I’m baffled: on my Sony PSP, when I try to connect to the network, it says that there are no access points detected. What shall I do?
I’m surprised by how often I see this question submitted or added as a comment on other Sony PSP discussions, actually. I think that the problem here is that a lot of Sony PSP owners aren’t necessarily the geeky computer contingent that the Sony marketing team believes us to be.
To a computer savvy person, you say “wireless network” and they instantly know that we’re talking about an 802.11 or “wi-fi” network and that they require both a physical network connection — a modem, cable model, DSL line, etc — and what’s called a “wireless base station” that communicates with all the wireless devices and relays their network requests onto the physical network connection.
In our offices, for example, we have a cable modem line that plugs directly into a wireless base station. It’s having both of those that give you a wireless network connection: If you have either alone, you’ll either have a network connection but no way to connect to it wirelessly, or a wireless local network that isn’t actually hooked up to the Internet at large.
On the Sony PSP unit, it supports wireless networking with its built-in wifi network capabilities, and now with the 2.0 firmware update, it also includes a reasonably powerful Web browser, but just as you can’t watch a movie without a UMD or memory stick, you can’t actually use the PSP to connect to the Internet without finding a local wireless network to join.
And that’s where you are: If you’re seeing “no access points” displayed, it’s because you aren’t within range of a wireless wifi network. Make sense?
Now, it turns out that there are two basic types of wireless networks that a PSP can connect to: an “open” network and a network that has what’s called a Wireless Encryption Password, or WEP. The latter is a bit safer from the geek perspective, but if you’re just plugging in to grab a download, can be more of a hassle because you need to find out the network password and enter it on your PSP so you’ll be allowed on the network.
An open network, one that doesn’t have any password requirement, is riskier for regular computer usage, but a ton easier for us Sony PSP fans wanting to get onto the Internet.
As a result, my recommendation is to check out some of your local coffee shops, computer stores, and even small business centers or hotels to see if you can find an open network to use. Our office is around the corner from a popular Irish pub, for example, that has an open wifi network, so you could indulge and play on your PSP while sipping a nice cold Guinness, even!
I hope that helps clear up this common point of confusion with the Playstation Portable and its networking capabilities.