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Linksys routers drop wireless constantly

by alngtheway / February 27, 2011 2:09 AM PST

I have been having a lot of trouble lately with my wireless network. Basically, under certain situations it will constantly drop out, by which I mean all computers will lose connection with the wireless network for about 30 seconds and then reconnect.

This is happening with two different wireless routers so I don't exactly know what is happening. I usually use a Linksys WRT54GS v7 but after this started happening I borrowed a friend's Linksys WRT54G2 v1 router to test it out with no change. I also updated both router's firmware last week, and changed both router's channels to 1 in case that was a part of the problem. To clarify, only one router is being used at a time, I have just tried different steps with each one.

The other day when it was happening repeatedly, I connected one of the computers directly to the modem and had no problems so I do not think it has anything to do with my modem.

On the network, depending on the time of day, there will be any combination of three macbooks running the latest version of snow leopard and one older PC running Windows XP. The network can drop out with only the PC, no PC, or any combo of macs. There can also be two iPhones and a Blackberry using the wireless depending on who is home.

The most consistent problems seem to occur whenever something is being uploaded to the network. We seem to get major issues when my wife is sending relatively large files (5MB+) using her macbook's mail program (either sending through gmail or her work address). However, yesterday it was happening every 30 seconds when someone was talking on skype on her macbook while there were two other macbooks connected to the network but doing nothing more than using a browser for basics like google.

I have also noticed that this will often happen, though usually only once rather than repeatedly, when a computer that hasn't been on is turned on.

Sorry for the long post, I am just hoping some random bits of info will help figure this out as it is becoming very frustrating.

Thanks for any help.

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Router Wars
by AppleNewton / February 27, 2011 3:28 AM PST

I've been having the same trouble since I upgraded my Comcast internet service about a month ago. I used two different (but the same model) Cisco Linksys routers. Then the free one that Comcast sent. Then I tried two D-Link Routers (D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Gigabit Wireless Router) and it still happened. MORE with the iMac in the kitchen. But I have two iMacs, a PowerBook and an old iPhone. I even called Comcast. They replaced the cable coming from the street to the house. STILL HAPPENING! When the connection was good, it was very good. But it would just drop off to nothing. I was VERY frustrated. Even tried to see who else in the neighborhood was online in case someone had a stronger signal or something. The Comcast guy DID say that things like wireless phones, garage door openers, all that can compete with the wifi signal.

ANYWAY, I was about to hardwire everything when in desperation I went to the Apple store and bought the Airport Extreme Base Station ($179). It's only been 5 days but there has been NO connectivity problems since then. NONE. The speeds aren't quite as zippy as the D-Link on a good day (or good couple of hours) but I haven't had to think about the problem since I bought the Apple router. I am only saying this because I see you are running Macs, too. It wasn't cheap but it's about 3 times as heavy as the D-Link. It's really SOLID.

The user reviews have been good. You can return it under 14 days. Might be worth a try?

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router drops
by alngtheway / February 27, 2011 5:12 AM PST
In reply to: Router Wars

thanks for the advice. i am actually planning on purchasing a new router in the next few months and had been considering the airport extreme. i just wish i knew why this was happening since i feel it can't be the routers considering it happens on multiple ones, but something with one or more of the devices connecting to my wireless network. makes me a bit nervous to spend all this money on something when it may not even be the issue, though the 14 day return policy does help...

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Frustrating, I know!
by AppleNewton / February 27, 2011 7:36 AM PST
In reply to: router drops

Well, I really tried everything. I bought a new modem. I bought the new routers. I called Comcast. And nothing fixed the problem until I bought the Airport Extreme. I hate to say it's Mac related because I love all things Apple BUT from what I read, Apple works well with Apple. So the Apple Router just connects well with the Apple computers. I really didn't want to spend that much money for a router BUT considering the amount of time I spent trying to trouble shoot it on various message boards, buying routers from Amazon and then sending them back, trying to figure out WHEN the drops happened . . . well, I have my life back! You can always just buy it, try it for 24 hours and see if it fixes the problem, and return it if it doesn't. Set up very easy. I didn't even have to download the enclosed software. It's just like a little workhorse of a router. It just works. I plugged my laptop into the routers and they all would connect fine but I guess the signal just wasn't able to attach itself to my wifi Macs and hang on.

My tech friend was going to have me try a few more routers but again, I was just fed up with the whole thing. My tech guy also scratched his head because this had been going on for almost a month. Seems like this is a fairly common problem, losing wifi connections on all sorts of routers and PCs AND Macs. I'm just so happy to have finally found a fix.

Good luck! Maybe someone has another idea but honestly, I went crazy trying to figure this out. Oh, and I changed channels, too. To Channel 9 and I was the only one in the neighborhood on 9 and had a strong STRONG signal and then "poof" it would drop off.


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possible virus or hack
by haegercp / February 27, 2011 8:23 AM PST

A couple of years ago there was a virus/hack going around for the WRT54G's. If I remember correctly it was causing similar problems (dropped connections/connectivity issues). The only real solution I ever found was to replace the unit. Resets, firmwares, re-programming never seemed to quite fix it.

Also, have you checked to make sure that nobody is leaching off you, if so they could potentially be causing problems. Another thing to check is that nobody else is using the same SSID, while uncommon it could still cause the machines to bounce.

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