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Tech: Wireless on blink

McGrath of Harlow 28 May 10 - 12:51 PM
Simon G 28 May 10 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Songbob 28 May 10 - 01:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 May 10 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,PeterC 28 May 10 - 02:34 PM
MikeL2 28 May 10 - 02:44 PM
Tootler 28 May 10 - 05:25 PM
Amergin 28 May 10 - 05:52 PM
Amergin 28 May 10 - 05:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 May 10 - 05:55 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 May 10 - 06:55 AM
MikeL2 29 May 10 - 11:50 AM
Tootler 29 May 10 - 07:35 PM
EBarnacle 30 May 10 - 01:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 May 10 - 02:16 PM
mousethief 30 May 10 - 03:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 May 10 - 04:09 PM
Bonzo3legs 30 May 10 - 05:44 PM
treewind 31 May 10 - 12:12 PM
Simon G 31 May 10 - 01:12 PM
treewind 31 May 10 - 01:47 PM
Tootler 31 May 10 - 05:01 PM
Simon G 31 May 10 - 05:13 PM
Dave Masterson 01 Jun 10 - 08:12 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Jun 10 - 09:08 AM
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Subject: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 May 10 - 12:51 PM

I've got a desktop PC upstairs (running Windows XP), with a cable broadband connection which feeds into a Belkin54 router, providing a wireless signal that allows me to get on to the internet through a laptop (running Vista) downstairs as well.

Except sometimes it doesn't. The laptop informs me there is no signal from the belkin, or that my settings are wrong. And then, like today, I go out for a few hours, and when I come back everything is working fine, and the laptop tells me the belkin signal is excellent.

It seems to be happening every few days. So evidently something is intermittently wrong. Perhaps the router upstairs is at fault, and I should treat myself to a replacement. Or perhaps the problem is in the laptop.

Any suggestions for ways of finding out which it is?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Simon G
Date: 28 May 10 - 01:12 PM

Most likely the software on the router has a problem. There are plenty of indications on the internet that this particular router has memory leaks in certain configurations. A memory leak is really misnamed, it occurs when the application uses a piece of memory and then forgets about and uses another, with the limited amount of memory on a router it soons runs out of memory even thought most of it isn't actually in use.

It sounds as though the router resets itself from time to time and that clears the problem.

To test, when you get the problem, unplug the router for 30 secs and then plug back in. Once initialised if you have a WiFi network its the router.

Solution, either check for firmware updates for the router at Belkin or switch the router off regularly, perhaps once a day, before its memory is exhausted.

Simon


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 28 May 10 - 01:17 PM

Do you mean the Internet connection is the laptop itself, and the router picks up the Internet from the laptop, or is the router connected to the Internet, and the laptop gains access through it? It's a little confusing the way you described it.

Anyway: If you have two devices and can't tell which is at fault, borrow a friend's wireless laptop and see if the condition occurs. If so, it's the wireless router, if not, it's the computer.

Also, if your wireless signal goes out, are you still able to connect via the wired PC upstairs? If so, it may be the wireless' radio signal is faulty, and a new router will fix it.

I just fixed a problem we'd been having for some time. We changed ISPs (Internet Service Provider) and got a new router. But when I tried using it the way I had the old one, we couldn't find the printers we had plugged into the router, so I turned off the radio in the new router, and used the old router to feed a signal, via cable, to the new one. The problem was that the new router's radio eventually 'woke up,' and two signals interfered with each other, resulting in dropped signals to the several laptops in the house. I finally went back to using the new router alone, and figured out how to configure the laptops to find the printers. The problem was terminology -- Windoze asks for your 'print server,' and I finally cottoned onto the fact that the router serves as such, instead of any given PC. The Mac, by the way, handled the change flawlessly (of course).

So anyway, try a different laptop, and if it breaks, the router is the culprit. If it doesn't, the laptop is the weakest link.

Good-bye!

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 May 10 - 01:35 PM

My internet connection is via a VirginMedia cable, which connects, via a modem, to the router, which feeds the desktop PC via an ethernet cable, and the laptop via wireless. Even when the laptop can't pick up a wireless signal, the desktop internet is fine.

The trouble with the idea of borrowing a laptop is that all the people I might be able to borrow one from use desktops. An alternative I thought I might try is to take my laptop up to a pub with WiFi, and see if it works OK.

However with both those ideas there's also the problem that the problem is intermittent. So even if everything works fine when I try those ploys, that might just be luck.

I'll try unplugging the router overnight for a bit - and then, if the problem doesn't recur, I'll maybe think about getting a new router.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 28 May 10 - 02:34 PM

Don't you have any other wifi sources in range at least to check the signal strength?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 May 10 - 02:44 PM

Hi McG

If I understood your description I had a very similar configuration to you.

I had similar promblems...after much checking, testing and trialling I solved the problem by unhooking my desktop from the wired connection and plugging it into the Belkin wireless one.

Since then I have had no problems and have recently added another laptop to the network which still works like a dream.

My ISP is BT.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Tootler
Date: 28 May 10 - 05:25 PM

Is the internet on your Desktop PC OK?

We had problems with very slow internet on Virgin Media which in the end turned out to be a poor connection on the plug where the connection comes into the house. It may well be worth checking all the wired parts of your system for loose connections. You can at least eliminate the possibility that a poor connection is leading to an inadequate signal into the router.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Amergin
Date: 28 May 10 - 05:52 PM

It could be the signal from the router is weak....it could have some intermittent interference degrading the signal. Does anyone in your neighbourhood operate a radio? Microwave signals can interfere as well....A 2.8 gigahertz phone can also cause problems. Does this happen as specific times or can it happen at anytime? Are you living in an apartment or a house?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Amergin
Date: 28 May 10 - 05:53 PM

Also have you tried releasing/renewing your ip address via the command prompt?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 May 10 - 05:55 PM

No problem with getting on the Internet with the Desktop PC - it's just that every now and then I can't get it on the laptop.

I'm not sure what you mean by "unhooking my desktop from the wired connection and plugging it into the Belkin wireless one", Mike. There are five sockets on the back of the Belkin, one for the cable from teh modem, and the other for plugging in any PCs, and I've got my PC plugged into one of them. The wireless used by the laptop, comes from the aerial on the top, with teh signal coming from the ethernet cable from the modem (into which the virginmedia coaxial with the broadband is plugged).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:55 AM

We have a similar set up but from BT, with a BT HomeHub router wired to my wife's PC downstairs and a Netgear Rangemax N type wireless adapter connected to my PC upstairs. My adapter is actually placed through a hole cut in the centre of a large metal strainer which does increase the signal, which as I type reads at 82% - although I can see a neighbour's unsecured network with a signal at 92%!!!!

The connection to websites is very fast indeed, but download speeds are at the mercy of BT of course.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: MikeL2
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:50 AM

Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow - PM
Date: 28 May 10 - 05:55 PM

Hi McG

I think I misunderstood your problem.

I had my desktop connected by ethernet, not to the Belkin, my solution to my problem was to connect the desktop to the wireless connectrions.

Sorry if I misled you.

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Tootler
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:35 PM

I have a Belkin 54g router and Virgin Media. The router is downstairs and my desktop PC is upstairs. I use a homeplug wired connection to my desktop PC because of a weak signal where the PC is. That solved my problem. My daughter has a similar problem and the wireless signal where she has her computer is very weak so she has a homeplug unit as well. However, as she has a laptop, she can disconnect the homeplug cable walk across her bedroom and get a max strength signal.

Is it possible that you are trying to connect your laptop in a part of the house where the signal is weak? both my daughter and I had endless problems with dropped signal till I bought the homeplug units.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: EBarnacle
Date: 30 May 10 - 01:41 PM

Lady Hillary and I are experimenting with a multistory problem also. We have seups on the second floor, where the transmitter unit is, and the basement, where our secondary office is. At present, the basement computer has XP and a dialup connection. We are going to try a relay booster via our garage which should bounce the wireless signal to a level that an antenna can pick up for the basement computer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 May 10 - 02:16 PM

The thing is, most of the time the wireless signal is excellent, and there is no problem getting on the internet through the laptop or the desktop. But ever now and again, while the desktop is fine, the laptop just can't pick up any signal.

The last few nights, taking my cue from Simon G's post ("switch the router off regularly, perhaps once a day, before its memory is exhausted"), I've been making a point of unplugging the router last thing, and reconnecting it in the morning. So far the problem hasn't recurred since I've been doing that, though it's still early days. So I'm hoping it's the router getting tired and exhausted - and at some point I can maybe get a new and better one.

The trickiest problems, I always find, with any device, are the ones that come and go of their own accord. With a consistent fault you can at least set about eliminating possibilities.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: mousethief
Date: 30 May 10 - 03:52 PM

We have the same problem with the same router. When it happens we unplug and replug the router and it's good, for a while. Sometimes it happens multiple times in one day and sometimes we can go a whole week. I think it has some connection with how much stuff we are downloading/streaming.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 May 10 - 04:09 PM

With me unplugging and replugging the router tends not to sort the problem, at least not unless I leave it unplugged for a few hours.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 30 May 10 - 05:44 PM

The real test of speed comes with bit torrent downloads.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: treewind
Date: 31 May 10 - 12:12 PM

I got a big improvement in Wifi performance just by moving the wifi access point to a slightly different location and setting the antenna on it at about 45 degrees to vertical when it was previously vertical.

Prior to that performance was patchy even at times when the indicated signal strength was reasonably good. Radio is strange stuff...

It is true (as mentioned above) that wifi equipment shouldn't be near cordless phones or their base stations, or you'll get interference, which shows up as poor performance.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Simon G
Date: 31 May 10 - 01:12 PM

Keep in mind

WiFi n has a much stronger signal than a/b/g, but your connecting computers would need to support n as well

Radio travels in straight lines. This can mean if it hits a wall or a floor at a low angle of incidence it is trying to travel through 1 or 2m of wall or floor. put your head by your base station and look to where you will have your laptop and imagine what the straight line passes through.

You certainly want the WiFi base station at least 1m away from any DECT wireless phone base stations.

Getting a router to work well for months or years is quite a tough challenge. It is best to assume that you router is going to fail at this and find some way of power cycling at a convenient time for you. Perhaps a time switch between the plug and socket set to power down at 4am every night for a few minutes (or hours if you want to be a little more green)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: treewind
Date: 31 May 10 - 01:47 PM

"assume that you router is going to fail at this and find some way of power cycling"

Strange - my broadband-wired ethernet router runs fine for months on end, and I don't see why radio should be different.
I have good reasons for leaving it on at night too.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Tootler
Date: 31 May 10 - 05:01 PM

I leave router on 24 hrs with few problems. It occasionally plays up and needs rebooting but that is quite rare. The [cable] modem needs rebooting more often and I usually reboot the router at the same time just to be safe. The main problem is variable wireless signal round the house.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Simon G
Date: 31 May 10 - 05:13 PM

@Anahata, many router will work forever without a problem, I was trying to counter the perceived wisdom that routers never cause a problem, they are often a problem, especially the Belkin model that started this discussion.

@Tootler, the variation is most like due the amount of substance your asking the radio waves to penetrate. To take a worse case example, if a house has a brickwall down the centre and the router is downstairs at the back on one side of the wall and the lap top is upstairs at the front on the other side of the wall the radio signal probably has to travel through brick for 5-10 metres. moving the computer 1m away from the wall will reduce this to less than 1m - that could be the difference between no signal and full signal.

Simon G


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 08:12 AM

McG - to back up Tootler's post of 29 May, we use Homeplug instead of wireless and have never had any problems. Infinitely preferable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless on blink
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 09:08 AM

Our BT Homehub 2 has been on since February 2010 without any problems. I don't use the windows wireless manager which caused problems in the past.


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