October 2, 2009 1:17 PM Subscribe
What's killing my wi-fi connection?
posted by Rhaomi to computers & internet (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The last few days I've been having some odd problems with my wireless network. I'll be browsing on my laptop when all of a sudden things get really slow, as if I lost the connection. But instead of being sent to "This page is not available" or "server not found" pages like when there really is no connection, I just get stuck loading forever. So if I open a tab and go to Google, it will sit and load saying "Waiting for www.google.com" in the status bar for a minute or two, then eventually say "Done" -- even though the only thing that has loaded is a completely blank tab (even the source code of the page is empty) with the raw URL in the title bar.
But throughout all this, there's no indication that I've lost my connection. The wifi icon in the system tray doesn't change, and says I'm connected if I hover over it. When I open up the Command Prompt and enter ipconfig /all, it says all my internet connection stats are normal. The subnet mask, DHCP server, DNS, etc. are all there. The IP address doesn't start with 169. It's all okay.
Weirdest of all, despite the fact that I can see that all the connection info is normal, if I enter my router's IP address into the address bar (which usually takes me to the router's settings page), it just does the same thing. Load... load... load... blank tab. I understand not being able to connect to the internet, but if I can see all my connection and router info in Command Prompt, why can't I connect to the same router with my browser?
The only way to fix it, I've found, is to disconnect from the wireless network and reconnect. It'll then work fine for anywhere from one minute to fifteen, at which point the connection drops again. This is only affecting my laptop, by the way -- iPods and other laptops connect fine.
I've tried restarting my computer, restarting the router, and repairing the connection -- nothing works. It seems that getting closer to the router improves things, but I'm not sure since the problem comes and goes randomly. And besides, the router is in the same place as it's always been, so unless it's suddenly lost broadcasting power I don't see what would cause the problem. And in the "View Wireless Networks" window, it says the network has an Excellent signal when I'm not connected (though that decreases a bar or two once I do).
The only incident I can think of is that a power surge recently burnt out the power supply, and I had to buy a universal one with an adapter to get the router up and running again. But this was a week or two before the trouble started, so that's probably not the source.
Is there anything that would cause a wireless router to lose signal strength like that? Is there something I can do to fix it, or should I just spring for a new one?
Details: I have a Dell laptop running Windows XP SP3. I have a Bellsouth Fast Access DSL internet connection. The router is a 2Wire HomePortal 1700HW. The loading problem happens on Firefox, Chrome, and IE7.
One more detail I remembered: For awhile when the problem first started, ipconfig /all was giving me some weird info. For instance, it said that the "lease" for the connection expired one second after it was obtained. But it's not doing that anymore.