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Stormchazer
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-10-2011
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Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

Hello, I have a really big problem and could use a little help.

We have Fios and when we got it we were equipped with a router that has wifi. Now, I use wifi quite a bit between my xbox and my macbook, but here is the issue. It keeps dropping in and out. I'll be connected and browsing the web just fine, and then bam, my laptop can't find a connection, then after a few seconds, it's back to normal. Sometimes this happens once a day, sometimes it happens 15 times every hour, and at times can take up to 5 minutes to connect again. It isn't my web browser, Iv'e used several to make sure, amd it isn't my laptob because anytime my friends come over, they have the same issues as I do. It has gotten so bad, that I have bought a 50 ft ethernet cable to directly connect my laptop or xbox to my router, when I do that, the connection blossoms and is grade A, but the wifi is atrocious. Do we have an outdated router? Is is defunct? I can't seem to figure out what the issue is, but I am tired of just "dealing with it" and I want it fixed. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks you

 

-Charles

Bronze Contributor I
AlfredPoor
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎10-07-2010
Location: USA
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

Have you checked to see if there are other WiFi networks in your vicinity? It is possible that they are interfering with yours, which could lead to the performance problems that you describe. Other potential sources of interfence include Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, wireless telephones, microwave ovens, and even some car alarms. You may be able to improve matters by changing your WiFi station to use a different channel.

 

Alfred Poor

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Stormchazer
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-10-2011
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

My laptop picks up about 4 other wifi connections, but they are all very very low in strength, so I don't think that would be a problem. We don't have any bluetooth devices, baby monitors. I have a cell phone and we have a cordless phone in the house, we do have a microwave in the kitchen which is adjacent to our router. How do I use a different channel?

Bronze Contributor I
AlfredPoor
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎10-07-2010
Location: USA
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

Check the router documentation. In general, you can access the configuration screens with a browser; you'll need the login and password along with the IP address. Most wireless access points default to Channel 6; changing to Channel 1 or 12 may afford some help with the dropped signals.

 

Alfred

Gold Contributor I
lasagna
Posts: 1,787
Registered: ‎05-27-2010
Plan: Prime HD 50/25
Location: South Central, PA

Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

[ Edited ]

A couple things ...

 

1. If you're using the Verizon supplied router (like the ActionTEC), you login to the router at http://192.168.1.1 and under Wireless Settings (Basic Settings), the third item or so refers to the wireless channel (usually auto).   Choose fixed channel that corresponds to one which is clearest in your area (for technical reasons, you should only use channels 1, 6, or 11 in the US due to the way signals and frequencies of the 802.11 wireless overlap).

 

2. Microwave ovens are the bain of good wireless networking.  Get your router as far from your Microwave as practical and still don't be surprised if things act up when nuking a pizza or something.

 

3. Cordless phones are known to use the 2.4ghz range which is where the 802.11b/g networks operate.  These are typically spreadspectrum so they shouldn't cause any issues, but can from time to time.      One option would be to get newer phones which operate in the 5ghz range.   A better option would be to not use Verizon's built-in Wifi, but instead add an 802.11n dual-band wireless access point to your network -- these broadcast both in the 2.4ghz 802.11b/g range as well as in the 5ghz 802.11a range -- the latter being much less crowded.   Your Macbook already has an 802.11n capable radio inside.

 

 

Bronze Contributor I
AlfredPoor
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎10-07-2010
Location: USA
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

Lasagna, thanks for catching my "Channel 12" mistake and providing the correct "Channel 11" instruction.

 

Alfred Poor

Contributor
Stormchazer
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-10-2011
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

I'll try those different options and let you know if I have any sucess, thanks!

Contributor
BeeCee
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-25-2011
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Re: Wifi Connection Keeps dropping

I have the exact same issue as you with the dropped signals. I have an Actiontec A & G router and it cannot reach a certain room in my home. I went to Best Buy to buy a router signal booster and talked to a salesman who also had this problem with FIOS. He stated that he called Verizon and requested an "N" band router to replace the "A" and "G" band router as the "N" band has a wider signal output. Verizon set him the new router and the problem was eliminated.

 

So today I called Verizon and requested a new "N" band router. After about 2 hours - and Verizon's tehnician agreeing with the Best Buy person - I was finally told that only new customers get the "N" band router. They would only send a replacement "A" & "G" band router out to me. Well that doesn't exactly solve the issue with poor connectivity. Google a question comparing the two routers and you will see that the "N" band gives you a half again more powerful signal than the "A" & "G" band router.  It is actually 450 vs. 300. In my opinion this is the answer, however Verizon refuses to accommodate my request ( and probably yours too).

 

I had Comcast knock on my door 2 days ago and offer me a 2 year plan that would save me about $600.00 per year for 2 years with the same equipment. Now I know that this is designed to get me to sign up and the price goes up after 2 years. So I called Comcast today and asked about the router. They said that Comcast routinely installs the "N" band routers and that I would get one with my service. A "no brainer".  

 

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