi-fi problems eh?

They know about the problem but the continue to sell the laptops.

However, search the net for just about any - mac, samsung, hp etc - 2013 laptop and you will find similiar discussions on wifi issues. It seems sony are not the only ones using the broadcom card.

Guest said:

Same problem here in Germany. Bought a Sony Vaio Pro 13 a week ago. Will never buy a Sony again!

tony stefano tony stefano said:

Hello guys. I had the same problem. It is in Windows, not in Sony. Go to the trouble shooter in your control panel and check the network diagnostics; it would be fixed automatically when the problem is detected.

tony stefano tony stefano said:

Here how to fix the issue: when the connection is lost go to control panel > find and fix problems (under system and security) > network and internet > click on incoming connections > windows starts searching, finds it and repairs the problem (it is usually switches from automatically discovered wi-fi to manual), after doing this the problem most likely will disappear.

tony stefano tony stefano said:

Sorry, the problem is not in the incoming connections but in the network adapter

Guest said:

This article, while raising the important topic, is avoiding the big issue all Sony laptop byers are facing. The company has failed to deliver working WiFi on three most popular products (Pro, Fit, Duo) in their new model lineup and six month down the line has not provided a viable fix. I had the most frustrating experience with Sony USA community support people who initially claimed they would look into the issue with all seriousness, but afterwards stopped any communication with the forum board (presumably during to the gravity of their findings) this was the PRO 13 thread quoted.

Guest said:

Expecting delivery of new laptop tomorrow. Had vaio's since they first came out, touch wood, never had a problem but wifi is fairly fundamental- if it doesn't work it's going back.

pay attention sony it's not just geeks discussing this now.

Guest said:

I have the same problems as above with Vaio svp132a1cl. Thought it was a Windows 8 issue, but seems to be Sony. Sometimes I get wireless connection, sometimes not and sometimes limited connection only. My old Vaio works ok. Also it seems that the new Vaio affects the router and cuts off connection from other computers as well. Bought the Vaio in the US, but I'm now in Europe ... what to do? Such shame, I've been a happy Vaio user for years!

Guest said:

There's nothing to do.... Sony is aware of this problem for months and keeps selling these useless notebooks.

Check this out: http://community.sony.com/t5/VAIO-Hardware-Networking/New-So
y-Vaio-Pro-Wifi-Issue/td-p/143557/page/129

About 1300 messages of people unsatisfied with vaio wifi issue and with sony support as well.

Guest said:

I wanted to buy sony fit model, but now I'm sure I wont. sony suck.

Guest said:

Same problems,

My response from Sony:

"Thank you for contacting Sony.

We are sorry to learn that you are experiencing issues with the wireless connectivity on your VAIO and that it is performing poorly and unsatisfactory.

I apologize sincerely for the inconvenience that has been caused regarding this issue.

However, we would like to confirm that our engineers at Sony are currently investigating this issue and that they are doing their best to get the issue resolved. We will notify you whenever we receive any updates and a permanent fix."

They also went on to suggest I turn pretty much every windows service off to make "a little bit improvement" - which I didn't bother with as if the fix was that simple, they would have released a software fix by now.

I'm holding out for a fix as I love every other aspect of the Vaio Fit SV-F14A1C5E laptop. And giving it has a two year warranty I have plenty of time to return if they don't come forth with a suitable fix.

Tom - UK

Guest said:

Same problem here sony fit 14' while other devices works properly sony fails with 2 or 1 bar loosing connection from time to time.

mialves mialves said:

The same with me in Portugal! Completely disapointed with VAIO Fit.

Be aware of this issue and never buy VAIO again!

Sarbear said:

I got a Sony Vaio last month. Connectivity issues since day one. I was hoping I could manually fix it. It says the computer is trying to hook up to too many connections at once.. but that doesn't seem to be the issue. I've sent an E-mail to Sony, we will see what happens. Probably nothing by the looks of these comments...

There is now a solution! I spoke with Sony, follow this link to fix the problem:

ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/43725/p/48903,4990
,74253,85577/c/65,67/kw/43725

There is now a solution! I spoke with Sony, follow this link to fix the problem:

ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/43725/p/48903,4990
,74253,85577/c/65,67/kw/43725

just insert that right after the http. this blog wouldn't let me include that.

The same with me in Portugal! Completely disapointed with VAIO Fit.

Be aware of this issue and never buy VAIO again!

I just got a solution from Sony, go to this link and follow instructions https (colon slash slash) ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/43725/p/48903,4990
,74253,85577/c/65,67/kw/43725

Same problem here sony fit 14' while other devices works properly sony fails with 2 or 1 bar loosing connection from time to time.

check out the solution - Sony has added a downloadable driver follow link (https colon slash slash) ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/43725/p/48903,4990
,74253,85577/c/65,67/kw/43725

Same problems,

My response from Sony:

"Thank you for contacting Sony.

We are sorry to learn that you are experiencing issues with the wireless connectivity on your VAIO and that it is performing poorly and unsatisfactory.

check out the solution in the feed, sony posted a link

I apologize sincerely for the inconvenience that has been caused regarding this issue.

However, we would like to confirm that our engineers at Sony are currently investigating this issue and that they are doing their best to get the issue resolved. We will notify you whenever we receive any updates and a permanent fix."

They also went on to suggest I turn pretty much every windows service off to make "a little bit improvement" - which I didn't bother with as if the fix was that simple, they would have released a software fix by now.

I'm holding out for a fix as I love every other aspect of the Vaio Fit SV-F14A1C5E laptop. And giving it has a two year warranty I have plenty of time to return if they don't come forth with a suitable fix.

Tom - UK

I have the same problems as above with Vaio svp132a1cl. Thought it was a Windows 8 issue, but seems to be Sony. Sometimes I get wireless connection, sometimes not and sometimes limited connection only. My old Vaio works ok. Also it seems that the new Vaio affects the router and cuts off connection from other computers as well. Bought the Vaio in the US, but I'm now in Europe ... what to do? Such shame, I've been a happy Vaio user for years!

check out the link I posted, it helped me.

Just bought the vaio fit 2 days ago... I've had the wifi stop working at least 10 times already.

futureshop allows me to return within 14 days... if this isn't fixed by then... it's going back.

problem solved, follow this link to dl new driver.

https (colon forward slash forward slash) ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/43725/p/48903,4990
,74253,85577/c/65,67/kw/43725

sarahypp sarahypp said:

I thought I was the only unlucky Sony user here. I received a Sony Vaio E series 14p laptop as a gift... and I have been experiencing wifi problems. I initially thought that perhaps it was internet connection that was the problem but I'm also using my other computer, a Toshiba that never gave me any such problems. This is my 3rd Toshiba computer and frankly speaking I'm more of a brand loyal person. Its cheap and I never have any complaints about them... except that they got old lol!

Frustrating... also my friend owns a Sony smartphone, we are very reliant on whatapp all the time and there are times when her phone internet connection will just die off for no reason while everyone else's phones will be fine.

After this experience, I'm never gonna get Sony products ever again.

irongrill irongrill said:

Sorry, this 'fix' isn't the answer, at least on Sony Pro. Sony Pro uses the Intel WiFi adapter, this is for a broadcom. Comments about modifying router security and channel are not very helpful when you are in an airport or coffee shop. The only 2 settings that are relevant on the Sony Pro, Namely, not allowing adpater to go to sleep, transmit power maximum, Bandwidth Auto instead of 2.4GHz only don't resolve the issue, I tried that several days ago and have been disconnected 3 times just reading this blog

Guest said:

Same here in Uruguay, bought Sony VAIO SVF 14A15 5 days ago and I love every aspect of it (touchscreen, backlit keyboard, smooth performance, excellent design and even the included Sony apps and VAIO care) except for the wifi problem :(

As usual I though it was me so I've updated to Windows 8.1, downloaded every updated driver VAIO care shows up, updated the BIOS and even tried turning on/off Bluetooth (this probed to be a problem in some Toshiba models, if you use BT then wifi download drops even if you select cooperative mode in the driver), NFC and also turned off my wireless phone just in case. Also tried all of this outside home thinking that perhaps some sort of device around will be the cause.

The problem remains the same, wifi shows sometimes as "limited" and sometimes it simply disconnects. Is not an issue of my router (Linksys E4500) because I've always used Toshiba and my old laptop doesnt get disconnected at all. Also using LAN connection everything works fine.

But this is not the only problem, I've got a 50/10Mbps fiber connection and VAIO only reachs 10Mbps downloading even very close to the router, every other single computer I own easily achieves 25Mbps over wifi. Strange thing is that every computer, including the VAIO, reachs 10Mbps upload speed (can't explain that, if there are issues downloading should be the same issues uploading) I've used speedtest.net for the tests.

Thanks to all of you for your reports, because I now have some sort of "prove" that I can show to the store to say that I'm not doing something wrong and the problem is for real :)

I'm returning this VAIO SVF 14A15 right now and promise that NEVER will buy a SONY product again, I still have a couple of days so if nothing amazing happens it a full refund.

I've should keep using Toshiba or HP, reliable brands which I alerady own. (2 Toshibas and 1 HP Mini notebook)

Guest said:

Just bought a Vaio Fit 14A from Best Buy for my daughter for Christmas. Downloading Antivirus to it first thing, dropped connection over 20 times for a 4 minute download. All while my 4 year old laptop right across from it kept right on chugging away. I even broke my promise to myself after a SONY DVD player broke after7 months. NO MORE SONY for me.

Guest said:

I too bought a Sony Vaio Fit 15 this October and had wifi problems from day one, disconnections, slow speed and low signal as I distanced from the router. I was unfortunate to buy it from a shop that proved unprofessional, dismissed return/credit on the excuse that Sony says will find a driver solution and I got stuck with it. I sent it to Sony, they claimed that the wifi worked. Not.

In the end, I had to pay a professional technician to check what the hell is wrong with the wifi. And he found out that... it is really all Broadcom 43142 fault. It's an old, 11 channel/frequency card. It may be OK for the USA, where routers are mostly 11 channel anyway. But for Europe and many other countries, routers work at 13 channel/frequency and if set on auto and lock on 12 or 13, Broadcom simply cannot connect. And no driver update will ever firmly solve this channel/frequency issue.

The only way for Sony Vaio Fits to work in Europe (or non USA counties) under any wifi router is... an external USB wifi adapter (all sold in the EU are 13 channel ones). As simple as that. Or you have to manually tweak the router at any channel under 11, something one can do only to routers of their own.

Big mess. And Sony is still sweeping it under the carpet.

AJR94 said:

Bought a Sony Vaio Fit the same time this article was posted, sadly didn't see it. I've had a vaio before second hand and it lasted a year before that developed problems but I decided it was just because it was secondhand. I had this laptop a month before the problems started and I was constantly blaming our internet providers, who now it seems are not the problem. I've emailed Sony on Christmas day (2013) because it was that annoying and received an email back the next day. I was asked some questions about my machine and internet connection and given a massive list of things to try and fix it (including a full system restore). NONE of which worked. After reading I now realise they were just stalling for time until they fix it. I'll be emailing them again with a link to this article and will be asking about possibly sending it back.

Guest said:

Same problem here in Brazil. I bought a Sony VAio FIt 15 and the wifi just sucks.

The solutions from Sony on this link didn't work ( [link] )

There was a very slight improvement, but nothing that stop me from returning this piece of garbage.

The last 2 suggestions are an insult.....

Don't buy this laptop.

AJR94 said:

Update: After many email exchanges with Sony and being passed around several people, Sony sent me a free Belkin wireless USB adapter it's really small, discrete and fixes the problem, but I still feel they are stalling because they can't really fix the problem without a full recall on the laptops. I'm currently debating sending it back and buying another brand as Sony don't seem to be reliable. It is a shame because I really like the rest of this laptop but the internet is my main use.

bimblin bimblin said:

Hi

same problem on vaio duo 13 baught in july 2013.

sound trouble, sony support changed the card,

then trouble whit the wifi, no solution about this in France

I posted a video on youtube I made a band test connexion with the usb wireless key belkin that sony gave me as a solution, I was disapointed about that, and the broacom integrated card on the duo 13 and also with my 2 years old acer timeline X

just see

[video embed]

Of course I am calling and writting them everyday, I decid myself to bring them in court, they don't respect the warranty rules and the selling rules, here in france there is a civil article law they not respect, selling a product that doesn t work as it should.

with all word about custommer in that forum on in others we should go against sony about that trouble and the way they do with there clients

NereaPipa NereaPipa said:

Same here. I bought the Vaio Fit 15E three months ago in Andorra, so beautiful, and so... not working. Same WIFI issues than all of you guys. I have been exchanging emails with Sony for around 2 months now. They keep giving me indications that do not work and now are insisting that I should recover the system AGAIN. I have been asking them to take it away and just repair it, but nothing.

I guess there is no other way than to go to Consumers Rights or any similar entity in your country. I don't know if they will do something but I don't want to make it so eavy for them It is just so unfair... 700 euros wasted.

Guest said:

I have a SVF14A1C5E and have been having terrible WiFi problems with the BCM43142. One of the suggestions Sony gave me was to turn off my bluetooth and all non-Microsoft services. I find this ridiculous considering I want the Bluetooth on my laptop on to connect to my hifi via Bluetooth. I don't see why I should have to turn everything else off just to get wifi working - I tried anyway it didn't work. I also had to go through the motions of reinstalling windows and installing the latest Sony driver which made no difference! There should be a product recall! Sony tell me they do not know whether it is a hardware or software problem yet, after 6 months they do not know! Sony have offered me a usb wifi dongle but I use both my usb ports, they should be compensating people.

[link]

Guest said:

So, my brand new Vaio not only reluctantly connects to my wifi, but it pretty much shuts down the router for my Toshiba, which was half the price and is twice as good. Prolly taking that machine (I am on the Toshiba now) back tomorrow before it is too late. DO NOT BUY A VAIO!!!!

romaine said:

My Vaio drops the wi-fi connection every few minutes - impossible to use the internet.

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