so about a month ago our old router (Cisco Linksys WRT160Nv2) started to act up, which we thought was pretty normal considering we've had it for quite a few years now. Just to make sure, I bypassed the router, hooking my laptop up directly to our modem and our connectivity was fine, so we assumed the problem to be the router. I went out and got a new Cisco Linksys E1200 router, but for some reason when I brought it home, it wouldn't connect to our modem. At the time we had an Arris modem provided by Comcast, which I've heard has many issues connecting with certain routers. I spoke to Cisco tech support for about 3 hours trying to fix it (updating firmware, changing router settings, etc), until finally they deemed the problem to be our Arris modem or that I had by chance bought a faulty router.
I then went out and got a new Motorola SB6121 modem and traded the possibly-faulty router out for another one. The new modem works fine when locally connected to my laptop, however the Cisco Linksys router had the same problem and wouldn't connect. I called Comcast and was told that their customers generally use Netgear routers, so I went back to the store and bought a dual-band Netgear WNDR3400 and also a Netgear WNR2000. I tried the dual-band router to the SB6121 first and it configured fine. I could atleast connect to the internet, but the connection would randomly drop for about 5-10 minutes before reconnecting by itself, or we'd have to restart the router and it would reconnect a little faster. We have 1 laptop connected wirelessly and mine that's locally connected to the router, occasionally we have a phone and an ipad that connect to it as well, but Comcast said our plan can definitely handle this many devices. They all disconnect at the same time as well, so it seems to be a router problem.
I then tried switching to the Netgear WNR2000 router next, since a lady at Comcast told me they didn't support dual-band routers (which seems to be untrue according to others), and it had the same issue, only the disconnection time decreased to about 1-2 minutes which I thought was at least an improvement so I left it there. I tried calling Netgear tech support, talked to a technician who did a free remote desktop session to look at all my computer settings etc. He told me the router seems to be receiving and sending information fine, and that the problem seems to be my laptop. He ran a scan on my laptop and found there to be a lot of 'junk content', some registry errors, and a 'high threat detection from a p2p software'. He also suggested that I find a Microsoft Certified Technician to clean out my laptop for around $100 if I want my connection to be stable.
I'm trying to avoid that, seeing as I just bought my laptop in November 2011 and besides the p2p error, I knew I could just clear the junk files and fix the small registry errors myself.
I've run a full scan using Malwarebytes, which came out clean and used CCleaner to remove registry errors and junk files on both laptops, but still the issue persists. I'm not sure if the p2p error has anything to do with the disconnections, but I was told that it could be caused by Skype or an online game. I reinstalled another version of skype and also reinstalled the main online game that I play, but nothing has changed.
Now my friend is telling me that it's most likely an issue with the router since even our iPad disconnects at the same time our laptops do, but I'm not really sure what to believe anymore.
Sorry for the huge block of text! I'm not very big on tech, but I think I know the basics and I can follow directions well. If any extra information is needed, I'll try my best to respond clearly.
Thanks much in advance!