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Old Jan 26, 06, 3:58 pm   #1
 
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Netgear wireless router keeps going off-line

From reading other threads, I have a pretty good idea that Netgear isn't the preferred equip. for many of you, and I'm having an ongoing problem.

I have a Nnetgrear wireless router in my home, hooked up to my DSL (SBC to be specific). The issue is that the router keeps going down. The symptoms are that I still have internet access on the hard-wired desktop (meaning the DSL modem is up and running) but I can't get a signal to my wireless laptop. Even more specifically, the laptop finds the router but then can't connect. The lights on the front look normal. Plugging and unplugging the router bring things back to life, generally for a few days at a time.

This might sound like a small problem, except I always seem to discover the router is down after I'm all settled in my easy chair downstairs and then need to schlep all the way back upstairs to restart the *%*%* router.

Should I just troop to Best Buy and get a new one, or is there some other problem that might be causing this? The paranoid half of me wonders if hackers are trying to get in and it closes down, as one possibility.

Last edited by milepig; Jan 26, 06 at 4:06 pm.
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Old Jan 26, 06, 5:49 pm   #2
 
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If you still have access from a desktop PC that's behind the router then the router portion is working fine. How old is this router? It's far more likely that the wireless portion has simply given up the ghost or is in the process of doing so. I've had the exact same problem. The only cure is to replace the router. Before doing so you might try doing a hard reset on the router (consult Netgear's support site for instructions) but I'm willing to bet hard cash that it's simple hardware failure. Were it a DoS attack or another sort of hack, you'd have issues with ALL computers, not just the wireless.
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Old Jan 27, 06, 4:57 am   #3
 
 
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Have you tried disabling and re-enabling the wireless on your laptop first?

Also, there was a recent suggestion to change the power setting in the laptop wireless driver properties to use more power (less battery life) and that seems to have solved some wireless connectivity problems I've been having where I've had to disable/re-enable to "stay" connected.

I don't know which netgear wireless router you have, but I've found that the 108Mbs Wireless G model WGT624 works much better in regular "G" mode than the 54Mb/s version. And, yes, I'm on my second one. The first one died some time ago.

People complain about netgear, d-link, linksys and all the other manufacturers. Unless you're going to spend significantly more, they are all pretty much the same. All of them make a dog or two in their model line. The WGT624 is a decent product.

-David
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Old Jan 27, 06, 8:19 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIH Prem
Have you tried disabling and re-enabling the wireless on your laptop first?

Also, there was a recent suggestion to change the power setting in the laptop wireless driver properties to use more power (less battery life) and that seems to have solved some wireless connectivity problems I've been having where I've had to disable/re-enable to "stay" connected.
Interesting suggestions - what I find is that when this happens disabling/re-enabling doesn't help. Also, when I do get connected I have excellent connectivity. I think the Netgear just isn't sending out the wireless signal at times.
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Old Jan 27, 06, 9:23 am   #5
 
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Search for other networks, too...

First, do you have a cordless phone anywhere nearby? The oldest ones are at 900Mhz with no effect. The newest ones are at 5Ghz or higher and will have no effect. The somewhat recent models, and the cheaper current ones operate at 2.4Ghs, in the same band as WiFi...so they can jam the signal.

Also, do a search for other wireless networks in your immediate area. Using a program like "Network Stumbler" you can see clearly what else is around and what channel they use. If there are other networks on the same channel, switch the channel on your router to an unused one.

Also, if using XP, you can go to run/services.msc, scroll to the bottom, locate "wireless zero configuration", right click and select "stop" the service. This will keep XP from scanning for other networks when you are attached to yours...for some reason, MS thinks you want to keep lookin for other networks, even when you are on one. It will then try to connect, letting your connection go and then occasionally have trouble going back to yours...

RFT


Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig
Interesting suggestions - what I find is that when this happens disabling/re-enabling doesn't help. Also, when I do get connected I have excellent connectivity. I think the Netgear just isn't sending out the wireless signal at times.
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Old Jan 28, 06, 3:08 am   #6
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig
Interesting suggestions - what I find is that when this happens disabling/re-enabling doesn't help. Also, when I do get connected I have excellent connectivity. I think the Netgear just isn't sending out the wireless signal at times.
Sounds like it's time to go to your local lending-library computer hardware store and try a new one. (so you can return it, if that's not the problem, though I have to agree with Kanebear based on what you said here, it seems that it's likely that the wireless portion of your current router is going south).

Try the WGT624 if you can find it. I've seen it at Costco. Or $40 after MIR at amazon.com

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Jan 28, 06 at 3:10 am.
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Old Jan 28, 06, 8:03 am   #7
 
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Are you running ZoneAlarm?

If so, you might consider adding your router's IP address to ZA's "Trusted Zone". At home, I have a desktop and a laptop connected to a Netgear Wireless Router and both running ZA. The laptop stays connected all the time with no trouble, both hard wired and wireless but the desktop would drop the connection constantly. It was driving me crazy. Once I added the IP address to the trusted zone, everybody was happy. Especially me!

If using some other firewall product, you might check if it has a similar option.

Last edited by 1kBill; Jan 28, 06 at 8:05 am.
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Old Jan 30, 06, 2:50 am   #8
 
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There are a couple thing I would check that have probably already been mentioned.

First, change the channel in your router. Most WiFi routers have the default set at 6, and if your neighbors recently added WiFi, then that could cause the conflice. Especially if they are using some of the new pre-N stuff. I've heard stories of those knocking out connections from time to time. Try setting your channel to 11.

Second, (well, probably the first thing to try), reboot your router. Unplug it and leave it unplugged for a couple minutes. This is one way to flush the accumulated IP addresses and other stuff, and just helps it clean up in general.

Third, there may be upgraded firmware for your router. The netgear website should have the details.

Fourth, consider router placement. Is there a different place you can put it that might have it closer to where you use your notebook? That might improve relaibility. It might also make it less exposed to neighborhood interference.

Fifth, does your router offer the option of attaching an upgraded antennae? Some do and this could improve performance.

Finally, if none of this helps, new WiFi routers are pretty cheap thsese days...
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Old Jan 30, 06, 6:45 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cromely
Third, there may be upgraded firmware for your router. The netgear website should have the details.
Most Netgear routers let you set one of the parameters in the configuration screens to automatically search for firmware updates. Saves having to remember to do this.

I second the idea of changing the channel to a non-default one, that fixed a conflict for me immediately.
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Old Jan 30, 06, 7:45 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig
..........The symptoms are that I still have internet access on the hard-wired desktop (meaning the DSL modem is up and running) but I can't get a signal to my wireless laptop. Even more specifically, the laptop finds the router but then can't connect. The lights on the front look normal. Plugging and unplugging the router bring things back to life, generally for a few days at a time.
.........
I have never seen a hard-wired desktop connect with any broadband and my wireless laptop not connect when I use a Netgear, D-Link, Belkin etc wireless router (they all occasionally lose the connection).

MisterNice
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Old Jan 30, 06, 8:48 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig
Should I just troop to Best Buy and get a new one, or is there some other problem that might be causing this? The paranoid half of me wonders if hackers are trying to get in and it closes down, as one possibility.

Try a couple of things
1. Change the channel as someone else suggests (particularly if you live in an apartment or condo complex where people are close together).

2. If you don't have 108 devices turn off that portion of the router (set it to 54 only)

I had the exact problems that you describe but worse as my sig other would call me wherever I was to tell me that the wireless didn't work.

hope this helps
Regards
Brentley
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