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June 21, 2008 9:17 AM   Subscribe

We're having some problems with our wireless network, and I can't figure out what the problem is.

We're using a D-Link DI-524 Router, with the most up-to-date firmware, and are both running Macbooks, both with up-to-date versions of OSX.5. One of these (mine) was also having trouble with another router (an Inexq), too, but I don't want to go back to that anyway as it has little in the way of security.

On the D-Link, we have WPA2 security enabled on the router, SSID is being broadcast. Currently the channel is set to Auto Select, but I've also tried selecting one manually, as far away from all the other channels I can pick up with iStumbler as I can, and the problem persists. I've also tried setting the router to Mix Mode and to G-only. No difference.

The basic problem is that the connection gets cut quite frequently. Usually, the little Airport monitor won't register any disconnection; it still says full-strength. However, no websites are accessible, and accessing the router's configuration utility through the web browser (ie by going to the router's IP address) doesn't do much either. At this point, the connection can usually be restored by turning Airport off and turning it back on again. However, a few minutes later, another disconnection.

There doesn't seem to be, that I've noticed, any specific factor that is influencing when the disconnections occur. It happens running on battery and when the laptops are plugged in.

I'm starting to think that maybe I need to just get a new router, but before I do, I want to make sure I've tried everything.

(I've seen this and this, but nothing seems to help, and they are for an older version of OSX anyway.
posted by synecdoche to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
When we had this (sounds like the same) problem, it was Comcast's fault entirely and completely. We had a bad initial hookup, and it plagued us for the next year. When we moved down the block (and used the exact same router, modem, computers, cords, everything) it was a completely different experience. For us it was Comcast. I hope the problem is something less controlled-by-dicks for you.
posted by phunniemee at 9:23 AM on June 21, 2008


I would agree that the best thing to do initially is to plug directly into the modem and see if you get the same browsing problems.

One thing to try is to set your DNS in the network preferences manually. A lot of issues that crop up have to do with being unable to resolve domain names. The connection is working, traffic is flowing on the wire but can't get to a site because the DNS is not working properly.

Try using OpenDNS server #'s:
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

If your MacBook is resolving DNS directly instead of via the Airport, which gets DNS info from Comcast, you might find the connection issue goes away.
posted by diode at 10:42 AM on June 21, 2008


This sounds like a line issue, not a wireless issue. Seconding connecting via the wire for a while and seeing if it does the same thing.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:32 AM on June 21, 2008


Thanks, I'll try these things, once I can get my hands on a network cord. I used to have a plethora of those things lying around and now I can't find any.

By the by, we're with Rogers (in Ontario), not Comcast.
posted by synecdoche at 12:33 PM on June 21, 2008


If you can get to the admin screen of your router via wireless when you can't get elsewhere, then it doesn't sound like your wireless connection. If it isn't your wireless connection, you should next try a traceroute:

"traceroute -n 209.68.2.73" will list the hops on the way to my webhost (using an IP# eliminates any issues with DNS resolution). It should start listing IP address followed by times in milliseconds. If it starts showing asterisks, or the times suddenly jump up dramatically, then there is a network problem at that point. If it starts showing asterisks right after your router IP, then there is something wrong with your cable connection or your router. If it makes it one or two hops further before it starts showing lost or delayed packets, then it is probably an issue somewhere deeper in your ISPs network. Go ahead and run a traceroute now to see how things look when everything works.

If traceroutes work fine, but you still can't get to sites, then it may be a DNS issue.
posted by Good Brain at 3:46 PM on June 21, 2008


Yeah, I can't get to the router administration when the disconnects occur, which is leading me to suspect the router again. I'll wrangle up a network cord tomorrow, hopefully, and see what happens.
posted by synecdoche at 6:55 PM on June 21, 2008


Is it getting too hot? Our new D-link (less than 6mth old) does not like to get hot at all! What are the lights on it doing while all of this is going on?

Ha-ha was worth a vague shot. Found you, you bitch :)

Now I know this is for bittorrents and what-have-you, but this is where I would go if telling SO "net's not working" wasn't going to solve all my problems. (And I could still limp my way onto the site...)

I checked, there was mac stuff!
And I'm thinking this may not be the blondest suggestion I've ever made because if you can play world of warcraft while downloading illegal mp3s - then your net must be working, hey? :)
http://portforward.com
And I looked to see if they have your doobie, they do. So when you get to that bit - here you go. DI-514 (When you see the list, yes it would be faster to come back here than to scroll.)

My original idea was that modem specific address with all the settings.. that I am not allowed to touch but at your house you will get to touch, should they look like they need touching? But as I was skimming the site (for the credibility it will need that I don't lend it) it seemed it might actually be a more helpful site than I first thought?
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 7:15 PM on June 21, 2008


Look for updated modem firmware, that, and making sure it is out of the sun, not on top of other equipment, and making sure it isn't covered or otherwise suffering from blocked airflow, is probably all you can do, short of replacing it.
posted by Good Brain at 1:18 PM on June 22, 2008


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