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  #1  
Old 12-January-2011, 14:37
The Latman
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Default Help!! Weird Router Issue

Hey Folks,

Hopefully you can help?

Im using the VM Homehub Gateway N modem/router (NGD280) which had been working like a charm up until the end of November.

My neighbour (who I do not get on with in any way) got the same router sent to him, that day I started noticing WLAN dropouts. I ran inSSIDer and it showed his router was on the same channel as mine, and as hes right next door the signal strength was quite good.

So, I changed my channel from 1 to 11, within 10 minutes his had switched to 11 as well. At first I thought he was playing the arsehole, but he wasnt even in. I changed the channel again, back down to 1, within 10 minutes his was at 1 as well.

That is basically my issue, his router auto switches to match whatever channel my router is using. There are a couple of G routers in the immediate vicinity (while I recieve faint signals from them, my neighbour is closer to them and would pick up a decent signal from them), so I thought if i matched my router to the same channel that one of those was on, when his followed it would introduce enough congestion (3 routers within the same vicinity all on the same channel) that the offending router would switch channels away.

Unfortunately that didnt happen, Im guessing that G band doesnt really affect N band that much, or that his router is totally screwed up and is changing channels to find conflicts!

Now usually (im a Telecoms Field Engineer) the simplest answer is the best answer, so some of you may be thinking "Your neighbour is messing with you".

To be honest, he just isnt that smart, also, if he had been doing this intentionally, then surely he would have renamed his SSID from the default and maybe even hidden his SSID?? However, as some of the channel changes have taken place when nobody is in (like now) Is it possible to run a script on the router to constantly 'follow' another router about? If so, could VM log into the firmware of his router and check this?

I have hidden and changed my SSID, changed channels constantly and reset all the passwords on all devices and the router.

Last night I thought I had cracked it, I had detected another N router on channel 6, so I switched my router to 6, whilst monitoring the network, I could see the offending router switching from 6 to 1 and back constantly. My thinking was that if it kept dropping him, my neighbour would call VM who would instantly advise him to check the area for wireless signals and program a static channel away from the rest.

This morning though, his router was on 6 and hasnt moved (unless I move mine that is!)

im contemplating hacking his network and setting the channel myself! So far ive had a lot of bother trying this though.

Unfortunately there is bad blood between us, so talking to the git is pretty much out of the question, unless the chat involves me asking him his last words as I pull the trigger.....



Ive called VM, and they were useless (Spoke with the indian chaps who didnt listen to me, and referred me to another VM line who offered to investigate for 60.....Thats rich, they screw me over then charge me to fix it!

I had posted n the VM forums, and initially was getting some suggestions from the VM guys there, but they have since started ignoring me (as they dont have a clue what to do no doubt!)

Anybody got any ideas what i can do?

Lat
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  #2  
Old 12-January-2011, 15:45
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

How about using another type of router, a 'cheapie' for @ 30 so probably not an 'N' type ?

Just out of curiosity, is there any actual noted 'facility' listed on the VM router to autochange channel numbers in the event of interference or whatever ? Who manufactures the router, and have you tried contacting them for a 'workaround' ?
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Old 12-January-2011, 17:36
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Hi Centaur,

Unfortunately I can't use another router as this one is a gateway cablemodem as well as a router, so the actual broadband cable connects into it.

I have however switched it off, and fired up my old G router (all it's doing is broadcasting a wireless signal as it doesn't have an Internet connection due to sending back the old cable modem when it was replaced by this combined unit), the offending router still switched to the same channels!

My router is a netgear, but it's a virgin media custom job so when I looked on netgears site they don't list it.

I can set my channels to auto, but all that happens is it keep switches channels as the offending router matches it. Every time it switches, it disconnects any connected devices.

Virgin Media have now been next to useless!

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Old 12-January-2011, 17:41
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Oh I have found a sort if workaround, if I drop the bandwidth from "Up to 300mbps" to up to "145mbps" the offending router stops following me. But, I've noticed my speed drops. Plus the whole reason for getting N was for the 300mbps, I can stream media easily and my wife and I use multiple devices, so I don't like to do that, especially to allow a guy I can't get on with to limit my WLAN!
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  #5  
Old 12-January-2011, 18:37
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silver silver is offline
 
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

interesting issue

have you tried moving the router, either near to where the offending router might be or further away - don't know if either approach would make any much difference!
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Old 12-January-2011, 19:12
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Hi Silver, I'm limited to where I can move it due to the length of cable from the wall to the cablemodem/router. I've moved it a wee bit, and the dropouts arent as frequent (still 1 a day at least though)

Is there any way I can jam his signal?

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  #7  
Old 12-January-2011, 19:19
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silver silver is offline
 
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

I am not sure about signal jamming - there are devices you can get - it's likely illegal (depending on device) and really I'm not sure it's a good solution,

how about this (somewhat convoluted!) - setup your N router to be on the channel furthest away (frequency wise) from the channel your G router will use, then use ethernet to move the G router further away and use the G router for wireless, or you could try the other way round

if the other router (next door) is open you should be able to login, does it come up with the router login screen when connected to it?
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  #8  
Old 12-January-2011, 21:21
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Hi Silver,

The offending router can be seen, but its wpa2 encrypted, I'm pretty sure it's just the default passwords, unfortunately the wpa password is random characters, printed on the bottom of it.

If I could crack his password I would set his to channel 1, using 11 for myself.

The G router isn't really an option as it kept locking up, hence my replacing it, plus if I'm going to use the lower bands, I may as we use the slightly lower bandwidth my N can offer, but I use the N for streaming media across my WLAN.

I can't find any other reports of routers behaving like this, I'm thinking my only option is to try to talk to the guy. Unless I can hack is WLAN to manually assign his channels.
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  #9  
Old 12-January-2011, 22:16
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silver silver is offline
 
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

I think bite the bullet and talk to him is probably your best option - in theory (practise also I guess) you can crack the encryption - but that is on the non legal side of the law for sure,.

it does sound v strange in that the other router tries to match the same channel, I don't know how they work but I had thought it would do the opposite looking for a free channel
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  #10  
Old 12-January-2011, 23:08
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

That was my thinking, I guess if hsi router is screwed up it may be following the strongest signal.

Is it possible (im assuming all routers are essentially running on linux of course) to run a script to deliberately interfere with another router??
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  #11  
Old 12-January-2011, 23:16
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silver silver is offline
 
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

I am sure it is possible (in theory at least) there's kicking around custom OS's for some routers that allow tweaking, increased transmitter power for instance,. I still think the best 2 options are moving the router or speaking to neighbour

perhaps they are having problems with their router and will be thankful for your help even
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  #12  
Old 12-January-2011, 23:31
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Well I can't move it anymore, i will need to speak to him, he is a total git though, I suspect if he is doing it intentionally he'll just laugh at me.

Saying that though, im pretty sure the VM routers take custom firmware and can't be re customised....

WPA hacking may not be legal, but if I could.....
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  #13  
Old 14-January-2011, 16:18
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

If you try asking the neighbour from the viewpoint of 'are you having dropout problems with the service' and if yes, you could offer to set his router to a fixed channel (whilst making a note of the password) which might solve things.

Since you appeared to feel that he's enough of a muppet not to be able to deliberately interfere, it's probably best to at least beging any dealings on that basis.
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  #14  
Old 15-January-2011, 09:50
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Yeah I'd thought of that, in fact I tried to have a word with him, but it didnt go too well. (we really don't get on)

Interesting development though, his router doesn't like channel 6. Don't get me wrong, it still switches to 6 as mine is, but it keeps jumping to 1 as well.

Do routers wait for traffic to determine congestion, or do they detect congestion on the channel they are using from other router broadcasts?
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  #15  
Old 15-January-2011, 11:25
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silver silver is offline
 
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

I suspect they monitor in the background, I did have one thought, perhaps if you have broadcast SSID turned on on your router it would keep the other router on a different channel ?
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  #16  
Old 15-January-2011, 13:24
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Initially my ssid was broadcasting, I switched that to hidden as one of the first steps I tried!!

Strange issue isn't it?? Routers are supposed to avoid each other, not actively seek another!!
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  #17  
Old 15-January-2011, 15:42
chrislane62
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Perhaps they are feeling sociable?
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  #18  
Old 15-January-2011, 17:39
The Latman
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Default Re: Help!! Weird Router Issue

Heh heh!
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