How To Handle A Wireless Connection Dropping Out All The Time
Has your wireless connection been dropping unexpectedly? In instances such as when you are not on the computer, the screensaver stars up or if you have not used the internet for awhile? The wireless router and network card are the most common causes for a wireless connection dropping. In this article we will discuss some troubleshooting tips, which are in order of usefulness, that should help to get your wireless connection functioning again.
Have Your Router Set To a Specific Channel
We have been asked this question particularly from Time Warner’s Road Runner customers, so as to save everyone a bit of time, we have decided that this will be the first post in the article. The symptoms seem to be that, for seconds at a time, the wireless connection will simply drop. If your cell phone, or iPhone is connected to the same network, due to the phone switching to 3G every time their is a drop in the connection, the battery will drain quite rapidly.
This tip will help prevent your wireless connection form repeatedly dropping. If what you are using is a router, particularly one that is a dual band, enter the wireless settings which can generally be found under “setup” and choose a specific channel. Try using a channel other than the default one, if you are using a dual bound router, make this both of your bands settings.
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Do not ever use the the “auto” setting. After having performed troubleshooting, this seems to be the main culprit of the situation. Attempt to use a higher channel, if this does not function, try out various channels. It could be quite possible that there are more than enough networks in your immediate area that are on the same channel, this could cause conflict between them.
Look Over Your Wireless Power Settings
If it did not work to switch the router channel. Here are a few other tips you can try in order to prevent the dropping of the wireless connection.
For starters, see if the wireless card’s power is being managed by the computer. It may be instructed that after a certain amount of time elapses, top shut off the wireless connectivity. If you have utilities that are system specific, for example Dell’s Quickset, make sure that there is not a setting for the wireless power management to shut off the card if it detects that after a certain period of time, your computer has been idle.
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Secondly, using the device manager, check the settings on your wireless card. For Windows XP this would be done in the following manner:
Find the “My Computer” choice, right click on it and select “Properties”
Go to the “Hardware” section and select “Device Manager”
Under “Network Adapters” is where you will find your wireless card, double click on it.
Make sure that no auto power management settings are enabled as these may be what are shutting down your card prematurely.
Power Cycle Your Hardware
You can also try simply shutting down all of your hardware, for example your PC, laptop, modem or router, anything that is connected to the network. Then, in the following order, power them back on:
And see if the issue is resolved. If that is not the case, continue on with the more potential solutions that follow.
Avoid Driver robot At All Costs
The company Blitware has been doing a lot of marketing around software which is supposed to help you locate and update drives which match the configuration of your hardware, such as Driver Robot. We have been informed that although not a virus, this software could install so called adware, this may not only slow down your computer,m but also prevent it from properly functioning.
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When it comes to drivers, a rule of thumb is always “if it is not broken, do not bother fixing it.” You should only install driver updates if you are experiencing issues at the moment and have been informed by the manufacturer that the problem could be resolved by updating your driver. On a last note, make sure that the driver you download are only off of the manufacturer´s website, never from a third party.
Adjust the Settings On Your Wireless Router
Usually found on the router’s main or basic setup page, lower the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) from 1500 to 1492 or even lower. The following advanced wireless settings should be adjusted:
The beacon interval should be lowered from 100 to 50
The fragment threshold should be lowered from 2346 to 2306
The RTS threshold should be lowered from 2347 to 2304
Your wireless connectivity issues should be solved with this and your wireless connection should be prevented from dropping every few seconds.
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Is your wireless connection connecting and then disconnecting, connecting again and after only a couple of seconds disconnecting again, over and over again? It could indicate that you PC is attempting to locate an IP address and is not receiving cooperation from the DHCP server which is in charge of handing out the IP addresses, or perhaps it is not finding one. If what you are using is Windows, by browsing to Start, then Run you can open a command prompt and type in “cmd.exe”. Once in the command prompt window, the following should be typed: “ipconfig.exe/release” and then “ipconfig.exe/renew”. You will then receive a status message, this may assist you in finding out what the issue is.
When in WPA Mode, Wireless Connection Drops
If your wireless adapter is able to connect without the security encryption, for example WPA or WEP being set, yet every couple of seconds when using the WPA mode it drops, try up dating the driver´s firmware of the network card.
We experienced something similar on a Dell Inspiron laptop. The Intel Pro network card which was included worked fin for a couple of years, afterwards however, every time we tried to use the Internet in a public location, with the use of a WiFi connection, then take it back home and try to connect to our own WPA network, the issues with the connection drop would start again. If this does not work, the router will have to be reset.
Resetting the Wireless Router Back To Default Factory Settings
You can usually reset your router simply by inserting a pin like object such as the end of a paper clip, never a mechanical pencil or a knife, into the little hole found at the back of the router, keep it held down for around ten seconds. The lights on the front of the router should then begin flashing, this signals that the router has been reset to the default factory settings. After this is completed, all your equipment should be power cycled.