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Random sputtering/disconnecting on wireless home network

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 30, 2010 7:04:00 AM

Firstly, my problem is this. At random intervals, my desktop PC will experience horrible lag spikes and these are followed almost immediately by a momentary disconnection from the network. The connection interruption is brief enough that the issue is resolved typically resolved by the time I have minimized whatever application I am currently running.

I'm used to having this problem on a very rare basis, but over the past 2 weeks it has become substantially more frequent, and for the past 2 days, it has been happening at LEAST once per hour. The only other wireless device connected to the network is my XBox 360. There is also another desktop connected to the router through hardwired ethernet. Neither of these devices experience the lag spikes or the random disconnections.

Wireless Desktop:
Windows 7 Ultimate
3.19 GHz Intel Pentium 4
2.00 GB Installed Physical Memory
TRENDnet TEW-421PC/TEW-423PI 802.11g Wireless Cardbus/PCI Adapter

Wireless Router:
TRENDnet TEW-611BRP 108Mbps 802.11g MIMO Router
Firmware Version: 1.0

Internet Connection:
3.0 Mbps DSL via AT&T

Yes, I understand that my router is far from up-to-date, but that's not something I'm currently able to update. I will be updating the firmware immediately after making this post, and I can only hope that makes a difference.

There are some factors that I could due to address with the connection itself, but it would seem to me that any problem caused on the other side of the wireless router would affect all the devices, not just the desktop.

Given this hardware set-up though, is there any light that could be shed on why this random disconnection is occurring?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
September 30, 2010 7:12:06 AM

You should try to optimise your reception and avoid interference.

1) raise the router above furniture level
2) Experiment with channels (some will work better or worse depending on your environment)
3) If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, use a channel 5 stops away from strongest.
4) Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc.
5) Be prepared to move the computer (or at least turn it so your body is not between the router signal and the wireless adapter's antenna.
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September 30, 2010 7:20:41 AM

The router is on the top of a desk overhang roughly 75 feet away from the PC. There are a couple of walls between the two.

I've done some experimenting with channels and none of those changes have made a difference that I've noticed, but I'll probably be trying the more major jumps in stops.

No cordless phones in the house.

I found another recommendation through my googling that I tried that seems to have made a pretty big difference in the signal strength I'm getting, but only time will if disabling the unused HomeGroup features as well as disabling IPv6 will make a difference.
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Related resources
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
September 30, 2010 7:28:37 AM

Yes, disable IP v.6 as it's not used much yet.

The range you describe may be at the limits of reception. The makers range claims are based on tests with line of sight. The depth/construction of the walls can affect too. --
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September 30, 2010 7:33:15 AM

I'm running WoW now to test it, though I won't really have a definitive answer for a while, as it's not something replicatable. Any other changes I could make that might aid the problem?
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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
September 30, 2010 9:07:33 AM

Check the router's power supply cube is delivering the correct (or slightly higher) voltage.
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