Wireless Access problems/questions: Signal dropping
Posted on 2006-11-20
I did some side work recently for a very small business which has 4 desktop machines, a DSL modem/router/firewall device, and a new Linksys Wireless Access Point. One of the desktop machines is physically connected to the 4 port switch on the back of the DSL router, and the other three desktops have wireless network cards installed. They originally had a Linksys Wireless ROUTER device, but since the DSL modem had the router functionality built into it (along with a 4 port switch and firewall capabilities), I recommended they simply install an Access point.
So my question is, with the original Linksys Wireless Router, their wireless connections were VERY stable. Since installing the brand new Access Point, the wireless signal works great for a short while, then seems to drop off...and the computers don't see it any longer. To fix this, they simply unplug the access point for a few seconds and plug it back in. The computers automatically reconnect after about 40 seconds, once the access point is powered back on. The length of time the wireless works varies...from 10 minutes to 10 hours it seems. But they still have to reboot the thing frequently.
Their office if very small and all three wireless desktops have excellent signal strength (when the access point is working). They are all very close in proximity to the access point as well...with very few obsticles between them. When the wireless signal goes out...all the computers loose their connection at the same time.
Is this simply a case of a bad access point? Normally, I would assume that is what is happening, but I have noticed this sort of (similar) behavior in other wireless applications. For example, another person I know has a wireless access point at his home. His laptop will frequently drop the connection and his wife's laptop will always have a great signal and never seem to drop. The guy will stay connected all day long however in the office or when he is travelling...it's only on his home access point where he has a problem. Yet, his wife's computer if just fine with it. AND, it's only recently that he has had this issue. I also brought my laptop over to his house, and it stays conneceted perfectly. I would suspect something has changed on his laptop, but he can use other wireless networks perfectly for long periods of time.
Sorry the question is so long, but I can summarize by asking what are the causes of wireless signals dropping when all other factors are good?