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  #1  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:21 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Why does my computer - or router - keep disconnecting me?

I've been resisting the urge, but the annoyance factor has finally gotten too great. Please indulge me.

I have a wireless router (brand: eHome) connected to my cable internet connection. In the next room, both me and my son use our laptops on the wireless connection, both of them Toshiba satellite models, both of them running Windows 7.

At random (at least it seems random to me) times, my laptop will disconnect from the wireless network, and refuse to re-connect, even though it's visible in the "Available wireless networks" list. I use the Windows troubleshooter, and it re-sets my network card, but that never helps. What DOES help is if I go over to the router, unplug it for 10 seconds, and then plug it back in - then I reconnect OK.

My son's laptop never has this problem.

So, what's at fault here - my gut tells me that the router is OK, since my son's computer has no problem. But if the problem is in my computer, why does unplugging the router help? Is this a symptom of a hardware defect, or a setup/software problem?

If any of you have ever heard of this sort of thing, I'd love to put a stop to it once and for all.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:05 PM
Dog80 Dog80 is offline
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I see that kind of behaviour all the time, esp. with (cheaper) smartphones. I don't know what causes that, probably some minor incompatibility between router and wifi card.

Some recommendations:
1. First of all, don't assume that the router is good. In my experience routers have a very high rate of failure and in most cases they are responsible for weird network problems like yours.

2. Check that your laptop has the latest wifi drivers and the router the latest firmware

3. Some times the problem is that the wifi card cannot get an IP address from the DHCP server. If that is the case use a static IP on your laptop

4. Using a different encryption method might help (eg. WPA instead of WPA2)
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2012, 01:10 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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Sounds like it could be a DHCP problem, if it's not hardware. What's happening might be:
Router assigns IP addresses. Your computer drops out or something and reconnects. Router assigns new IP address do your computer. Eventually, router runs out of IP addresses.

I would (separately):
Use static IP
Decrease DHCP lease time to minimum
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:14 AM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
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Following up on what AaronX said, a lot of routers manage DHCP (which is Dynamic Host Control Protocol) pretty badly. In many configurations, when a new device jumps on to the network, it will "steal" an IP address that's already in use. That knocks the existing device out of the loop. You could work around that by assigning static IPs on the client-side. But if someone is coming in and out of range with something like a wifi-enabled smart phone, that's a possible culprit.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2012, 12:26 PM
cwthree cwthree is offline
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We had a similar problem. It turned out that the wireless router was periodically rebooting itself for no discernable reason. We decided the router was either failing or possessed by demons and replaced the router. The problem went away with the old router.
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2012, 03:13 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Thanks, all.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2012, 05:30 PM
Spud Spud is online now
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So, can someone teach us computer first graders how to set a static IP for a device?

We've been having this problem and I have assumed it is because we have too many wireless devices for our router.

We have frequently... the home laptop, my work laptop, my daughter's laptop, my son's laptop, my other son's desktop, the iPad, my Nexus 7 tablet, my daughter's iPhone, my son's iPhone, my other son's Android, my Droid, and my wife's Blackberry.

As far as we're concerned they just connect by magic.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2012, 07:53 PM
FoundWaldo FoundWaldo is offline
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Cheap consumer routers are pieces of crap, in general. The linksys ones tend to be pretty terrible. They like to overheat and stop working, needing a reboot. Depending on the environment and the work load, you might not see the problem, but I've seen it happen lots of times. Some people will claim that installing one of the alternative firmwares like Tomato or DDWRT will fix the problem, but I call BS on that. It's crappy hardware, and most of the time I've seen it only fixed by replacing it. I've seen some people do silly things like add fans, but I believe you're better off just getting a new one, or buying something higher quality (but the higher quality ones tend to be business-oriented, and are both more expensive and commonly more difficult to configure).
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2012, 06:06 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
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I've had a somewhat similar problem which I may have traced to the connection to the power supply. I'm not sure yet but about the third time I jiggled the connection the problem went away.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2012, 06:14 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundWaldo View Post
Cheap consumer routers are pieces of crap, in general. The linksys ones tend to be pretty terrible. They like to overheat and stop working, needing a reboot. Depending on the environment and the work load, you might not see the problem, but I've seen it happen lots of times.
Eh. YMMV, as you point out. My slightly oldsk00l WRT54G (one of the last before Linksys/Cisco gutted the model and replaced its innards with a reduced capability board running a low-rent embedded OS instead of a proper Linux) has been very reliable. I've had zero situations that I had to resolve with a router reboot in more than 4 years, and that's with a fairly heavy load of MMO gaming and a notable amount of bittorrenting. Compare that to nearly-weekly unplug reboots of the stupid cable modem and even having to manually bouncd the DHCP daemon on the linux server in the basement (I don't trust routers to properly administer DHCP; however, for whatever reasons, dhcpd on my CentOS box isn't especially reliable either.)
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2012, 06:36 PM
Dog80 Dog80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundWaldo View Post
Cheap consumer routers are pieces of crap, in general. The linksys ones tend to be pretty terrible.
There was a specific Linksys model that had a soft-touch power button instead of the typical toggle switch. Whenever the power went out and then was restored the router would have to be manually switched on again
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2012, 07:04 PM
Dog80 Dog80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud View Post
So, can someone teach us computer first graders how to set a static IP for a device?

We've been having this problem and I have assumed it is because we have too many wireless devices for our router.

We have frequently... the home laptop, my work laptop, my daughter's laptop, my son's laptop, my other son's desktop, the iPad, my Nexus 7 tablet, my daughter's iPhone, my son's iPhone, my other son's Android, my Droid, and my wife's Blackberry.

As far as we're concerned they just connect by magic.
A router should be able to handle all these and more devices at the same time. There might be some lag as more devices add up but definitely no disconnections. So instead of assigning static IPs to all those devices maybe you should consider buying another router.

But if you are still interested here's how:

First you need to know your router's IP (aka Default Gateway) and network (subnet) mask. See here how to do it.

Typically the IP will be 192.168.1.1 and the subnet mask 255.255.255.0
The subnet mask tells which part of the IP is the network ID and which part is reserved for the hosts. In the example above, 192.168.1 is the network ID and the last part is for hosts (a host is anything that connects to the network, an iphone, laptop, etc). If the mask was 255.255.0.0 then the network ID would be 192.168 and the two last numbers would be for the hosts.


Each of the four numbers between the dots go from 0 to 255 but these two are reserved so you have to use a number from 1 to 254 for your IP. 1 is also out because that is already assigned to the router. Each host needs its own IP and no two devices can have the same IP.

When assigning IPs remember that they have to be in the same range as the router's IP, ie. they must have the same network ID and mask and you can change the host bits to your liking (except 0 and 255 as I said above)

Assigning a static IP depends on operating system. Here is a guide for Windows 7. Note that when you set up a static IP it will also ask for a DNS server IP. Just put the router's IP again there.

Just google how to assign static IP in "..." and insert operating system there to find about the rest.
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2014, 07:19 PM
jkcook jkcook is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
I have the same problem and it's not the router

I have a Sony Vaio running Win 8.1. About a month ago, this started happening. Of course, I blamed my husband's new internet connection, as he'd just moved. But it happens everywhere I am, so it's the laptop, not the router. Suggestions?
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