I believe I found a fix to a Cricket network issue!

  • 27 January 2021
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ANYONE HAVING INTERNET CONNECTION ISSUES, I BELIEVE I FOUND A FIX!
Skip to TL;DR if you're just wanting the fix.
If you're with Cricket, open letter for you at the bottom.

Don't know if anyone else has had this issue, but the last few months I've been having some connection issues. Assumed it was because of my cheap J2 Pure that was the issue so I ignored it thinking nothing could be done until I could replace it. I upgraded to a 2020 5G Galaxy A51 with a new SIM ten days ago and this problem persisted.
I could be streaming YouTube or Spotify in the background and at random times one or two apps just completely "lose connection" while the others continue working showing 4G/WiFi.

Facebook, YouTube, Google Chrome, Firefox, messenger, one or two of them will just completely lose connection for five to ten minutes randomly while the others continue working and nothing I did would bring them back online.
Not closing, not force closing, not rebooting.

Started suspecting an issue with Cricket since no one else on different networks had this issue, but to get to the bottom of it, I looked for a packet sniffer to look through the active connections and network errors. NetCapture was the one app I could get to provide this function without root privileges since I haven't had my phone activated long enough to install custom firmware. It required all info to go through a VPN so it could effectively read all packets without having admin privileges.

When I started having trouble again, I activated the packet sniffer to troubleshoot the issue and report the resulting error to Cricket, but the issue was fixed! Ran the sniffer for a good while testing it and no repeat of the issue! I can only think it's because traffic was going through the VPN.

TL;DR:
If Cricket is giving you any network issues related to internet connection, see if a VPN helps. While NetCapture served me well in providing hard evidence that the issue wasn't hardware, it's on Cricket's end, I don't recommend anyone use it long term as it's an app from Russia with only a few thousand downloads requiring you to send potentially pretty sensitive information through their server. It's fine to download and see if the VPN fixes your issue really quick like I did, but if you do any banking or things you'd want to be cautious with, I'd recommend NordVPN as it's been my go to service as of late.

Avoid CyberGhost! Used to be great, but were aquired by a company notorious for producing spyware! Nord I trust to value my privacy and in today's world where Google has banned/suspended users and IP's for searching things they deem violate the very vague December ToS update, it's a good safety net from the scary precedent of information control we're slowly getting accustomed to. This information control is why I recommend a VPN in general and I'm almost glad Cricket gave me the push I needed to resubscribe.

With the world's longest TL;DR out of the way, the following is an open letter to the Cricket staff:

You guys have been the best customer service experience I've had with a phone company since I switched to you guys four years ago. I apologize for the rudeness of others on your forums and Facebook. Clearly they haven't worked customer service in times of low staffing and it shows. I know you're doing everything you can and the pandemic has hurt your area of work exceptionally hard with higher influx of calls and fewer people to answer. Despite the wait times and the occasional glitch here and there, you guys do great work and I encourage you to keep it up!

Expect an email/message to your Facebook from me in a few days regarding the specific warning being given on the network should the issue persist long enough for me to gain root access to my new phone so I can run a root level packet sniffer without a VPN.
Hopefully your IT department will find it easier to solve the issue with my logs provided.
Thank you for the exceptional four years of great customer care!


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