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Wireless Router issues.. so frustrated. Help?

Posted on 2013-01-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-28
Hey guys, looking for some help with a wireless issue. I have been seeing degraded performance for my wireless devices for a few weeks and a week ago it just became unbearable, nothing I download breaks the 100kbps/down mark. To give you the general layout of the house the router resides next to the cable modem on the ground level. I have roommates upstairs a floor and they don't experience any problems, I live in the basement and have multiple wireless devices (few laptops, HTPC, blu-ray player) and all of them will randomly drop the connection outside of one laptop I have that seems to stay online no matter what. To get them to reconnect again I have to power cycle the router (I also cycle the modem just to do it). Currently I'm on the ground floor on a wired connection and the speeds are great, no issues. I was thinking maybe the signal is being.. distorted down in the basement? I have another router now since I bought a new one so I was thinking I could use one as a repeater and put it downstairs - think that may work? I'm completely at my wits end here as my ISP says there is no issue on their end. Are there connection limits to routers? Am I connecting too many devices? The one I picked up said good for 3 devices actually.. but I was under the impression that was simply a sales thing.

-When wired, everything is fine.
-Disconnects itself randomly, then I can't reconnect until I power cycle the cable modem and router.
-A new router was purchased, same issue occurs.
-Called the ISP and they ran a speedtest, said everything was okay.

ANY help appreciated, thanks. :-/
Question by:narcDesigns
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 1000 total points
ID: 38757601
Most wireless devices will let you choose a "channel" to run on, and your default channel is probably on the same frequency as some other device nearby or as other nearby wireless networks and the interference could be causing your issues. Log into the router and "change the channel" to run on a different frequency. If you have an Android or iPhone you can also scan for the frequency / channel with a free app called Wifi Analyzer to see what you can pick up.



Other brands are similar.

Author Comment

ID: 38757645
I tried that but I only tried one different channel, I'll try some different ones and post results. I've also confirmed that Wireless in general is slow around the house as I'm sitting on wireless a foot from the access point and it's still very slow. I think my roommates only use facebook so they don't notice.

Author Comment

ID: 38757718
Ok did some analyzing and it said my best channels were 13 and 14, which are unselectable so I tried a few others.. same results. I finally left it on channel 4 as no other person around me is using it however still no speed change.

I don't get it, it was fine pulling 1mbps/down for over a month and now I can't get over 100kbps/down on wireless to save my life. Really not looking forward to running wire, *sigh*

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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 38757835
What happens if you turn off all wireless devices and just test from the laptop. What kind of speeds are you seeing with just one device?

Maybe one of the devices is slowing you down. Could be causing a broadcast storm, or maybe lots of errors slowing down everyone else.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 38758185
It could also be the wireless network adapter on the client devices giving you problems. Have you looked for updated network drivers from the manufacturer's website? I've seen drivers that have been installed from Windows Update cause this kind of issue.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 38758395
Only channels 1, 6 and 11 should be used in the 2.4GHz band.2.4GHz Channel Overlap
You might get a better picture of local usage by installing a program such as inSSIDer on a laptop and checking at different locations around your building.
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 1000 total points
ID: 38758478
Interference from another device is the most likely cause, and changing the channel is the only real solution to that, without going to a completely different setup. Try 1, 6, and sure to restart your computers in between changes. Check for the latest wifi adapter drivers from the manufacturer's website. Also, you could always try taking a reasonable amount of the equipment to a remote location if possible, where there is no interference, and set up a controlled experiment to see for sure if it's interference.

Assisted Solution

by:Barry Craig
Barry Craig earned 500 total points
ID: 38762233
I would say Interference and channel - also make sure that noone has hacked your network and is torrenting/thrashing your link

Logging onto your router should only show certain mac addresses
or DNS names if you are lucky

type in a command prompt for each of the computers  "getmac" without the quotation marks
(and check your phone settings) compare every device and if there is one that is there you may have a rogue attacker on your network

Change to WPA2 with AES encryption, change the password.

remember there are only 3 non-overlapping channels 1,6 and 12 in the 2.4ghz spectrum
Choose the same one in the area that has the weakest signal.

Also connect directly up to the Access Point with a cable and test, if its still slow then tell your friends to stop torrenting/re-check the hacked idea by disabling wireless.

Finally I would say update your wireless drivers for your device and restart the wireless router.

Author Comment

ID: 38826704
Ya know guys, I couldn't figure out the issue and the problem persisted so I just ran wire. Thanks for all your assistance.

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