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Why does my wifi keep disconnecting?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 30, 2012 5:28:59 PM

I'm trying to determine why my home wifi keeps going out. There doesn't appear to be any signs of why there are sporadic interruptions. One minute it is working fine, the next minute I can't get online. The wifi may work for a couple of months with no (noticed) interruptions, and other times it seems to cut out several times in a week. Again, there doesn't appear to be any obvious culprit, or time of day when the wifi cuts out. I'm hoping that given some information, someone here on the forums can help me narrow down what's going on or help me to solve the issue.

When we notice the wifi isn't working, I unplug the router for a 30-60 seconds and plug it back in, and that always resolves the problem for the short term. It is also password protected so I'm not immediately pointing the finger at any mischievous neighbor causing problems.

This is NOT a range issue. I am well within range of the router when these issues occur.

Most (if not all) of the time the network is still visible during these dropoffs, but we are simply unable to connect. For example: I am laying in bed last night surfing the net. I have perfect signal bars and no connectivity issues. Suddenly, when loading a webpage, it hangs for a while and I notice we have lost our wifi again. As usual, I check to see if the network is still up in the 'Settings' and there it is, still visible. But attempting to reconnect to it is futile. I have to get up and reset the router for us to be able to use it again.

I have cable internet through Time Warner. The wired desktop PC does not experience these "outages", only the wireless devices. I have a Netgear WNR2000 wireless router.

The devices that use the internet are:

Desktop PC - connected via ethernet

Laptop - uses wifi
Two different media centers - both use wifi
One tablet - uses wifi
Several cell phones - uses wifi

More about : wifi disconnecting

July 30, 2012 6:48:55 PM

Assuming that wired connections work just fine, then it’s most likely plain old interference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/41260-42-weird-router...

What most ppl fail to appreciate is just how common interference really is. You can’t see it, so the tendency is to assume it's not there. But it’s the hidden enemy. The 2.4GHz freq. is an open one, meaning manufacturers are free to use it as they see fit, regardless if it may interfere w/ other devices. Besides wireless routers, there’s cordless phones, microwave ovens, wireless keyboards and mice, wireless video adapters, RF remotes, car alarms, baby monitors, Bluetooth, and on and on. It might not even be YOUR devices but those of a nearby neighbor!

Another possibility (albeit rare) is a poorly tuned wireless AP and/or wireless client. Such a device might *wander* ever so slightly off the freq/channel from time to time and kill the connection. You then reboot and everything gets “retuned”, so to speak. The only solution is probably a replacement.

Another enemy is heat. Heat buildup around the wireless router or wireless adapter can lead to spotty connectivity. Due to their confining form factor, USB wireless adapters are particularly susceptible in this regard.

If your wireless router is set to AUTO for the wireless channel, try using various fixed channels. Or vice versa, try AUTO if you can't locate a good fixed channel.
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July 31, 2012 5:49:47 PM

I'll give the latter a try. It may take me a couple of days to really see if it's working but I'll report back.
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April 1, 2013 2:30:55 PM

eibgrad said:
Assuming that wired connections work just fine, then it’s most likely plain old interference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/41260-42-weird-router...

What most ppl fail to appreciate is just how common interference really is. You can’t see it, so the tendency is to assume it's not there. But it’s the hidden enemy. The 2.4GHz freq. is an open one, meaning manufacturers are free to use it as they see fit, regardless if it may interfere w/ other devices. Besides wireless routers, there’s cordless phones, microwave ovens, wireless keyboards and mice, wireless video adapters, RF remotes, car alarms, baby monitors, Bluetooth, and on and on. It might not even be YOUR devices but those of a nearby neighbor!

Another possibility (albeit rare) is a poorly tuned wireless AP and/or wireless client. Such a device might *wander* ever so slightly off the freq/channel from time to time and kill the connection. You then reboot and everything gets “retuned”, so to speak. The only solution is probably a replacement.

Another enemy is heat. Heat buildup around the wireless router or wireless adapter can lead to spotty connectivity. Due to their confining form factor, USB wireless adapters are particularly susceptible in this regard.

If your wireless router is set to AUTO for the wireless channel, try using various fixed channels. Or vice versa, try AUTO if you can't locate a good fixed channel.


Hi thanks I have the same problem as graves 73 and so has my neighbour it must be a commen problem at least I know now what the problem is

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April 1, 2013 11:31:52 PM

Well, Graves73 never came back to say he'd found the source and there;s a long list to choose from. I've known instances where the automatic timing device on a nearby street light caused a wireless disconnection. This old thread can close now but please start a new one if you still have a problem or if you find an answer.
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