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Linksys WRT45G > Whole network gradually degrades

by Reishka / July 29, 2007 5:47 AM PDT

Alright, heres the setup:

(1) DSL Modem
(1) WRT54G Router
(1) Desktop WinXP Pro SP2 machine, hardwired to router
(2) WinXP Pro SP2 laptops, wireless - one with built-in wireless, one with a Linksys WPC11 Instant Wireless Network Adapter, version 3.
(1) WinXP Media Center SP2 laptop, wireless
(1) Ubuntu Personal Edition - "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 laptop, wireless

The router has been set up to use WPA-TKIP encryption on channel 6 with an always-on PPPoE connection; it also has an IP of to avoid an IP conflict with the DSL Modem. DHCP Server is enabled with default settings, MAC Address Clone is disabled, and Operating Mode is set to Gateway. Access is set to allow both B and G, as one of the WinXP Pro laptops is an older model Toshiba that only recognizes the B protocol (that's the one with the WPC11 card).

Here's the problem:

Initially, the setup works flawlessly. All computers are able to see the SSID, connect to the network, and connect to the internet. The connection is fine, doesn't slow down, and is overall pretty healthy. All computers are able to access, and are prompted with the username/password prompt, can change settings, port forwarding, etc.

Now, wait a few days. Usually about a week.

First, the Ubuntu laptop starts to get spotty with it's connection to the internet. After about 10 minutes, the connection to the network starts to fail. Sometimes it will see the SSID, sometimes it won't - and it's not a matter of moving the laptop. It stays pretty much on the same desk and acts as a desktop 98% of the time. If you try to access nothing happens. No username/password prompt, no "access denied" message. Rebooting the machine doesn't improve the situation. Manually entering in the SSID and password don't work, either.

At this point, all of the other computers are still able to access the internet. However, trying to access with *any* of the other machines fails. Even if I try to access it with the wired desktop machine, there is no prompt, no error messages, just a blank white page with a "done" status in both Firefox and IE.

After about a day or two of this, all other machines except for the wired desktop computer will cease to see the SSID and all connections to the network fail. No network access, no internet access. The only machine still connected to the network and the internet is the wired desktop machine.

What I've tried:

At this point, I usually power cycle the Linksys router - and viola, back to normal.

As far as settings-side, I've tried changing just about every setting I can that wont break the system; I've tried changing channels, changing the encryption, changing the IP of the router... and nothing seems to fix the problem.

I've also looked at just about every forum, posting, help-reference, and how-to, and I can't seem to find a solution to the problem, or even what's really happening to cause it.

Normally, I wouldn't take issue with having to restart the router. It's not a big issue for me, personally. But I set up this network for someone else, and at the end of this month I am moving, so I would like to fix and resolve the issue so that they don't have to restart the router every week. They are not very tech-savvy people and I don't want to make things more complicated than they have to be. At the least it's a minor inconvenience, and at the most it's a disaster and a call every week from them asking how to fix it.

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It's a well known issue with the wrt54g.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 29, 2007 5:55 AM PDT

And why many install that open source router software on it. You can cause the issue sooner by running P2P software.

Try the latest WRT54G firmware and if it happens again look up OPENWRT to fix it for good.


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by Reishka / July 29, 2007 6:15 AM PDT

I do have the most up-to-date firmware (sorry, should have specified that).

The only main problem I have with OPENWRT is that since its linux-based, not only do you have to write it on a linux machine, but if you ever want to make changes for whatever reason you'll need a linux machine to do so. The linux machine is my personal machine that will be taken with me when I move, and the other machines here are all Windows machines.

Also, another concern of mine is that OpenWrt is not supported on devices which have 2MB or less of memory. My version of the WRT54G router is version 8.0 (S/N prefix CDFF)... which means it has only 2 MB of memory, and that eliminates the OPENWRT option, from what I understand.

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Where is that written?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 29, 2007 8:09 AM PDT
In reply to: OPENWRT

I installed the White Russian with Webif on my router and never did I boot Linux on my PC.

Please show the web page that lead you to write you were going to work that hard.

I checked again and there is a replacement firmware for the wrt54g. If this is not an option then you have a warranty issue. The bug is well known and the fix is too. If you can't do this then get another make router.

Again, when I change my router it's done with a web browser pointed at the router. Where did this linux PC requirement come from?


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Mixed Mode
by phantomsoul / August 6, 2007 4:14 AM PDT

I'm not sure if this affects all routers or just the Linksys ones or even just this Linksys router, but it seems that running it in mixed mode (supporting both b and g connections at the same time) is not as compatible as they claim it to be.

I've also experienced this degradation when running in mixed mode. When I tried to force all wireless devices to connect in 802.11b mode only, it seemed to work fine (though slow as molasses). So we upgraded all the 802.11b devices to 802.11g and set the router to g mode only, and it worked fine.

I guess you can try some of the 3rd party firmware that was mentioned, but be sure you know what you're doing before you go there, as flashing your router with non-Linksys firmware will probably cause you to lose your free technical support/warranty on the router.

Some alternatives might be to try running the router in exclusive b mode, thus forcing all g devices to make a b connection, or conversely, upgrade your b devices to g devices and run the network in g only mode. The former costs less, but will slow down your g devices to b speeds. The latter will improve connection speeds of the b devices, but costs more as you have to acquire new hardware.

Either way, good luck.

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