Linksys router issue - can these things put out 2 different wireless signals?

Maybe I’m just crazy. I’ve been having connection issues so I did a hard reset of the router and reconfigured the network name and the passkey and updated the firmware. My connection problems remain, yet if I go to another part of my apartment with my laptop I can get a good signal on an unsecured network with the default name “linksys.” I logged into that router remotely and it has the same firmware version and everything. I live in an apartment building so I pick up a lot of different signals, but they’re all password secured, and this unsecured signal is pretty strong.

So am I crazy?

Which Linksys router? What firmware version? What broadcast channel?

Turn your router off and try to connect to linksys again


Linksys makes several simultaneous dual band routers that may be able to broadcast two SSIDs at once. I’ve never used one personally but my Apple simultaneous dual band base station defaults to broadcast <yournetwork> and <yournetwork> (5Ghz).

Your laptop’s WiFi card would have to support either 802.11a or 802.11n to see the alternate network if it were broadcasting in the 5 Ghz range and I really doubt it’s happening at all. I don’t think it would default to linksys.

Much more likely is that there’s just another network that’s very strong in another part of your apartment.

The advice of unplugging your router and seeing if linksys is still available is a great test, of course.

change the name of your router…someone else is using the default settings in your building.

You probably do use several signals…over different channels. If you’re using wireless-N you will use multiple channels simultanously. But you’ll only see one router on the list of available routers.

Unless someone in range (100 feet or more) has a router with the same name…

I live in a house and can see the networks of several people on the block. Make sure you’re using one of the security options too.

You can also sometimes have problems finding your router if another router is using the same channels. In this case, change the channels you are using.

The router is a WRT54G2. It’s a wireless-n, which I didn’t realize until now. Since I don’t have a wireless-n card I switched it to emit only g and b signals and changed the channel, and my connection issues seem to be gone.

I have seen my older WRT54G routers do this when they are misbehaving, you have them configured for a secured, custom SSID, but your laptop is picking up the default unsecured SSID of linksys, and neither SSID works quite right. The only thing that ever cured them for me was holding the reset button inset into the back of the casing for 10+ seconds to clear out the settings to default and starting again. Sometimes I would have to clear the settings and re-flash the latest, or next-to-latest firmware. Sometimes nothing worked and I would have to exchange it at the retailer for a different one.

You could download a tool called Netstumbler, which lets your PC display information about all the wireless networks nearby. You can check if the network named “linksys” with the strong signal has the same address (at least the same first 10 digits) under the MAC column as the number printed on a sticker the bottom of your router, then you can be sure it’s not a neighbour’s network.

It doesn’t work with Vista, though. I have that program, and it works fine with XP but using Vista and the same network card, it doesn’t even detect the network card let alone the router.

With some of the alternative firmwares available for the WRT54G, it can be made to do this purposely - for example, to provide one encrypted wireless network and to provide another open one for public use.

Speaking of alternative firmwares, DD-WRT is excellent. I’ll probably never use the Linksys firmwares again.

I agree. I had a couple of WRT54Gs running it, acting as client bridges to my main wireless broadband (for a couple of older machines with no wireless capability and no easy way to add it).

I originally bought them second hand and flashed them with DD-WRT myself - after a couple of years of faithful service, I just sold them for more than I originally paid.

The latest version of DD-WRT is really smart at bridging - it’s actually no more difficult than configuring a WiFi connection on a PC now.