Wireless help: Do we have a crappy router or bad DSL?
August 29, 2006 11:21 PM   Subscribe

Flaky wireless: Can we not connect to the wireless network because of a bad router or a bad DSL connection?

So, we (my housemates and I) all have problems connecting to to the wireless network. We can fix the problem by turning the router on and off but we need to do this two or three times per day. Sometimes my roommate (who's computer I'm using right now because mine won't connect and I'm too lazy to walk downstairs and reset it) can connect but I can't. Sometimes we can't connect unless we turn off the modem as well as the router. We've already tried downloading new software for the router and that didn't change anything. A friend of ours who has exactly the same router as us uses cable and doesn't have this problem so he thinks it's our connection. I think that is bullshit and that we have a crappy router. So what should we do? New router or switch to cable? (It's a netgear router wgr614 v4)
posted by kechi to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You might try replacing the firmware in the Netgear router with OpenWrt to see if your reliability issues improve.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 PM on August 29, 2006


I had this problem, and asked a similar question on MeFi.

For me, it was a bad router. I bought this one, and I've been happy ever since.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 11:44 PM on August 29, 2006


To help troubleshoot, try netstumbler. It will show you the signal strength of the wireless connection as a graph over time. If the signal strength graph has any dropouts, the router may be the problem. You can also use it to look for other wifi signals that may be on the same channel as yours and thus interfering with it (you can change the channel).
posted by one at 3:55 AM on August 30, 2006


An easy way to tell if this is your actual connection or your wireless router, is if you can connect to other computers on your local network while you are experiencing internet difficulties. If you can connect to your housemate's pc (under network places, or in itunes, etc.) then the problem is not your wireless router. If you can't connect to each other's pcs then you probably need a new wireless router.
posted by shownomercy at 6:44 AM on August 30, 2006


Another vote for the router. If you can flash it with the above firmware, try that. Or, outpost is selling the Linksys WRT54G, the 'Cadillac' of consumer-grade wireless routers, for $40 right now. I just replaced my crap-tastic Belkin router with one, and it was worth every frickin penny. I was so pissed/happy that I wrote about it at http://blog.chadbailey.net/ (shameless self-plug for my new blog. Yeah, I'm a tool.)
posted by cebailey at 7:06 AM on August 30, 2006


I've got the same one you do, and haven't had any problems connecting to it via wireless since I replaced my crappy netgear 311 wireless card with a hawking HWU54D, but just be aware that the router's range sucks. There's a reason why these sold for under $9 everywhere. Use netstumbler or your favorite wireless utility to find out what your range is, that'll probably solve your problems. You may also have interference, and you may also have overheating problems. Netgear recommends using the little feet it comes with to stand it up longways, and to not keep in in an small enclosed space.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:13 AM on August 30, 2006


Yeah, I had a similar problem for a couple of weeks. I finially fixed it by updating the firmware. Look it up in your manual and give it a try.
posted by jourman2 at 9:03 AM on August 30, 2006


kingjoeshmoe: Thanks for the link - I did search for similar questions but somehow managed to miss that one.
posted by kechi at 10:43 AM on August 30, 2006


I had a similar problem for a while with a router and found it would die when my neighbor's phone rang. Only restarting the router would fix it. So I killed my neighbor. I mean, I bought a better router that could deal with the interference a little better.
posted by birdherder at 10:59 AM on August 30, 2006


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