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Wireless connection dies randomly...

by roshkovsky / June 13, 2006 4:26 AM PDT

Have cable modem with Linksys wireless router and extender. Setup seems fine b/c I am always conencted to my secure network. But the internet connection is randomly unavailable. Sometimes fine all week, sometimes goes down five times in one day. Cable company says their connection is fine. If I unplug the router and reset it, it seems to take care of things temporarily but having to reset all the time seems wrong. Do I need a new router? Could it be interefence? Have std phone line with 5.8GHz wireless phone and a digital phone line with 2.4GHz wireless phone (this is shared connection with cable modem but the phone has no problems when the internet connection does down)... thanks for ideas.

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Remember, it is wireless.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 13, 2006 4:36 AM PDT

Your neighbor could be on the same RF channel so you would try another. Then we have the other usuals such as out of date firmware in the router and pests on the machine such as we find by scanning with EWIDO or HOUSECALL.

Be assured that your post does not contain any information that reveals which issue is yours so I'll note the usuals.


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I doubt it is your router
by Netrepreneur / June 14, 2006 8:56 PM PDT

One question for you. What time of day does this happen? I am a broadband expert for AT&T and I can guarantee that the Cable company will tell you everything you want to hear just to get you off the phone. The problem most likely is not your router.

Because the cable broadband has limited use during certain times of the day, it runs great, but, as soon as children come home from school, parents get home from work and turning on the tv, etc., your broadband slows to a snails pace, because you all now are using the same pipe. What this means is that you are fighting for the same bandwidth everyone else is now. Before, during the day, no one is home, and you have the ability to use most of, if not all the bandwidth "pipe". The television signal and the internet signal all come down the same "pipe", and the quality of signal you get determines how many users are on at the same time.

Try your local phone companies DSL svc. I believe you will be alot happier with it.

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I agree with your statement, and thought that was it as well
by ddyern / June 20, 2006 5:46 AM PDT

BUT, I actually watch the router disconnect and the indicator lights go off and then recycle thru and reconnect. Every 10 minutes. When I took the router out of the loop, it stopped.

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Not partial are you?
by hallettracing / January 10, 2008 12:42 PM PST

I have to take issue with this statement, as I have used both services and found that cable broadband, at least in Oklahoma City, is about 25 times faster and more much more dependable than DSL. Everyone in my neighborhood uses it, at the same time, with no problems or slow downs. AT&T called and wanted me to switch back, promising faster speeds, which just isn't true, nor can it happen.
I'm convinced that the problems I'm having with my laptop wireless connection is router or interference related, certainly it has nothing to do with the excellent service that Cox Cable provides. They are courteous and professional and have never made an attempt to get me off the phone until I was completely satisfied.
I would avoid DSL at any cost, if cable is available. Even Cingular wireless service has suffered since the AT&T takeover, which we paid to separate years ago. Now we are practically back to being monopolized again with bad service.

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If it happens again
by Chiatzu / June 14, 2006 8:57 PM PDT

You're right, you shouldn't have to reset the router continually. Once in a while is normal, but not on a regular basis.

First thing I'd do is verify the Internet is working on a regular basis, as your provider suggests is the case. Check the Internet connection with a wired connection only. If it works to your satisfaction, then the problem is somewhere with your home wireless connection. Your 2.4GHz phone might be interfering because that's near the frequency used by 802.11x. I'd remove power from that phone and see how the computer wireless network reacts.

Update your OS first, if not already done. Search for a firmware update for your specific brand and model of wireless router. And see if your computer's wireless equipment might have a firmware update available. Sometimes these will address and fix similar problems. (Tip: Never update router firmware over a wireless connection.) I don't know what you're using for network security, but if applicable, try changing the router's wireless frequency/channel to something other than default. Experiment a bit. See if distance from router to computer has any impact on a dropped connection. Move the router itself to a different location in the house, if possible. Wireless connections seem to be prone to dropping their signal. I don't know if this is any better with the newer routers coming to market in the near future.

Also worth noting, is that some wireless phones use both the 5.8GHz frequency & the 2.4GHz frequency for different functions. If a phone says it's 'network friendly,' it means it operates around 5.8GHz and doesn't come near the 2.4GHz computer wireless frequencies. This type of phone shouldn't interfere with a computer wireless network. Your mileage may vary.

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Ask your cable company about ip leasing
by Netrepreneur / June 14, 2006 9:04 PM PDT

Just wanted to add that your router may need to be reset once a week because of the IP Address leasing issue with your cable company. Generally, ip appresses are leased and need to be released and refreshed about every two weeks. Call your cable company and see how often they renew their ip address leases. This may give you another idea as to why you should have to reset your router. If the cable company renewed an ip add that you were using, it is possible that they need to give you another ip because your leased one expired.

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Linksys does this
by Ronnie Herman / June 14, 2006 9:39 PM PDT

I had a Linksys WAP that did the exact same thing. Problem went away completely once I got another brand. Since then I've seen and heard the same thing from many others.


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Not just Linksys, not just cable
by Peter0423 / June 14, 2006 10:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Linksys does this

I feel your pain. I have DSL, and I've tried more than one brand of router...same problem. I've even considered switching to a cable modem; it's good to know that I needn't bother.

The wireless connection between the router and the computer doesn't seem to be the trouble -- that's excellent, at least in terms of signal strength. But the Internet connection keeps dropping...if I have to restart the router only once a day (which does fix it), it's a good day.

I have no problems with my regular phone service, and Verizon reports no DSL problems. In fact, before I got a wireless router, my DSL Internet connection was flawless. However, more than one Verizon support tech confides that this is a common situation with wireless networks.

I've decided that a wireless network connection is, after all, only a radio signal, and radio is simply and always flaky. Having wireless Internet access is slower than hard-wired, and buggy, but the convenience makes it worth it to me, on balance. If it isn't worth it to you, it may be that your only choices are to do without a network, or go hard-wired.

Sorry this isn't more encouraging....

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Re: Linksys does this
by GinaPA / June 15, 2006 4:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Linksys does this

I think it's more likely due to the cable company IP addresses changing or from interference rather than the brand of router. I have the same problem with my Netgear router. Maybe we just need to put up with resetting or unplugging for 30 seconds until technology catches up with the snags????.......Gina

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Wireless Access
by rlingk / June 14, 2006 9:59 PM PDT

I have had the same problem with wireless access, I called Linksys, and they showed me how to change the channel from channel 1 (the default) to channel 11. It cleared up quite a bit. The trouble is wireless phones and cell phones add quite a bit of static to the line, and it drops the signal. Hope this helps

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My Linksys did the same thing - it's gone
by pwgibbons / June 14, 2006 10:52 PM PDT

My old Linksys (2b) was solid. I bought a new Linksys for better security and it acted the same as yours. I changed channels without much effect. I bought a new Belkin and have not had the problem since.

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Also having wireless connection problems
by kaitech / June 14, 2006 11:23 PM PDT

I have a brand new Intel iMac (OSX10.4.6) and I bought a US Robotics wireless router (USR5461) for it. I have been having problems of my computer not reconnecting to the router after waking up from sleep. So I reset the router to factory defaults and ran it with no protection at all and my problem vanished. Then I added back in MAC address filtering and it is still running without problems. Previously I had used both WPA2 and MAC address filtering when the problem was occuring. I could logon initially, but after a long sleep, no joy attempting to reconnect.

I had been in the routine of rebooting the router, restarting the computer and so on to make a connection, only to have it fail after sleep. Right now with only MAC address filtering everything is rock stable and I plan to try and add in either WPA or WPA2 password protection and see if the problem starts up again or not. The Intel Mac's airport card is WPA and WPA2 compatible, by the way.

I had thought it was a problem with the new Intel Mac, but now I am guessing it is some interaction problem with the router the way it was configured before I returned it to original manufacturers state. I have already given the router two firmware upgrades as well. Any other comments are welcome. I am still in testing phase to solve this.

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How I Fixed this
by Disturbed66 / June 15, 2006 2:02 AM PDT

I have this problem also. I first noticed it in a d-link router I bought about 3 years ago. The wireless speed dropped to modem line speed. Power it on and off and its good for a day, and the next day I have to power it on and off again. I installed a second DSL line at a secondary office, and put the d-link router on it. Its been there for 2 yrs, still does the same thing, I am the only one at the secondary office that uses the wireless connection.

I replaced the D-link with a Buffalo router at the primary office. Its been working 2 years without a problem. Both the D-link and the Buffalo are mounted to the inside of a desk and turned on 24/7 with a battery backup.

Recently I installed a third office DSL and got a new Buffalo router. Its been on for 2 months.

In all cases the wired connections on the routers have no problems with the internet or LAN connections, its just the wireless connections.

An old roommate of mine has a Netgear router, and the wireless connection drops about ever 2 days, he just gets up and walks over to the router and pulls off the power plug for a second and plugs it back in. Its good for 2 more days.

In 2002, I got a 3com access point and connected it to a Linksys wired router. 3 or 4 laptops had access to the 3com access point. About once a week the laptops could not connect. Someone would just walkover to the access point and pulled the power plug out and plugged it back in. Good to go.

I have noticed that the new Buffalo router turns off its wireless connection for a minute a few times a day, cause my laptop will start to search for a connection. I used a program to monitor this, Network Stumbler, it works with IBM or Oronico wireless cards. Network Stumbler picks up all the routers in the area, and many of the routers go off for a minute, including the Buffalo I have, and then they all show up again.
Could be the wireless connection has to reset its buffers and some router do this better or more often.

Power on and power off, it works every time.

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Connection dies with D-Link router, too.
by iberger / June 15, 2006 2:04 AM PDT

I have a similar problem: connection between my laptop and desktop is good, but Internet connection drops frequently. Often, I can be using one of my e-mail or browser programs with no problem, but opening up or switching to another gets me a URL Not Found message.

I can get service back by running my Thinkpad's Wireless Connection Wizard again. The problem gets worse and worse, to the point where I can only fix it by or rebooting the THinkpad. When that happens, I unplug and replug my D-Link router and my cable modem, and the problem gets a bit better for a while.

There are usually several neighbors' Wi-Fi signals in the air around here, of which mine is the strongest (at least here in my house). These signals go on and off, so the mix keps changing. Most are on the default channel 6, but some are on 1 and a few are on channel 11; I have therefore set mine to channel 9 or 10, which helped briefly.

There is a 5.8 GHz Panasonic KX-TG5202 base station about two feet from the router, and a matching extra handset in the room where I use the laptop most. There is also a Panasonic 2.4-GHz phone in the kitchen (far end of the house) and a 900-MHz model in the room between my desktop and laptop.

Any suggestions?

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Move the 2.4 Phone
by Netrepreneur / June 15, 2006 9:26 PM PDT

I have had several customers with your same trouble. The easiest was to test this problem for resolution is this: 1. Keep track of the dates and times the connection stops working, in other words, keep a log. 2. Watch to see if anyone is on the phone at the same time you are online. Check to see which phone it is. Odds are, if it is the 2.4g everytime, then you need to stop using that phone when online. The 900 and the 5.8 should not interfere with the wireless. The do not have the same signal as the 2.4 does. If you see a pattern of dates and times, you then can go to your dsl/broadband provider and tell them hey, why is it everyday at this time does your service stop. Whatch what happens then. Good Luck.

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random death
by jimmurray1946 / June 15, 2006 2:12 AM PDT

i had a similar incident and had my cable company out several times, they ultimately had to replace the cable service line from the box on the utility pole to my residence. this resolved the problem and for over a year now, no problems. good luck trying to convince them that the problem is theirs though, they hate to be proven wrong. in my case it was frustrating because it seemed to be temperature and weather related which in the end proved to be the circumstance. i had my problem resolved when i contacted the upper management at my cable company, located several thousand miles from california. again, good luck.

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Same problem with a D-Link
by M Blazer / June 15, 2006 8:46 AM PDT

I had the same symptoms with my D-Link, even with a wired connection and the wireless disabled. I'd have to reboot the cable modem 2-3 times each evening, more on weekends. Replacing the cable modem fixed the problem! The cable company's test always showed things were OK. If there test say it's OK, probably the cable is good up to the modem, but check for loose connections anyway.
Try the following:
1. Try a wired connection. If the problem goes away the wireless part of the router or your PC is the problem.
2. Try rebooting just the cable modem. Your router should latch up to the modem when it finishes booting. If this restores the connection, it's probably the modem or maybe the cable. If it doesn't and you have to reboot the router, your router maybe intermitent.
3. Before replacing the router, check for bios updates on the router mfg's web site. (Remember, don't try to update the bios over the wireless connection!)

Good Luck

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Our 3 year old cable modem was going bad
by Adrian in Phoenix / June 15, 2006 10:02 AM PDT

We had increasingly frequent issues with both the wired & wireless connections that were resolved by resetting the NetGear router. Naturally I assumed the router was bad and replaced it with a LinkSys - the install was complicated by the need to have an Internet connection during install, and not via the old router - I had to call the cable company to change some setting so that I could connect directly via the cable modem.

While connected with just the 3 year old Zoom cable modem, it became clear we were still having connectivity issues. After installing a new Motorola modem it is MUCH more reliable. I kept the LinkSys router because it is easier to see what is going on in it's admin page, and you can do things (like refresh DHCP) without going through all the steps in a wizard.

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Wireless Disconnects
by vothuy / January 27, 2007 4:07 PM PST

I discovered this cure purely due to experimentation and luck. It works for me, it may work for others.
I right click the wireless icon in the taskbar to open it's menu
On the opened menu I select "repair" with a left click
The repair takes about 30 seconds and advises me of what it is doing as it does it.
By the conclusion the connection is restored.

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It could be your wireless card causing the drops....
by Eddie10011 / June 15, 2006 9:07 PM PDT

I've had the same problem over the years with various machines and/or routers. If the drops are happening to more than one pc connected wirelessly, there's a good chance the router is bad. You can try to find firmware that might improve the router's function at the manufacture's website.

The same is true for built in wireless cards. An HP laptop with an Intel pro 2200 wireless card built in had severe problems with maintaining connections. After finding the most current firmware (from Intel's website, not HP) and installing, the problem was solved.

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Similar problem
by ddyern / June 20, 2006 1:28 AM PDT

I have a Linksys Firewall router with a Linksys cable modem for my ethernet setup. At times with no identifiable reason, the Linksys router goes through what looks like an automatic reset. The lights go off, the internet hookup is lost and I have to wait for it to recycle and it re-connects like nothing was wrong. At times it gets so bad that it happens every 10 minutes on the dot. Un-plugging and resetting helps for a short period. But I can go weeks without any problem and then for no known reason it starts again.

I took the Router out of the loop, and had no problem. Tried a new router and was ok for a few weeks but then the same problem is back. This happens if I'm just connected to the web and not actually doing anything as well as when I may be video conferencing. A possible cause that I can not rule out is that it seems to happen a lot when I use any brand of messenger program. BUT, unfortunately it happens when I'm not using them as well.

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And what model, and VERSION of FIRMWARE?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 20, 2006 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Similar problem

What I find lacking in this product is the need for owners to update the firmware or find what firmware version works best with their ISP.

Some owners didn't know there was updated firmware and end up exchanging router after router. Actually I feel that's a good thing since it sends a message to the makers that something is wrong with this picture.


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Are you using and wireless security?
by Netrepreneur / October 13, 2006 9:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Similar problem

One common problem with wireless is having multiple routers in a congested area such as an apartment building, heavy populated subdivision, etc. What tends to occur is without using WEP, or any other wireless security, any other routers in the same area can and will interfere with your wireless signal. Along with this is any older 2.4g phones in the nearby area. This appears to be part of your problem. I have experience this issue with my work on several occasions. I have to explain to customers that there are going to be things such as other routers and telephones that will interfere. Talk to your neighbors and gently ask them what type of phone/router they are using, and if they are using any security. You might be amazed at what you hear. I hear and see the problem every day. Keep a log of when your problems occur. Take notice of who is home (your neighbors) and the most frequent times. This will give you a better idea as to who and what might be interfering with your signal. By the way, are there any HAM Radio operators in your area? They can have an immediate impact on your signal.

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help with wireless connection
by chidiawuse / February 23, 2008 7:44 AM PST

after using my notebook to configure a wireless router,the notebook wireless radio picks the wireless signal that says local only what is the problem.(linksys wrt54gl,vista)

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Posting to this old discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2008 7:46 AM PST

Buries your post. Try our forum stick first and make a complete and new post from the top.


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