Laptop's settings are configured wrong?

I live in a house with 4 computers; that is, two desktops and two laptops. The desktops are connected to the router via ethernet cable and the laptops use a wireless connection to that same router.

That being said, when one of these laptops is powered on, the whole household is disconnected from the internet. This problem will occur as soon as the laptop's OS starts up, regardless of wether or not the user is browsing the internet on that computer. Also, this problem is not something regular. It seems to happen at random, with intervals of just one day or as long as a 4 months inbetween.

My entire family and I are stumped. We tried connecting the laptop to the router with an ethernet cable but that has not changed the situation at all. Please help us.
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  1. Although you attribute the problem to the laptops coming ON, I'm wondering if perhaps that's more coincidence that anything else. When someone tells me it happens at intervals ranging from one day to 4 months, that's quite a variation. That tells me that overwhelmingly you spend most of the time having no problems at all. So if it was merely the laptops coming ON, then it should be consistent, at least far more consistent and predictable than you're describing. Unfortunately there’s not much else to go on here.

    Only thing I can suggest is perhaps describing your network (router make/model, how you have it configured for security, firmware release, etc.). Maybe I’ll detect some configuration either (physical or software). I’d also like to know if this is cable or dsl. How you are connected to the ISP (e.g., DHCP, PPPoE, etc.). Anything else UNUSUAL about your situation?

    One other recommendation. It never hurts to do a completely factory reset on the router. Sometimes they just get into a bad state after a while and a reset will often fix unruly behavior.
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