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Why do I lose my signal so much?

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by TigerFan, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    I tried to "search" my issue so as not to get blasted about starting a new topic, here is my problem.
    I am on Windows 98, (old but is plenty for my needs), Motorola SB4200 Cable Modem, Linksys wireless-G router. 64 bit encryption.
    I am continuously having to pull the power cord on my modem and router to get my internet connection back. Why am I losing my signal so much? At least once a week.
    Thanks...
     
  2. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    Linksys routers do this. I've had this problem with 5 different linksys routers now. They just stop responding randomly. I've also had problems were wired machines are fine but wireless machines can't get ip addresses unless I reset the machine. Sometimes my router will be fine for 10 days and other times it won't go more than an hour before I have to reset it. I think it's just cheap consumer electronics. I am never going to buy linksys routers again. I think next time I'll try netgear.
     
  3. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    tiger: try to isolate your issue to be either wired or wireless. wireless can drop often, especially due to interference.. but should not require a reboot, typically just a reset of the wireless interface.

    do you have any PCs connected wired to the router? Do they fail the same way?

    You shouldn't have to reset both the router and modem either. I would try to isolate which is requiring the reboot.

    -Steve
     
  4. Twriter

    Twriter Get a Mac!

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    The first step is to check for interference. Wireless routers only have 11 channels to broadcast on, and many people don't ever bother finding an unused channel. In my neighborhood I can pick up two networks on channel 1, three on channel 6, and four on channel 11!

    Get a wireless survey application and run it for about 24 hours. I use Mac OS X and I use both MacStumbler and iStumbler. I'm sure there is some Windows equivalent software you can find. After 24 hours, check the log to see what channels are used and which ones are unused, then set your wireless router to one of the unused channels.

    Other sources of interference are microwave ovens and cordless telephones. The older phones are usually the culprit. I got rid of all my older cordless phones and now use only the 5.8 GHz phones.

    Even that isn't the complete answer. I also have a Linksys router and it will just stop transmitting (according to the signal/noise graph I get in iStumbler) for random periods. Even cycling the power has no effect. I'm glad to hear from others that it seems to be a Linksys issue. I, too, will not buy a Linksys for my next router. I thought it may be an overheating issue, but the case never seems hot.

    Is it correct to assume that if the signal and noise readings from a source suddenly drop to zero (as measured by two separate computers) that the router has ceased transmitting? Or could there be another reason for this?

    --- John B.
     
  5. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    Flynn: yes one desktop is "wired" to my wireless router while another desktop is wireless plus my laptop. I lose my wired signal also.
    I'll look into channel interference and finding an unused channel. I do have 2 cordless phones in the house, both 900 Mhz I believe.
    Any recs for a new wireless router??
     
  6. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    Linksys... I swear their QA team has left the building. I have random issues where the router will allow computers to associate but will not assign IP addresses. I also have issues where physically connected machines can use the network but wireless machine don't see the network as up. Then finally the worst one is where even the physically connected machines loose connection and I can no longer ping the router. I used to love linksys hardware but it's really gone downhill. I have had 3 routers in the last year and they all do it. The latest firmware seems to be worse though.
     
  7. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    TigerFan - What is the model of your Linksys wireless router?
     
  8. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    FWIW .. if you have wireless phones, move the router to channel 10 or 11 if you can ... I find that 11 is best, but I've also found that many times the reason you lose signal at the computer, is that Windows is looking for a stronger signal.

    A few questions to think about:

    1. Where is the location of the router?
    2. Where is the computer using wireless.

    FWIW ... you shouldn't have to pull the power on the cable modem, using the Linksys web config, you can request a new lease from the status page.

    This is one of the reasons I had the house wired with Cat 5 when I had it built ...

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  9. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    if you can contact the router :) most of the time in my case the stupid thing has stopped responding all together to pings and requests and is no longer routing packets. Only solution is unplugging and then let it sit for a minute before plugging it back in.
     
  10. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    Wes my Linksys router is a WRK54G 2.4 GHz wireless G
     
  11. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    WRK54g ?? They don't make one with that model number, WRT54G perhaps ??

    The latest firmware is 3.03.6 ... what version number is that router. That can make a difference.

    What really surprises me is that you can't access it with the wired computer. That really should have been affected. I'm suspecting that the router may have been hit by a surge, as I've seen that cause the symptoms you're seeing, especially on a wired connection.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  12. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    I'm looking at it again: Linksys WRK54G 4 point switch.
    I bought it at Best Buy in Sterling.
    I started this topic yesterday after being on my wired desktop using the internet and just lost my signal. I unplugged the power cord from both the modem and the router for a minute or so and then I get my signal back. By the way, the lights on my modem don't change, they are all lit up when I lose my signal leading me to believe it might be the router, next time I'll just unplug the router.
    Thanks again, y'alls knowledge is awesome.
    This website is a great asset for our community.
    What else is out there besides Linksys?
     
  13. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    Neil....How do I find the version number of the router?
     
  14. brim

    brim Member

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  15. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    You should be able to go the admin webpage of your Linksys router to get the firmware version. Try updating the firmware for your router to the latest version at www.linksys.com.

    If that doesn't work, you can also try switching to various open source firmware versions at http://wrt54g.serwer.net/
     
  16. TigerFan

    TigerFan New Member

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    I suppose my router is older. My firmware version is 1.55.02, May 21 2004.
    I'm going to upgrade that and change to channel 10 from 11.
    Thanks again for all the help.
     
  17. brim

    brim Member

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  18. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    On the bottom of the router, it will show the model, as well as the version number.

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  19. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Thanks Brim for that reference, seeing that and heading to the Linksys site shows that its part of the 'Wireless-G Network Kit for Notebooks' which bundles a PC Card and this router. Linksys didn't break down the part numbers on their products page.

    Well TF ... for that router, you have the latest version of the firmware. It seems that this router does not use the same chipset as the WRT56Gx series of routers. That one antenna can be part of the issue, as it does not provide the same functionality or diversity as a two antenna system.

    FWIW .. the price of WRT56G series routers have dropped tremendously, I'd pitch that one, and get a WRT56G. I know some people swear by other brands, but I've had good luck with Linksys routers, and they're the only brand of switch and router used in my home.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  20. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    You should also get rid of that 64bit encryption. Go into your router and turn on WPA-PSK and use a passphrase, then do the same on your computer. It's a lot easier to setup and more secure.

    ---------------
    Got Broadband?
     

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