Enable WLAN on the SE W960i

Yes I have got myself a new phone. Does the happy dance!

It’s the Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, W960i. Not my first choice, but I couldn’t afford the W980, hehehe.

It’s my first high-end phone, and I am very excited to start making Java applications for it! :-) (Thesis, thesis…)

This unit cost me 8,000 (about $400) at 168 COMM, Greenhills and comes with a year’s store warranty. I better take care of this then hahaha, and sell it right before a year happens. (Gadgets seem to always fail in my hands after a year’s handling, or sometimes even less!)

It’s a very sleek model, it has a very glossy finish. It looks a lot, lot better in actuality than on this image I got from the SE website. This is my first SE phone also, by the way. I’m a Nokia fan, but I was using the extremely ugly-looking Samsung E250 for almost a year now (my boyfriend stole my pretty Nokia 6151 in exchange for his crappy phone, what could I do, I love him! His phone envy was seriously threatening our relationship, so I gave in. Hekhekhek. He’s lucky I’m not phone-crazy.)

I needed a Walkman series phone because my thesis deals with mobile sound, and everyone seems to concur, SE delivers the best audio among . I was in love with the W760i for its GPS and accelerometer, gosh my Java brain was drooling with the potential applications I could create for it hehehe. It was cheap, too, at only P14,000 or $312. But when I saw the actual unit on sale, it was pretty darn ugly. Like a bumble bee radio. That’s what it looked like. So I gave it a pass. Anyways my thesis doesn’t really need neither the GPS nor the accelerometer. But damn I am gonna buy it later this year or right after I finish my thesis, ‘coz I wanna play with that ugly bug!! Heheheh.

Ended up buying the SE W960i for its wifi capabilities. I was drooling over that too, hehehe. Thinking of being able to freely surf on all the hotspots in , ooooh, it’s making my skin tingle with anticipation. And I can make it into a modem, as well. So when I am somewhere there’s no hotspot (like Gim’s room in Dapitan), I can just surf via Smart 3G and let my laptop receive my phone’s wifi signal! Yay! No need for the overpriced prepaid Plug and Play device (P3,800 or $85).

So. Had a bit of difficulty setting up wifi on my W960i today. The Internet wasn’t very helpful, no tutorials around. So for anyone’s who’s wondering how I got my WLAN to work, here’s how I did it.

Firstly, I have the WRT54GC Linksys router. My security settings were WPA 2 Personal, encryption AES. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my W960i to connect to my router. It would be able to sense the presence of my router (shows up when I scan for wifi networks) but it would always ask me for the WEP key. Of course I didn’t have a WEP key since I was using WPA.

I tried to change my router settings from WPA to WEP, but my phone still wouldn’t connect even with the new settings, so if you’re thinking of trying this, just don’t. It won’t work.

What did work was for me to totally disable the security settings on my router, meaning no authentication whatsoever. It became a hotspot, everyone could connect to it. Once I had done that, my W960i was successfully able to connect to the WLAN and surf normally.

Now of course I couldn’t keep my router unsecure like that forever. So I returned it to it’s original settings, WPA 2 Personal, AES encryption. Once that was done, of course the W960i couldn’t connect again. By this time, the unsecure wireless connection had already been saved as the default WLAN connection on the W960i. All I had to do was create a new account, using the original (scanned) SSID, via the Internet account wizard, and there I was able to specify that this account used WPA instead of WEP and I was able to key in my AES encrypted passkey instead of the nonexistent WEP key.

And from then on, I’ve just been using this new account to securely connect to the Linksys WRT54GC router and surf on the W960i.

Okay, recap:

1. Disable security settings on your router. Open it, no authentication.
2. On your W960i, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
3. Tap on Scan
4. Select your newly opened wifi connection and tap on connect (this will be saved as DefaultWifiAccount)
5. Your W960i should now be connected to the WLAN and be able to browse the Internet
6. Go back to your router and replace the new settings with the original settings (mine were WPA 2 Personal, AES encryption)
7. On your W960i, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
8. Tap on More
9. Tap on New Account
10. Create Account Name (any name you like)
11. Select Network Name or SSID (just tap on the find button to locate your wifi connection and then select it)
12. Edit the Security field (WPA Personal)
13. Leave Infrastructure as Network Mode
13. Press Next
14. Choose Data Encryption (mine was AES)
15. Enter Passphrase (whatever your key on the router)
16. Save it!
17. Now when you want to use your WLAN, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
18. Tap on Connect
19. Select your new account (not the DefaultWifiAccount)
20. Start surfing on your W960i!

P.S. Your PC should be connected to your router via cable while configuring the router settings so you won’t lose your wireless connection.

Hope this is helpful for anyone struggling with the WLAN on the W960i. Happy surfing!


  1. we have the same phone, lucky you, you got it for a lower price, I got mine when it was.. hmm forget about it, before I envy your good deal. Anyway, you won’t regret having bought your w960i.. :) great post btw and lucky bf huh! hahah

  2. Good for you! I am also planning to buy a new Sony Ericson phone. However, I still need to save some money because I do not want to use my credit card anymore.

    BTW, I am currently using a Blackjack too. Cool business phone but lacks high resolution camera features. I want 5mp with flash… (cybershot phone)

  3. Saint Lover, very nice. The w960i is a smartphone too, but without a QWERTY keyboard, so not good for documents at all.

    Alex, I did a lot of research before I went and bought it. Have you tried looking at the cgena.com website? :)

    Towr, I recently lost my credit card (had it cancelled at once, of course). I think I’m a bit grateful for that. Haha.

    Maria, thank you very much! :)