Why is my broadband acting weirdly?
May 17, 2012 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Why does my wireless router stop some devices from accessing the web every now and then.

So we have O2 home broadband with a wireless router (this one, I think). We connect to the internet through this with a number of devices - a laptop, a desktop (both running Windows 7), and two android phones (my Galaxy Nexus and my girlfriend's HTC something, probably Desire S).

All these devices can successfully connect to the internet. Every now and then the HTC and the desktop lose the ability to reach websites. The desktop provided some weird results. It was still connected to the internet and I could ping servers. Trying to access a webpage would result in firefox waiting for a reply forever. The laptop and my phone continued to have normal connectivity while this was going on.

This has never happened with the laptop or my phone.

The easiest way to fix this issue appears to be to go into the router's configuration settings and delete the connected device. It then works again immediately. I've noticed the last couple of times that the device is showing as being connected (or at least its IP was granted) just under 24 hours ago. This doesn't happen every day though so maybe it's not relevant.

I've tried setting the router to use the same IP address forever for the phone and that didn't work. So I'm pretty confused at this point!

Any ideas?
posted by xchmp to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Are you able to get to the router's management interface? That would be a good place to start. Some things to try while there could include:

- Changing the default wireless channel (gets around interference from other APs/devices)
- Change the default DNS to a free one (google, opendns, etc)
- Disable QoS, packet inspection, or firewall related services (just to rule them out)
posted by samsara at 9:08 AM on May 17, 2012

Oh another thing to check...make sure you only have one DHCP service running on your network at a time. It is possible that another device or PC is responding to DHCP requests (eg. make sure no internet connections are being "shared" and that the IPs you do get on devices that seem to stop working are in the correct subnet...192.168.1.x for example).
posted by samsara at 9:13 AM on May 17, 2012

Sounds like interference to me. It's possible that a neighbor (or yourself) is using a new cordless phone, microwave oven, or any number of other things that cause interference with the spectrum used by WiFi. It's pretty tough to diagnose this type of thing, although I did see this cool little spectrum analyzer on ThinkGeek that might help you find a channel that is less prone to interference. It's sort of expensive though.

I gave up on WiFi in my apartment after similar problems. The more neighbors you have, the more likely one of them has something that will trash your WiFi signal.
posted by airways at 12:05 PM on May 18, 2012

Oh, also as samsara mentions, you can just try changing the WiFi channel and see if that helps. The spectrum analyzer will *tell you* which channel you should use, though.
posted by airways at 12:06 PM on May 18, 2012

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