Haunted Router

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Kaelri
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Location: York, New
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Haunted Router

Postby Kaelri » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

I have a wireless router in my house, and it likes to taunt me. Three or four times a day, it abruptly drops my laptop's Wi-Fi connection. Windows can still see the network as available (and with good signal strength), but when I reconnect, it only lasts a few seconds before it drops again. In the past, it would resume normal function after I reconnect two or three times, but in recent days, it's been taking as many as nine attempts to get back on its feet. After it passes, the connection is perfectly fine for several hours, until the next episode strikes.

Router: D-Link WBR-2310 A1
- Firmware Version: 1.05 (latest)

Laptop: Dell Inspiron B130
- OS: Windows XP SP3
- Network Component: Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
- Driver Version: 11.1 (latest)

There are two other wireless machines in the house. One of them (Toshiba Satellite running Windows 7) used to have a similar problem with this router: it would lose its connection, and be unable to reconnect until the router was rebooted. However, updating the Satellite's drivers solved that issue. There are also two wired machines, which have never had any problems. (They remain connected even during the wireless episodes.)

I haven't observed any correlation with moving the laptop, using phones or other wireless devices nearby, or software running on any of the machines. (I don't believe anyone's running big downloads or torrents.) Both the router and the laptop remain in the same physical locations most of the time, and the fact that the connection is strong and stable 99% of the time makes me doubt most of the usual sources of interference.

Any ideas would be appreciated. :)
Last edited by Kaelri on Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Korrente
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:44 am UTC

Re: Haunted Router

Postby Korrente » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

I've had this issue with a WRT54G running DD-WRT. It was the laptop's fault though. I don't know what it was, but it would drop connection all the time and then just ignore the access point afterwords. The only way I could get it to reconnect was to reboot the AP. The only thing that fixed the problem was to have the laptop's hard drive to fail and buy a new machine altogether. Worked wonders.
The moral of this story is: don't discount the laptop as the culprit. Especially since it is seeing the AP as active but just not connecting.

Jof16's
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

Re: Haunted Router

Postby Jof16's » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:48 pm UTC

I'd probably agree with Korrente about it being the laptops fault, but recent circumstances tell me otherwise.

My uni's routers do the same thing to almost everyone's computer. Once a week, they'll drop several dozen machines and refuse to allow a connection again for several hours. It gets annoying when one of your classes requires internet access and you can't get it.

I doubt it's somebody downloading a large file because they (somehow) limit speeds. I really don't know how, but I've tested it. I did this because a friend told me they do and I didn't believe him.

Kaelri, could somebody be using your network illegally (aka, hacked the router and using it to download stuff / access the net)?

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Kaelri
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:42 pm UTC
Location: York, New
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Re: Haunted Router

Postby Kaelri » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:50 am UTC

I don't think that's likely. It's WPA-encrypted, and the DHCP log shows no sign of any unidentified devices connecting in the last few days. (If I find no other solution, though, I'll try changing the access key just for the hell of it.)

ErikRuud
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:52 pm UTC

Re: Haunted Router

Postby ErikRuud » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:35 pm UTC

I had similar issues with a Thinkpad.

I tried all kinds of different settings on both the laptop and the router. I even tried different routers.

I finally solved it by installing the Intel PROSet/Wireless Software in addition to the hardware driver.

I also found that I get better performance using both of the routers that I own. I have one set to only accept 802.11g and the other set for 802.11b.


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