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When my roommate connects to the internet my connection drops

Last response: in Networking
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October 8, 2011 1:42:30 AM

Hello Everyone,

I have wireless Internet at my house. On this network we have 2 laptops and one netbook.

When my laptop (Win 7 Professional) and one roommate's netbook (Windows XP) are connected to the router over wireless, we have zero connectivity issues. When my other roommate (Win 7 Home) connects, all three of us briefly lose our wireless connection.

The connection drops for different amounts of time...on average I would say around 30 seconds. Several times it has been out for 1-2 minutes.

I know for sure the issue involves my 'Win 7 Home' roommates laptop: when he was on vacation for one week my 'Windows XP' roommate and I did not experience a single incident of dropped connectivity. The day the other roommate got back he powered up his laptop and *bingo* my Internet connection dropped out on me temporarily!

I have tried to research this on Google and have been wondering if it has something to do with 'name resolution'. As you may be able to tell I don't know much about networking.

I would appreciate any advice you may be able to give me!

Thank you for your time and effort!
a b D Laptop
October 8, 2011 3:48:20 AM

Is your roommate's computer infected? He might be saturating your internet connection when he first connects.
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October 8, 2011 3:40:59 PM

Hi PhilFrisbie,

I installed Malware Bytes and Symantec End-Point Protection on his laptop recently. I'll have him do a scan of both and report back to you!

Thanks!
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October 9, 2011 3:42:39 PM

Hello,

So, we completed full scans with Malware Bytes and Symantec End-Point Protection.

No infected items were found. I know it's possible that something may not have been detected by the programs...

I'm wondering if a setting on my roommate's laptop needs to be changed or reconfigured...or perhaps on the wireless router?

Thanks!
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October 13, 2011 1:07:54 AM

I just noticed that the connection also drops when he closes the lid on his laptop! Tonight, the connection was out for about 60 seconds before I tried to manually reconnect. The wireless icon on my taskbar said 'not connected-connections are available.' When I selected my home network it reconnected immediately.
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October 13, 2011 8:20:48 PM

hmm maybe it's not the specific laptop, maybe it's just the quantity of connected laptops via wireless.
what would happen if win 7 home and win xp are already connected and after some time you would connect with win 7 prof ? Did you try that?
I just ask because of your example that your friend was in vacation and you had for a week no problem, maybe you had no problem because your router had to handle only 2 pc's.
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October 15, 2011 12:04:07 AM

Hi copnas,

I tried to connect with my Win 7 Pro laptop while the other laptops were online...one of my roommates also had an iPhone connected to the router at that time and no dropped connections were observed!

The last time the connection kicked out, I ran the Win 7 network troubleshooter and it reported that there was an issue with 'the network adapter or access point.' I don't believe it is my network adapter as I tried to update the driver (no update found) and no warning appears in my device manager. This leads me to believe I may need to upgrade or reconfigure my wireless router!

Perhaps I will do a bit of research into my router and see if I can find anyone reporting similar problems.

For the sake of others reading this I should mention I am using an SMC 8014WG wireless router (rented from Rogers Cable/Internet provider in Canada).

Thank you copnas for your advice! It is much appreciated!




copnas said:
hmm maybe it's not the specific laptop, maybe it's just the quantity of connected laptops via wireless.
what would happen if win 7 home and win xp are already connected and after some time you would connect with win 7 prof ? Did you try that?
I just ask because of your example that your friend was in vacation and you had for a week no problem, maybe you had no problem because your router had to handle only 2 pc's.

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October 16, 2011 10:13:47 PM

This could be the names of the laptops or an IP address conflict.

Release and refresh the ip addresses on all laptops and also do ipconfig/flushdns just in case as well
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October 21, 2011 1:16:35 AM

Thank you d85kennedy! Thank you everyone for your assistance.

I finally 'solved' the problem by accident. I'm really not sure exactly how it was fixed...people with more technical knowledge than me will likely be able to explain what happened.

I thought I would poke around with our router's settings to see if I could notice anything out of the ordinary...I'm not sure exactly what that would be as I don't have much experience with networking.

Just for the heck of it, I decided to change my security settings from WEP to WPA2-PSK since I was already fooling around with the router. I figured it would be easy to do...boy, was I ever mistaken!

After I changed the settings on our wireless router to WPA2-PSK, the router refused to let us connect with any laptop/iPhone for about 24 hours. I could see our wireless network on every device in our apartment but we could not connect (red 'x' next to our wireless network name on my Win 7 Pro laptop).

All three of us could see the wireless network but we received the message 'the security settings on this computer don't match the settings of the router' or something similar to that. I was confused because it seemed as though we all had changed the settings on our devices to match the new WPA2-PSK setting...much frustration ensued.

I got annoyed and connected my Win 7 Pro laptop to the router via an Ethernet cable. I had been offline for almost 24 hours and needed my fix! My roommate with the suspect laptop (Win 7 Home) also connected via Ethernet. On his laptop the Network Connection troubleshooter instantly popped up with a networking issue. He says he doesn't know what the issue was (he doesn't know much about anything to do with computers) but he clicked 'repair the issue' or some similar option.

Strangely, not long after this happened our wireless connection became available again! Everyone ( 2 laptops, 1 netbook and 1 iPhone) were able to connect wirelessly without any issue!

For several days, we have all been using our wireless Internet connection without a single hiccup! My roommate powers his laptop up and down all the time without us being kicked off. As previously mentioned, usually this would temporarily drop everyone's wireless connection.

I don't know what happened but connecting his laptop to the router via Ethernet seems to have solved the problem!

Perhaps it could be something to do with DHCP? I don't really know much about it but I have a gut feeling about this for some reason...

Does anyone have any idea why this issue would have been fixed by connecting with the Ethernet cable? I sure don't!

Thank you everyone for your help-I hope this post helps other people too!



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October 21, 2011 7:08:58 PM

The issue probably was an IP address conflict on the network. If 2 or more devices have the same IP address you will get this kind of fault.

It was the "i clicked on repair" that most likely did it. This would have refreshed the wifi connections and their IP addresses.

Connecting with ethernet would have again refreshed the IP address and the DHCP server on the router would have to assign a new IP address to the wired interface and then reconnecting on wifi would have again dished out another ip.

To resolve this issue in the future, access your router config page and set the DHCP lease to 24hrs. Its prob set to "forever"
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October 23, 2011 10:54:49 PM

Thanks for the info, d85kennedy!

I changed our DHCP leases to 'one day' as you recommended. It was set to '7 days' but I remember recently it had indeed been set to 'forever.'

Cheers!
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