Problem with Wireless Router

By Shungho
Jan 18, 2008
  1. Hi, I have a problem with a D-Link DI-524 Router (yes I know its had awful reviews but It wasn't me who bought it...), and am hoping someone is able to help.

    I've had it set up for about a year and a half now with one wired Desktop PC and a Wireless laptop, no problems whatsoever, decent speeds, excellent signal, and so on. I used WEP as WPA is not supported by the Nintendo DS, which I also occasionally use on the network.

    Recently, my sister got her own laptop, which is when the problems began. It *seems* to be that whenever she is logged into MSN Messenger (latest version), my connection becomes very unstable, and I'm frequently lucky to be be able to stay on for more than 5 minutes. I've changed to WPA encryption and MAC Filtering, but it still happens just as badly. It also occasionally drops out even when only my laptop is online, which never happened before. The only way I can get a good connection is to deny her MAC address at the router, which I'm sure you can imagine isn't very popular :p

    Both laptops are Dell Inspirons (the Desktop never has problems), mine is generally further away from the router and the signal has to pass through more walls, but Windows (XP) still claims the connection is 'good' to 'excellent'. The DI-524 has the latest UK firmware, but unfortunately can't be set to monitor QoS, or hacked to do so, AFAIK.

    Sorry it's a bit longwinded, just wanted to try and make sure anyone trying to help has as much info as possible. Any ideas as to how I could solve this (preferably without buying a new router)?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    For starters I'd run a Virus & Spyware scan on your Sis' laptop. Sounds like she is chewing up your Bandwidth. You can pick up Malware using MSN.

    Check she doesn't have Limewire, or a Torrent app running at startup - thats a trap especially if you are on a limited download plan.

    START/ RUN & type MSCONFIG in the box.

    Go to the STARTUP tab & untick anything that is non essential. This page has an alphabetical listing & a rating of whether they are needed or not.
  3. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    She's not got Limewire/any other p2p, and says she hasn't downloaded anything suspicious, although I do take that with a pinch of salt and I'll run an antivirus scan. I installed a bandwidth meter app on her laptop and it seemed to peak at around 5-10kb/s. We're on 20mb/s cable internet using wireless g...

    I'll check the startup thing tomorrow as I don't know her password,

    Thanks for a quick reply,
  4. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    If she's anything like my Daughter, it'll be riddled with Spyware. Running AdAware or Spybot certainly won't hurt.

    I get 'Tash to boot into Ubuntu if she's going on Facebook, Miniclip etc. She prefers it over XP now, but needs Windows for Sims, Horsey games etc.
  5. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, sorry for the very late reply.

    Didn't find any major issues on either laptops, just the general minor adware - removing it didn't help.

    What I did find is that if my laptop is downstairs and the other is upstairs, the one upstairs gets kicked off Constantly. If mine is upstairs and the other is downstairs, mine gets kicked constantly. If both are upstairs or both are downstairs, there are no problems, but this is not practical for everyday use. This is with just one Firefox window/tab open on each btw.

    I have fitted an bigger antenna to the d-link (I don't know how good/strong it is, but it is about double the size), which hasn't helped either, despite it having a cable which allows me to place it higher up and with fewer obstructions.

    I phoned D-link tech support, who told me to change the wireless channel. I told them I'd done that already, and used an app to check there were no other networks broadcasting on that channel. He insisted I change to 13 from 12. Unsurprisingly this didn't help. I then emailed them (I refuse to pay national rate to talk to someone who's just going to tell me to do what I've already done...). They replied telling me its probably my wireless card, which I doubt, although I'm far from an expert.

    Any ideas? Or should I just try and get a replacement?

  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    Login to the router and turn off the logging.. Also save your current settings to the HDD. And restart the the router. Do not go back to factory settings has that might wipe out your current settings.

    Put your channel to 1 or 11.

    This is the emulator for your DI-524 (these were great router and still are)

    Under the wireless button I would set the channel to 1
    Change to WEP 128-bit ASCII
    key would be something you can remember to use and keep it in a safe place also for backup.

    Under the DHCP button you can force the router to always assign the IPs with MAC to the devices that connect to the router. Solves one problem there. Also MAC filtering should be used under Advanced tab then fliters then MAC. This way no one can access your network without their system MaC address being you your list in your router.

    Under performance button make sure you have G-Mode selected if you using only G devices for wirless.
    Transmitt power should be 100%
    Under tools button set the WAN to 100
    Time button use for NTP manual..
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    Never seen/heard of channel 13 :confused:

    the U.S. channels are 1-11! The UK adds #12. Bringing a UK device to the U.S.
    will require a channel reset *IF* there's and systems from domestic (U.S.) retailers.
  8. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry I should've mentioned it, mine is a UK model and I'm using it in the UK :)

    It lists channels 1-13 though.
  9. kchris gayle

    kchris gayle TS Rookie Posts: 21

    have you placed the router on bridge mode?
    are u using a pppoE config on the modem? or you are just using a router?
    also check if the wireless card is like reading the router
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    It's okay we can still help you out...
  11. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay I've done everything suggested except change to WEP, I'm doing that now.

    Im using a Dynamic IP address (using a cable modem -> Router).
    UK Firmware apparently doesn't allow you to change transmit power levels...

    I'll let you know how I get on.

  12. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No change :(
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    do you see the new SSID and connect w/o WEP ?
    (defer the encryption until we get a connection!!!)
  14. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I changed the SSID, i've got 128 bit ASCII WEP.

    I've got no problem connecting, its just once it's connected it becomes unstable for whatever laptop is furthest from the antenna.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    good reply

    Disable WEP and see if you get stability at low RF strength.

    What brand names are the Route vs the Wireless adapters on the laptops?
    There are issues when they do not match.
  16. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both Laptops are Intel Wireless Cards, the router is D-Link.

    Just to make myself clear (as D-link themselves didn't seem to realise this), when only one laptop is connected, there are no problems whatsoever. When 2 are connected, the one that is nearest to the router is fine, but the other is unstable.

    I'll disable WEP and let you know how I get on,
  17. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Does the router run unusually hot ? Try placing it in a well ventilated area to see if it changes the stability.
  18. Shungho

    Shungho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Already tried that I'm afraid, it's as well ventilated as it could be :p
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