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Question

What causes network to drop wireless connections?

by hershey444 / June 13, 2014 12:02 PM PDT

I have a 2-year old Netgear router WNDR3800 and Surfboard SB6121 modem that has been just fine until recently.

Lately, I have noticed my phone (Android 4.0.?) or PC (W7-64) is sometimes connected to my neighbors wifi rather than mine. I disconnect and reconnect to mine and it is fine. (Neighbor gave me wifi access when I moved here last year when I had to wait forever for Comcast to get their installation act straightened out. Nightmare story for another time). This happens to my phone frequently... only twice on my PC.

I also have a problem with my phone that wifi gets disconnected on a regular basis, but that is not new. That started happening after Android big upgrade a ways back. But only just recently my neighbors SSID started showing up sometimes.

I have rebooted/unplugged router to no avail.

What can I look for as cause for wifi instability?

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All Answers

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Answer
Well for one, 802.11n
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 13, 2014 12:13 PM PDT

It has this one issue. It's a big one. That single non-overlapping channel. That's on the web and I'll stop about that.

There's also simple things like 2.4GHz cordless phones that can blast folk off the WiFi.

It appears that there is no real cure but to understand, try the usual noted in the CNET networking forums.
Bob

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Links only.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 13, 2014 12:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Well for one, 802.11n
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over my head
by hershey444 / June 14, 2014 10:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Links only.

Tried to follow that stuff, it doesn't help me.

Is there nothing I can do? Is there a better router? router settings? I also get occassional pixelation and stutter watching comcast catv. Is that modem or Comcast? Could one issue be related to the other?

I can't imagine what changed recently because it had been solid since connected a year ago. The house is not big. nothing has moved or changed.

I can disconnect my 2.4ghz cordless phone for awhile to experiment if it makes a difference. I only use it for the bluetooth feature for my android phone. I have no landline for it.

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A better router in this case may be a not better router.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 15, 2014 1:08 AM PDT
In reply to: over my head

Some would maintain that an 802.11n router would be better but if your area is congested the older 802.11g would fair better to get an open channel.

-> Sorry that it doesn't make sense at first. Take more time to learn about WiFi to avoid the usual costs of tech support.
Bob

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could bluetooth be involved?
by hershey444 / June 18, 2014 8:36 AM PDT

So I disconnected by 2.4ghz cordless phone that I only use for bluetooth purposes for cell phone. I did not see my neighbors wifi show up on my phone during this time -- a couple of days. I also had BT off on my phone. Then, with the 2.4 cordless phone still disconnected, I put BT on to listen to music on my cell phone during a walk yesterday. Later that day, lo and behold, neighbor's SSID was showing up for my wifi. I shut off BT and my wifi has been fine since.

I found a wifi analyzer app on my phone and have been monitoring signal strengths. Very interesting stuff. But no matter how low my signal got and neighbors sometimes was stronger than mine (!), my wifi stayed connected. It seems only with BT on, does my wifi actually get killed.

So what is the connection between BT and Wifi?

I suppose I could do one more thing to reinforce the BT contributing theory. I could re-connect the 2.4Ghz phone and leave BT off my cell phone to see if wifi remains stable.

fwiw, here's screenshot of best signal strength (me=wlbnet):

http://i.imgur.com/AZ3R688.png

Here's screenshot of neighbors (netgear-73) passing me!! But I stayed connected with BT off.

http://i.imgur.com/q8CXHNv.png

Most typical:

http://i.imgur.com/zm2fpY8.png

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Good move.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2014 8:47 AM PDT

A 2.4GHz cordless phone would cause my dad's laptop to disconnect on each incoming ring. Bluetooth usually is too low power to interfere.

Try other WiFi channels or move to 802.11g next.
Bob

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