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Blackberry's connection problems
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Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:21AM
I am puzzled by the recent problems with Blackberry. Why should a server used by Blackberry cause all these problems? I am fairly new to smart phones and not sure of the way everything connects.
I have a PC (HP) which uses Microsoft Windows as its operating system and connects to the internet and email through my ISP (BT). If BT's server goes down, I realise that I will not be able to connect to the internet or get my emails. If HP (the PC manufacturer) or Microsoft (the OS supplier) has a problem, then I would not be affected.
I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace phone, which uses Google's Android as its OS, on a Vodafone contract. At home, I connect to the internet and my email servers using my BT wireless connection. If I am at home, I would expect to be able to connect using Vodafone if my BT WiFi went down. Elsewhere, I would expect to be unable to connect if Vodafone's system was down (or if I could not get a signal). I would not expect any problems if Samsung or Google had a problem (except, obviously for my Gmail account). Surely, I should still be able to connect using Vodafone's network.
All of the articles I have read seem to imply that, using a Blackberry, everything is routed via what is essentially Blackberry's server. This seems illogical to me, so I'm obviously missing something. Please could someone enlighten me and remove this gap in my knowledge.
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Posted October 15, 2011 at 12:22AM
"....using a Blackberry, everything is routed via what is essentially Blackberry's server. This seems illogical to me, so I'm obviously missing something."
BlackBerry became famous by providing a fast and secure 'push' email service via a BlackBerry mobile phone for business users. The email service hasn't changed, but it's available to anyone who buys a BlackBerry, rather than just business users.
Once you've set up your email account information on your BlackBerry it periodically looks at your POP mailbox (every 15 minutes by default), and if it finds inbound messages it 'pushes' them to your phone via the BlackBerry mail servers. These servers are secure, and trusted by millions of BlackBerry users - or at least they were, until recently.
What has happened over the past week or so is that the BlackBerry mail servers have crashed, or at least some of them have. Blackberry runs separate servers for business and personal users, and it's the personal servers that have been at fault. There's been a good deal of understandable dissatisfaction amongst BlackBerry users (I'm one myself), but it will probably soon blow over. BlackBerry phones are so good that there's a considerable amount of consumer loyalty, and this should stand RIM (the BlackBerry parent company) in good stead at an awkward time. The company has been struggling to conquer the home-user market for some time.
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Posted October 15, 2011 at 9:36AM
Thanks for that explanation FE. My understanding is that Blackberry users' internet access was also unavailable. Is this also routed via RIM's servers? I cannot see any reason for this, unless they cache a lot of pages. This is something which I know that Virgin did when they were my ISP. It could be annoying as, in some circumstances, the latest page was not available until they refreshed their cache. IIRC the updates for AdAware were one of my main problems with this system.
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