Why does my wireless network connection keep losing speed till it totally drops ?

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
When I connect my windows xp laptop to my linksys router, it sometimes connects at 54mbps as it should, but then the internet connection will get dropped and it will connect back at a random speed, down to 2mbps. It will be 24, 18, etc, and will take a while to reconnect. Other laptops on the network never have any issues, always stay connected without issue, and at the full 54mbps speed. The router is couple months old, and OS is a couple month old installation as well. No problems with viruses or spyware, I checked.

I reinstalled the wireless driver, but that did not solve the problem. The firmware on the router is original and untouched, no 3rd party stuff.
Question by:tolyl
    LVL 27

    Accepted Solution

    Try changing the channel on your wireless router's config page.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    You may be close to a wireless phone, a microwave oven or even a device in your neighbor's house.
    Test by changing locations in your house and see if the symptoms persist. If they do, you can try Firebar's advice or get a new WiFi mini PCI card (they are very cheap now).
    Hope this helps.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    If you have other laptops adjacent with no symptoms, it would point to software/hardware on the problem laptop, not the router or RFI from other devices.

    1. have you at any time opened up the laptop or accessed the antenna wires?  If so, you'll need to start troubleshooting there before wasting time with anything else.  Ensure that all leads are in good condition, dressed neatly (taped down into place) and snapped firmly onto the wireless card.

    2. uninstall wireless driver & software.  re-boot and re-install original software.

    3. make sure that Windows wireless zero config is disabled.  Some wireless adapter installers do not disable, so you have two things trying to configure the card.

    4. check power settings.  From Device Manager > right-click on adapter > Properties > Power Management > un-check "Allow the computer to turn off this device..."

    Re-boot and see if it's working.  If so, consider re-enabling the power saving, and troubleshoot why the computer thinks it's running out of power.
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution


    Please check that all of your firmware on the device itself is up to date, along with any drivers for your wireless cards - I had a motorola wireless router that was failing more and more, and after a firmware update, all was fixed.

    You could also try what Firebar said about changing the channels it runs on, I would only add that you set the mode to G-Only to ensure its not sending conflicting signals if its already having trouble (b/g/n, b/g) and set you card to G only (from within device manager on your Pc - Right Click My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware Tab -> Device Manager -> locate wireles card -> double click it and verify settings across tabs).

    Author Closing Comment

    Changed the power settings did nothing to help, the symptons persisted. So I logged into my router and changed the channel from auto to 11, and also from Auto to "G-Only" and did the same on my device properties. That seemed to solve the problem.


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