Wireless router hast failed me... again

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Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:11 pm

Over the past 1.5 years, I've spent a large amount on wireless equipment. It all started when I had to move my primary desktop to the basement, while the only internet hookup remained on my uppermost floor (I live in a two story home.)

No matter I thought, and I ran out and bought the cheapest wireless G add-in card and router I could find. That was my first mistake. The first card was a DWA-542 (Wireless G) and the router was a WBR-2310. This setup worked well for a while, but the signal started dropping about 4-6 months in, and progressively got worse. Usually to fix it, I had to run up two flights of stairs, restart the router and it would work again for about 20mins - the whole day.

Fed up, I decided it was the wireless card. I then went out and bought a Linksys WMP54G. This did little to solve the problem and I bit the bullet and went for a wireless N router (DIR-615) with a wireless G+ card (name escapes me ATM, but it was a Dlink wireless G "gold" card of sorts.)

And that is my current setup. It has served me well for almost a year, until about 2 months ago, the signal started dropping and I'm back to the old resetting game.

But why? I was under the impression either a router worked or it didn't, non of this 'slow death' none-sense. Am I doing something wrong? I would be concerned about having a wireless G+ card, except restarting the router always fixes the problem...

Please weigh-in! To detail the problem further, the router is always visible in Windows 7 wireless manager, but when I tell it to connect, Windows says it can't, then I tell it to figure out why and it tells me it doesn't know. Grrr :evil:
If common sense is so common, why don't more people have it?
henfactor
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:37 pm

I've been having the same sort of problem with our Netgear router. Lately it's even decided to stop communicating with my main computer over ethernet at times... We've got 3 computers running off it on wireless and yesterday 2 of the 3 couldn't connect even though they could "see" that the router was on and broadcasting. Like you, a router restart fixes it every time. Wish I could help with a fix. :-?
bobboobles
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:07 pm

If Windows can "see" the router but doesn't have a connection, have you tried opening a command window and doing a
Code: Select all
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
sequence. (On Vista/Win7 the command window has to be Admin). Alternatively you can find the connection in the control panel and try the "repair" option.

Or run the net diagnostics from
Code: Select all
HelpCtr.exe  -url "hcp://system/netdiag/dglogs.htm"
(not sure if that still works in Win7).

This would help narrow down where in the network stack the problem actually lies (assuming the routers aren't just overheating or something).

It's worth noting that WiFi operates on unlicensed bands used by various other consumer products, so interference is always a possibility (and not just from obvious devices like cordless phones: microwave ovens among other things can cause problems). Also, "n" is not necessarily a panacea, particularly for range / signal strength problems: one of the ways "n" offers that lovely high bandwidth is by using the 5GHz spectrum (like 802.11a) along with the 2.4GHz spectrum (like b/g). But while higher frequencies accommodate higher bandwidth, they tend to have an inverse relationship with range, especially when you have obstacles like walls and floors in the way.
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:28 pm

Maybe you don't know this... but "slow death" for routers is actually an industry standard. Maybe these days it is less likely, but 10 years ago, regardless of which brand you bought... it would require frequent resets, and it definitely got worse over time. That's just my experience... I used a new D-Link router during college it worked great... so I think maybe you just got a bad batch/brand.
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:30 pm

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthre ... 916&page=2

Looks like I'm not the only one (with a sad D-link that is), I'll going to look into taking it back.

If I'm no longer under warranty, I have my suspicions that it is over heating, as it seems to flake after an hour or so of gaming/ P2P. So maybe I can rip the cheap plastic off it and mount some type of fan on'her 8)

@Ubergerbil

I'll be sure to try the iprenew/ release, though I've already tried windows 'repair', to no avail. I have a 5GHz cordless phone (ironically advertised to NOT interfere with electronic devices, but it was pre Draft N :roll: ).

That's interesting about the reduced range of draft N, as I bought the DIR-615 because of its increased range (In fact, I don't need near that much bandwidth, as my ISP tops out at 5Mbits). Maybe I should try my older router again...
If common sense is so common, why don't more people have it?
henfactor
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:54 pm

UberGerbil wrote:If Windows can "see" the router but doesn't have a connection, have you tried opening a command window and doing a
Code: Select all
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
sequence. (On Vista/Win7 the command window has to be Admin). Alternatively you can find the connection in the control panel and try the "repair" option.

Or run the net diagnostics from
Code: Select all
HelpCtr.exe  -url "hcp://system/netdiag/dglogs.htm"
(not sure if that still works in Win7).

This would help narrow down where in the network stack the problem actually lies (assuming the routers aren't just overheating or something).

I'll try those next time. The odd thing about it is that yesterday my brothers computer that's wireless stayed on fine; usually it will drop the connection too. It was just the laptop and other desktop that couldn't connect. Like the router wasn't recognizing the new computers.

It's not that big a deal, just annoying since I'm really the only one in the house that can troubleshoot these sorts of things. Plus, anytime the computer messes up when my mom's on it, my dad goes off the rails on how stupid computers are and how they never work. :lol: :roll: Guess I better make my little brother learn, otherwise I'll be getting a lot of phone calls if I ever get to move out. :lol:
bobboobles
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Re: Wireless router hast failed me... again

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:33 pm

Just tried the renew release... nope! It said it couldn't do it when it could not connect to media (or something to that effect.)

I just did a bit of an experiment, involving downloading a large file, 42mins in, connection failed (ambient temp is about 25C) . I checked the router and it felt very warm. I let it 'cool' for a bit without unplugging it (just no network traffic) and within 10mins it was fine again. I think I've found the problem! I'm taking it apart tonight and am going to try attaching an old Athlon heat sync with a fan and see if that helps. I'll post back with results!
If common sense is so common, why don't more people have it?
henfactor
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