Wireless connection drops often

By Xclusiveitalian
Jun 28, 2009
  1. I recently bought a new router which is supposed to be far better then my previous one I had, which was Netgear. I purchased the Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router. Currently, dispite the modem and router box not going out or changing at all, my connection drops, and will throughtout the day at random times. Sometimes the connection on my laptop still says "local and internet" and sometimes it says "local only" either way I have between 3-5 bars. Dispite the distance between my laptop and the router I have always over the past 6 years have had good reliable connection, but this new router is giving me problems and im unsure why. Either way my internet never complelty goes out, but I lose connection from my laptop and/or PS3 or any other device trying to connection from it. Normally I must go downstairs and reboot both the router and modem to fix it. I restore it by unplugging the power on both, then letting the modem reboot fully, followed by the router in that order. Then everything is fine until the next unexpected wireless dropping. I just recently bought a brand new HP laptop, Pavilion dv7 running 64 bit Windows home premium. I hope iv given enough information to get a fix for this. Thanks.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Did you remove all evidence of the old one, before you installed the new one...

    Contact LinkSys and ask for a replacement... they will not quarrel with you unless you bought it at Wal-Mart and the 30 days of Wal-Mart is not yet up.
  3. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 699   +58

    I didnt uninstall the old router before i installed the new one. So thats conflicting and casuing this problem? Also I bought it from Staples, they have a 14 day refund open window.
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    No, that is not causing the problem.

    Of course, check the router with a cable first -- Does your computer work well plugged in directly with a network cable? That way we can narrow this down to a wireless problem and not an issue with the router itself.

    If it appears to be Wifi, this kind of situation can be very difficult to troubleshoot. As you can tell by searching for WRT1600N disconnection problems, the Internet is riddled with similar issues regarding the same equipment. BUT, the if you search for *any* other router, you'll find similar results. The problem generally lies not with the hardware, rather lies within the many variables of wireless: Some routers just aren't suitable for certain locations, configurations, situations and so on.

    The first thing is, in order to take advantage of the increased range and speed 802.11n offers, you need a 802.11n compatible wireless card in your computer. Do you have one? If you *do* have an 802.11n card, I would certainly expect a better connection in most situations. It is possible that your computer is connecting via 802.11g and the Linksys router just isn't as good as your Netgear router for 802.11g in that particular location. The benefit of your Linksys is in its N technology, so make sure you're using it.

    As I mentioned, I'm not convinced your Linksys router is any better than the Netgear at delivering 802.11g. It has an output power of 14dbm, which if anything, is a tad lower than your average router from Dlink or Netgear (usually 15-18dbm+). And sure, that number by itself is nearly useless (antenna sensitivity etc.. matters just as much), but I think the 14dbm is probably a good indicator that this router is not going to be any sort of improvement.. at least not without using its 802.11n features.

    Something else you should know about 802.11n is that -- by design -- it works really well in cluttered environments. If you have a situation where you're depending on clear line of sign (from one building to another, for example), I've had some pretty bad results. Using 5Ghz can decrease your range also, although it may help if you're in an area with lots of wireless interference such as an apartment complex (If 5Ghz is available).

    Some things you can try are changing your wireless channels, placing your router closer to the ceiling (typically results in less obstruction), investing in a 802.11n card (if you don't have one) or outfitting your router with some more powerful antennas (probably not an option).
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