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Why Does Wireless Not Work A Lot of the Time

Posted on 2006-11-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Hi,

My clients started having trouble with their wireless connection about 6 weeks ago. It can be working for awhile, and then they lose the signal for awhile, then it goes back on, etc.

They have a Linksys 80211.g router. They tried replacing the router with a N router but had the same problem. So they returned that router. It doesn't matter where in the house they are. They can be right next to the router, and the connection will still go on and off intermitently. Also, they have cordless phones, like everyone else. But it doesn't matter whether they're on the phone or not. They have three laptops, and this happens with all of them.

We were wondering if a neighbor's wireless signal is kicking them off, since they didn't have this problem before. Could that be possible? If so, is there anything they could do about it? Or could something else be the problem? Please let me know if anyone has any ideas.

Thanks.

Kara
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Question by:kara334
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JamesTX10 earned 125 total points
ID: 17987703
Hi kara334,
> We were wondering if a neighbor's wireless signal is kicking them off,
> since they didn't have this problem before. Could that be possible? If
> so, is there anything they could do about it?

You could change the channel of the router and see if that helps


JamesTX10
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Author Comment

by:kara334
ID: 17987713
Boy, that was quick! Hey, that's a good idea!
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by:ElrondCT
ElrondCT earned 125 total points
ID: 17990588
If the cordless phones are in the 2.4 GHz band, they can interfere with WiFi signals whether or not you're talking on the phone. If you want to use WiFi, you should get cordless phones in either the 900 MHz or 5.8 GHz bands.
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 125 total points
ID: 17996855
Like James alluded to - the answer is probably same channel interference.  When you change channels, try to jump 5 or more channels from where you are.

If that doesn't work - how about if your client turns their wireless OFF?  Can they still get a wireless signal - that would be your indicator.  I had this happen in my bedroom - I logged into my neighbor's wireless router, and they had a setting for signal strength - I was seriously thinking about lowering their signal strength, but ethics got the better of me.  They moved, so problem solved ... ;)

If there is absolutely no way to work with the neighbors and the spectrum is crowded and your clients MUST have wireless - then go with 802.11a.  Harly anyone uses it - and it's totally seperated from the b and g (and n) spectrum.
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Author Comment

by:kara334
ID: 17997470
OK, thank you all for your advice. I instructed my client to change the channel, so I need to wait for him to get back to me to see if that helps. Then we can go from there....Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get back to you beforehand!

Kara
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by:dalesit
dalesit earned 125 total points
ID: 18018124
One other thing to be aware of is that certain models of cars use 2.450GHz for their internal movement sensors on the car alarms. This falls between channel 8 and 9, and normally transmits at 500mW (which is 5 times the typical power of a wifi device). It drowns out adjacent channels, and particularly affects channel 11 and 6 which are often default channels for wifi devices. DECT cordless phones normally aren't a problem - they frequency hop and so will find a better part of the spectrum.

When you get intermittent problems like this, you often find that it coincides with a neighbour getting home and  locking their car.

Cars which I know do this are Mazda 6s, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Shoguns and possibly Chrysler Crossfires. You can see more details of the problem at <http://www.pateley.net/blog/?cat=2> together with a small video we put together. If you are trying to diagnose problems like this, it is well worth investing in a Wi-Spy from <http://www.metageek.net/>

Cheers,

Joel
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Author Comment

by:kara334
ID: 18079377
Hi,

I'm sorry for the looong wait, but my client hasn't told me if changing the channel will work or not. If I don't hear from him soon, I'll award points. You guys have given me very good feedback.

Kara
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Author Comment

by:kara334
ID: 18108396
My clients' wireless is miraculously working again, without them implementing any of the above suggestions. But you all offered great suggestions. Does anyone have any idea as to how I should award points? :)

Kara
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Expert Comment

by:JamesTX10
ID: 18109089
split them among all the people that helped you
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