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Thread: Symptoms of wireless router failure?

  1. #1
    New Romantic
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    Symptoms of wireless router failure?

    This evening I've been having a hell of a time with my wireless connection. I have an aging Microsoft G router, which is located in our living room. I haven't been able to stay connected to it tonight for more than a couple of minutes at a time. My work laptop can find the wireless network but not connect to it (even though it was able to earlier today). I think my 360 has even been having trouble with it.

    When I move closer to the router, I can stay connected for longer. When I am connected, signal strength always shows as "excellent," but speed is up and down.

    Is loss of signal strength a common symptom of a dying wireless router?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    How To Go
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    Try updating the firmware?

  3. #3
    How To Go
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    other wireless aps on same channel? other 2.4 ghz device interference? metal plate in head?

  4. #4
    Neo Acoustic
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    Sounds like interference. Change channels and reboot the router. Updating the firmware is also a good idea.

  5. #5
    Spinning Toe
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    I wouldn't rule out interference either. A few months ago I swear I was about to smash my router with a hammer. It would report good signal, but drop connection every once in awhile and seem to be slower than I thought it should be.
    Now? Perfect.
    Change channels on the router, and change the position of it as well. 2.4 is getting pretty crowded, the best you could do to check is hook up directly to your dsl/cable modem and compare.

  6. #6
    New Romantic
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    Interference was the first thing I considered, but nothing has changed in this house in the last 24 hours. I did change the channel just now, and the problem persists.

    Is anyone successfully using a current N router with the older Microsoft wireless adapter? Looks like that may be where we're headed.

  7. #7
    New Romantic RickH's Avatar
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    I've never had a wireless router deliver acceptable performance for more than a 2 or 3 years.

    I think they're kind of like car batteries in that respect. At least a straight G router is relatively ($40) cheap now.

  8. #8
    How To Go
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    Use this as an excuse to get a DD-WRT-able WRT54GL or something else? The third-party firmware is really nice/powerful.

  9. #9
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by rei View Post
    Use this as an excuse to get a DD-WRT-able WRT54GL or something else? The third-party firmware is really nice/powerful.
    The GL version of that router's not on Microsoft's Xbox compatibility list. Anyone using this with Live?

  10. #10
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    after the initial 'you can fry your router if you aren't careful' phase, getting third-party firmware (need to pick the right, exact router) like Tomato or DD-WRT on one of these routers makes them run really, really well.

    it doesn't matter that it doesn't show up on the Xbox compatibility list--my 360 works fine with mine.

  11. #11
    Still king of lost New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerri blank View Post
    The GL version of that router's not on Microsoft's Xbox compatibility list. Anyone using this with Live?

    I have, but the problem is eventually the little wireless dongle thing that I bought for the 360 failed so I'm hardwired to it with ethernet now.

    For the original question though, I would agree with the "change the channel" comments. Try to pick either 1, 6 or 11 if possible. The other channels bleed over into the ranges of those discreet channels, thus you can get even more interference. Most routers default to channel 1 or channel 11.

    In a worst case scenario (your neighborhood just got a lot busier in the 2.4 Gig range) you can probably locate a second access point closer to where you sit with your laptop and get better coverage (and speed.) Either run an ethernet line to that second access-point, or extend it from your router using something like powerline-ethernet.

  12. #12
    Spinning Toe
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    How many other wireless nodes are you detecting? My apartment building has 15 within range of my apartment (every single one locked down!) but 9 or 10 all use the same channel. I've had less issues with interferences since i switched to a different channel (1 6, 11 being the three channels of choice).

  13. #13
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerri blank View Post
    The GL version of that router's not on Microsoft's Xbox compatibility list. Anyone using this with Live?
    I am, but I'm using Tomato firmware. It actually has built-in Live QoS stuff, though I've never played around with it.

  14. #14
    New Romantic
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    Okay, follow-up question. It's my understanding that signal strength is better with an N router than a B/G router. So will an N router communicate more reliably with a G client, such as the 360's wireless adapter?

  15. #15
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerri blank View Post
    Okay, follow-up question. It's my understanding that signal strength is better with an N router than a B/G router. So will an N router communicate more reliably with a G client, such as the 360's wireless adapter?
    No, N and G are different frequencie bands so your N-capable router wouldn't even be using that to communicate with the 360. There's also no way an N/G/B router's G-band would be better than a G/B router's, although I've seen marketing stuff that tries to claim otherwise. I don't know if that stuff is for real or just snakeoil, though.

  16. #16
    New Romantic
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    Well, I decided to throw more money at the problem and bought a dual-band B/G/N router and a dual-band N gaming adapter (which I didn't know existed until yesterday). So now the 360 is connected via N to a network on the 5Ghz frequency, and other devices are connected to the silmultaneous 2.4Ghz network the router's running. Results: it's running like a dream now. I didn't even have to tweak the Quality of Service settings on the router (which is good, since I didn't have any idea how).

    I just purchased a wireless-N mini-card for my laptop to replace the A/B/G one that's in there now. I think this will address the connectivity problems I've been having with it. It was only $35 from Amazon.

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