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Old 31-October-2006, 10:55
larcos
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Default Wireless network connection keeps dropping

2 months ago I purchased UK Online home broadband (2Mbps). I purchsed a wireless router as part of the package - the Actiontec GT701.

I had no problem setting up and connecting to the internet, I have a HP laptop and Xbox 360 both using a wireless network connection. For the first month I had no problem with the connection, both the laptop and the Xbox connected to the network perfectly.

More recently I have been having a problem connecting my HP laptop to the wireless network. It can see the network, and the network signal is a full strength (the little green bars). But it has not been able to connect to the network, either automatically at startup or by manual intervention. The ONLY way I can get it to connect is by powering down the router for a few minutes and then once the router is rebooted my laptop can connect. But then sooner or later the connection will drop and I am faced with the issue again. I called UK Online, they got me working again in the first instance but the connection keeps dropping. They told me it may be caused by a cordless phone in the vicinity (I live in a flat, and can see other wireless networks in range etc.)

Does anyone know what my issue might be. I want to somehow keep connected all the time, or at least get a way to reconnect that doesn't involve powering down. I work in IT so know the basics, and don't think it is anything to do with my router settings etc. Other things to consider when troubleshooting are:

1) All this time the Xbox 360 has maintained a 100% perfect connection to the wireless network.

2) My laptop can see other networks in range, and I can connect to those (I did this once as a test).

3) The router works fine with a ethernet cable, so there is no issue with the router or internet connection per se.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 31-October-2006, 12:49
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

Hi Larcos and welcome to TS

Firstly, I'd download a little free proggy called Netstumbler and use it to check on your nearby wireless networks and see what channel number they're using. Most wifi routers default setting is CH11, so I'd change yours to something like 3 or 6. At the same time, you need to check if you have wireless security encryption turned on, if not use the WPA rather than WEP if you have a choice.

It may be that if you don't have encryption turned on that someone else is using your router to connect to the internet. If enough other people can see an unprotected network to use, they may be degrading your access.
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Old 31-October-2006, 13:22
larcos
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

Hi centuar, thanks for the information and for the welcome

To confirm, I am using WEP at the moment. Out of the box I had no security, just to get the connection working. Once connected I turned on WEP and there was no problem at all with the connection for the first (non - problematic) month. Right now, after power down I can connect using WEP security, it is just that the network drops off after a while - so maybe someone is hacking it. WPA looks more complex (and I guess more secure) to setup, are there any good links to WPA encryption setup?

Meanwhile I found the following excellent article, which I will post here as it may be of use to other members:

Wireless Network Troubleshooting

Part of the action plan is to use Netstumbler, so I will go ahead and give that a try tonight. There are loads of other networks in range (and I imagine other devices besides), so this may well be my issue.
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Old 31-October-2006, 14:13
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

WPA is less difficult to setup then WEP imo, it only wants a 'passphrase', which you then need to use on any computer you want to connect to your network.

You might also try plugging your router directly into the 'Master' BT socket, which is the bit underneath the removable lower half of the faceplate after undoing the 2 screws.

Can we assume from the link you posted that you have checked that you already have the latest drivers and 'firmware' for your router and wifi cards ?
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Old 31-October-2006, 15:03
larcos
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

I actually just got back from lunch at home and had time to check my wireless network adaptor driver (it did need updating). Prior to this I changed the following setting:



For my information do you know what this setting does?

As soon as the wireless driver was updated, it established a connection to the network. So fingers crossed this was the issue. I guess time will tell as to whether it drops off again.

I installed Netstumbler as per your advice and I can see that several devices are using the same channel as me, so I will change that too just to be sure. I will also look at WPA when I get home. Thanks once again
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Old 31-October-2006, 16:04
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

I can't be absolutely sure without any documentation but the checked item looks to be confining connection ONLY to the network it belongs to. I think I'd have picked the first item though.

Glad things seem to have worked, it's always useful to report success/failure for anyone else needing help
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Old 31-October-2006, 16:10
larcos
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

I can't be absolutely sure without any documentation but the checked item looks to be confining connection ONLY to the network it belongs to. I think I'd have picked the first item though.

Glad things seem to have worked, it's always useful to report success/failure for anyone else needing help
Originally Posted by centaur View Post
Indeed. Even when I spoke to UK Online they suggested the first item (it was already defaulting to this anyway). Thanks for all your help.
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Old 01-November-2006, 19:37
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StuC StuC is offline
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Default Re: Wireless network connection keeps dropping

infrastructure mode stops it connecting to ad hoc networks.
Ad hoc is normally two pc's setup to connect to each other WITHOUT an access point.

Ad Hoc can be risky in that some people set them up to see what details your PC puts out while trying to get to a network.
If you have a number of "preferred" networks your PC will still try any of those that use access points.

Some network points fall over if attacked so if you see ad hoc networks and constant reboots I'd keep a close eye on your network by running something like airsnare
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broadband, bt, cable, cards, computer, connection, failure, firmware, free, hacking, home, internet, laptop, line, network, online, phone, router, security, settings, wireless, xbox

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