View Full Version : How do I test my wireless router?


Syzygys
07-20-11, 01:58 PM
First the netbook started to experience wireless interruptions, now the laptop too. I suspect the router started to fail (2-3 years old), but how do I test this theory?

Wired still works fine and without interruptions.... Or maybe it is something else than the router???

Edit: I unplugged it, pushed every button on it, twice, and it seemed to do the trick, but still....

rcscwc
07-21-11, 02:47 AM
Get a new router.

keith1
07-21-11, 02:53 AM
Brand?

Chipz
07-21-11, 04:06 AM
Someone with a near identical router may have moved very close to you. Change the channel on your signal.

cosmictraveler
07-21-11, 06:46 AM
If you have a cell phone it should be able to "see" the wireless signal and work with it when you turn it on. Did you try that yet?

Captain Kremmen
07-21-11, 08:19 AM
Is yours a Vista?

My laptop runs Vista. Can't connect to my router wirelessly for some reason.

After many spent on help desks, I have run an ethernet cable to the router and given up on wireless for this computer. My XP connected immediately on its own. Just asked for the password.

Syzygys
07-21-11, 07:45 PM
Get a new router.

I am a cheap bastard. If it isn't the router, why replace it?


Brand?

I think it is rather irrelevant. I had no problem with it for 2-3 years, just now. But it is a Netgear....


Someone with a near identical router may have moved very close to you. Change the channel on your signal.

Hm, an intriguing solution. I might try it....

The question is, why the netbook started the problem first and the laptop later? Shouldn't have got it both at the same time???

Syzygys
07-21-11, 07:48 PM
If you have a cell phone it should be able to "see" the wireless signal and work with it when you turn it on. Did you try that yet?

I don't see how is it relevant. The problem is that the wireless signal keeps dropping, or slows down while the wired part from the same router keeps the speed. Since it now effects 2 different computers, it isn't the computer...


Is yours a Vista?

My laptop runs Vista.

The netbook is XP, the laptop is 7. There was no problem with the earlier laptop with Vista.

Kind of interesting, but nobody answered the original question: How to test an older router???

Maybe I should check for updates or try to reset it with a new channel...

MacGyver1968
07-21-11, 07:49 PM
Hm, an intriguing solution. I might try it....

The question is, why the netbook started the problem first and the laptop later? Shouldn't have got it both at the same time???

Maybe the netbook has a less sensitive antenna. Trying the channel change would be a good place to start. Let us know if you can't figure out how to do it.

Syzygys
07-21-11, 08:16 PM
Well, if I get to the conclusion that the router is getting old, I might try the Tomato or dd-wrt firmwares:

http://www.howtogeek.com/56612/turn-your-home-router-into-a-super-powered-router-with-dd-wrt/

This is the same router I have, a new one would be $50. There are cheaper ones, but I am happy with this one....

Supports installation of OpenWRT, Tomato firmware, and DD-WRT

Some people with similar issues, mentioning that eventually all routers can develope the same symptoms:

http://madcompscientist.blogspot.com/2010/03/netgear-wnr3500l-impressions.html

Netgear trying to solve the same issue:

http://support.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1134

Syzygys
07-21-11, 08:18 PM
Maybe the netbook has a less sensitive antenna. Trying the channel change would be a good place to start. Let us know if you can't figure out how to do it.

The thing is that the router had been working properly with every laptop,netbook in the house for years until recently. The problem has just started 2-3 weeks ago, originally on the netbook.

Routers don't last forever, maybe it is just its time. As I said restarting it and resetting it did work for a while....

MacGyver1968
07-21-11, 08:25 PM
The thing is that the router had been working properly with every laptop,netbook in the house for years until recently. The problem has just started 2-3 weeks ago, originally on the netbook.

Routers don't last forever, maybe it is just its time. As I said restarting it and resetting it did work for a while....

Yeah..maybe one the chips is going wonky (official technical term) in the router. I understand being cheap...but maybe it's time to get a new one.

rcscwc
07-21-11, 08:31 PM
Routers are not very costly. Still, I got mine from the ISP. That way they are responsible for its maintenance. I got mine replaced a few months ago.

Syzygys
07-21-11, 08:39 PM
Well, the course of actions will be in this order:

1. Resetting and changing the channels, checking for the latest firmware.
2. New firmware. (probably DD-WRT)
3. New router.

Latest firmware:

http://support.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/18853/session/L2F2LzEvc2lkL0x4bTRtQXpr

keith1
07-21-11, 09:37 PM
I think it is rather irrelevant. I had no problem with it for 2-3 years, just now. But it is a Netgear....

If turning off the unit and unplugging the connections for a moment, then restarting, did not solve the issue, then a Netgear phone tech can:

--Discuss with you your model's age and internet connection method (have this info ready when you call).

--Tech can walk you thru allowing the tech to enter your computer from their computer, and make the necessary changes.

--Tech can get you a new unit password, so that you can make the changes yourself. You will type your IP address into your web-browser's address window (like you enter any http//...address).
You will bring up a sign-in page, and be able to check the various settings (some are a bit complex--you may want to take the tech with you, as a guide, while you have him on the phone...that is what they do).
When you are satisfied, you can change the passcode anytime from within the IP address website. Normally your wireless program (in your computer) will assign you an insidiously long auto-passcode, which you can change to a more appropriate one from within the website.
Sound like something you want to take on?

By password, I mean the password you need to get into your IP website.
By passcode, I mean the code you yourself can change within your IP website, that your computer uses to get online. The passcode is saved within your wireless setup wizard.

scheherazade
07-21-11, 11:58 PM
Sounds very much like the symptoms that my computers were experiencing six months ago. It was driving us bonkers because it was so intermittent and three computers on the same router, with varying 'symptoms'.

Twice, I had the technician intervene remotely and I must have reset the whole system dozens of times.

One computer kept diagnosing it to be a modem problem, which the remote tech's kept declaring not to be the case.

I finally got a 'real people' to come to location, and he switched out the modem and we were good to go.

He also had us test the cables connecting the modum to the router as the little connections can become worn and problematical.

Syzygys
07-22-11, 03:29 AM
If turning off the unit and unplugging the connections for a moment, then restarting, did not solve the issue,

Well, it did work. What does it mean? I think the router is getting older and some parts just don't function properly anymore.
As I mentioned, when signal is dropped or slow, the wired part still works fine...


and he switched out the modem and we were good to go.

What do you mean? You mean he reset the modem?


He also had us test the cables connecting the modem to the router as the little connections can become worn and problematical.

Since those cables are never touched or moved, how do they become worn? By electricity?

S.A.M.
07-22-11, 03:45 AM
First the netbook started to experience wireless interruptions, now the laptop too. I suspect the router started to fail (2-3 years old), but how do I test this theory?

Wired still works fine and without interruptions.... Or maybe it is something else than the router???

Edit: I unplugged it, pushed every button on it, twice, and it seemed to do the trick, but still....

When I started having problems with my router, I roped in the network admin to help me check it. Essentially, you locate your network DNS server address, IP address and default gateway. Then make sure all your settings are set to automatically assign them so the problem is not one of those [you can also ping your DNS server address from the Run menu to check for packet loss]

Then open your browser and type in your DNS server address. It will require an ID or password from the net admin to access your router settings. You can then test your router to check if it passes or fails the various test and if your network admin is nice, he will reset your router to double check that the problem is not from his end

I got a new router, btw.

Stryder
07-22-11, 07:46 AM
I'd query how close your router is to "neighbours", as you have to take into consideration with each year that passes people have become more and more reliant upon wifi networking, this means neighbours that wouldn't have had wifi networks have likely got them now and this generates interference through "noise".

It's one of the main reasons to try a channel change, to adjust the frequency to one that is lesser used to reduce collisions in frequency.

The alternative problem is if you have increased the number of devices connecting at the same time to the same router, You'll notice on routers that you can have IEEE 802.1 g/a/b/n, this reflects bands of frequency and differences in bandwidth available for each.

When you are dealing with multiple devices it's best to rig your router to use a "Mixed band", as the devices will automatically attempt to adjust between the multiple available bands to supply the best connection possible. It should be noted however to keep the devices apart from one another so as to lessen confliction between them.

As for firmware or chipsets going.... You have to take into consideration that if you router isn't protected by a surge protector for both it's power and connection to a hardline, it can be subjected to surges during thunderstorms or brownouts. Also the long term "wear and tear" can also play apart. Routers are also notoriously limited in their shielding, electromagnetic interference can cause disruption in it's operation and even corruption of the firmware, so try to make sure it's not nested in a bunch of live electric cable.

So a rundown:

Make sure your routers situated in a "clear area" (Not coiled in electricity cable, placed behind a desktops tower etc.)
Make sure the devices are kept about 2ft apart from each other
Try changing wifi channels on the router
Make sure your router has all it's band's available for use
Never firmware anything unless it's absolutely necessary, namely if the security is greatly improved, greater functionality or new functions. (Failed firmware updates can screw the equipment totally, so only take the risk if the reward is worth it.)

cosmictraveler
07-22-11, 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
If you have a cell phone it should be able to "see" the wireless signal and work with it when you turn it on. Did you try that yet?

I don't see how is it relevant. The problem is that the wireless signal keeps dropping, or slows down while the wired part from the same router keeps the speed. Since it now effects 2 different computers, it isn't the computer...

Well, I was only considering if the wireless signal was being picked up and its strength on your cell phone is all. True, it doesn't have much bearing at all on your major concern.

scheherazade
07-22-11, 12:57 PM

Originally Posted by scheherazade
and he switched out the modem and we were good to go.

What do you mean? You mean he reset the modem?

No. He actually replaced it with a new and improved modem.


Originally Posted by scheherazade
He also had us test the cables connecting the modem to the router as the little connections can become worn and problematical.

Since those cables are never touched or moved, how do they become worn? By electricity?

We have a lot of power fluctuation here, and cables tend to dandle over the edge of tables etc. and get bumped during house cleaning. The actual connection points can suffer degradation as all metal oxidizes over time.

nietzschefan
07-22-11, 01:08 PM
You know what, fuck him he gets free I.T work all the time on this board, make him figure it out or hire someone.

Syzygys
07-22-11, 06:13 PM
You know what, fuck him he gets free I.T work all the time on this board, make him figure it out or hire someone.

Not getting enough sex lately??? You sound so grumpy. Why do you care if others want to help me, and what's more important, why don't you go and fuck yourself?

Don't you worry pretty boy, I figured it out already. The router is failing. There are 2 reasons I actually post about it:

1. I use the thread as bookmarks for the problem.
2. It helps others with similar problems down the road.

If someone googles this problem in the future, this thread will come up with the possible solutions. I learnt a lot from other forums, so I like to return the favour...

Syzygys
07-22-11, 06:15 PM
Oh yeah, nobody ever answered (well, Sam got close) the original question:

How do you test an old router? :)

Syzygys
07-22-11, 07:47 PM
Actually, I figured out the simplest solution:

Buy a new one, and use it for a few days. If the problem is solved, it was most likely a failing part in the old one. If the problem still exists, return the new one and hunt for a better solution.

Simple enough.... The new should work flawlessly out of the box anyway...

Ellie
07-22-11, 08:41 PM
Actually, I figured out the simplest solution:

Buy a new one, and use it for a few days. If the problem is solved, it was most likely a failing part in the old one. If the problem still exists, return the new one and hunt for a better solution.

Simple enough.... The new should work flawlessly out of the box anyway...

Call your provider.

Syzygys
07-24-11, 10:46 AM
Interesting development. I was testing the router with the laptop and notebook, and since the lights were fine on the router it seemed working OK, while the notebook was dropping signal and slowing down. At the same time, the laptop worked just fine, indicating that this is an issue with the notebook and not with the router. (although in the last few days I did experience problems with the laptop too)

So since both computers are dual booted with Linux too, I got the incredibly smart idea of switching to Mint. I have been on Linux Mint for the last 3-4 hours, and so far I haven't noticed any wireless interruption. So it seems to me that maybe the wireless driver needs to be updated on it or something. I have been planning a clear reinstall of XP anyway, so probably I will just go back to the factory default state.

For the time being I am still testing it if there is any problem on Linux or not. The speed is faster, with FF it is 18 Mbps wireless. Not bad for a cheap notebook...

Varda
07-29-11, 12:19 AM
As far as I know, you don't test routers, you test how things act when hooked to one. You know, like a little black box. What happens inside it is transparent.

Since you already checked that your conection works, that your cables are ok, and only when tou put the router in the circuit you begin to see irregular signal, just change your goddamned router, cheapass.

Syzygys
07-29-11, 03:20 AM
just change your goddamned router, cheapass.

Had you read this thread, you would know by now that the router works just fine... :)

It is most likely some virus on the netbook. Yesterday I tried to run AVG and it wouldn't even scan. I also tried to put the netbook back to an earlier state, and that wouldn't work either. So right now I am working on virus removal....

Gustav
07-29-11, 03:24 AM
excellent
that is the last we will see of you then

adios amigo

Syzygys
07-29-11, 08:53 AM
Gustav, my dear son, I told you, don't concern yourself with adult's matter. Go to the sandbox and play there peacefully. :)

Syzygys
07-29-11, 10:34 AM
Well, ladies and gentlemen, looks like the problem has been solved!

I went into safe mode, ran Avast and found 60+ infections. Removed them and restarted. So far it has been working correctly with a decent speed (although Opera's speed is half of Chrome's) so I can't complain.

I would like to thank everybody who tried to help. I hope some of us learnt something new here. (my method of diagnosis) That is the reason I share my IT problems, not because I couldn't google it on my own.

So thanks again, enjoy the summer and wait for my next problem...

Oh yes, I still don't know how to test a router, but at least I saved $50!!!! :)

Varda
07-29-11, 06:46 PM
Had you read this thread, you would know by now that the router works just fine... :)

It is most likely some virus on the netbook. Yesterday I tried to run AVG and it wouldn't even scan. I also tried to put the netbook back to an earlier state, and that wouldn't work either. So right now I am working on virus removal....

I read the thread. I saw you bitching 2 or 3 times that nobody answered the question. So I came in to say you donLt test the router itself. It's the answer to your fucking question.
If you want to be a little smirky ass asshole to me putting information in your dumb thread, see if I ever try to help you again.

Syzygys
07-29-11, 07:42 PM
Varda, you can follow Nitschefan and go fuck yourself. Your presence is not needed, the show is over and you STILL haven't answered ther question.

By the way I did find an old Microsoft router testing website, so yes, you can test routers. But beside me, nobody knows. :)

Varda
07-29-11, 09:25 PM
Hey guys do you know what's funnier than a clueless Vista user?
A clueless Vista user that says "besides me, nobody knows".

lololol

Pinwheel
08-18-11, 04:06 AM
Varda, you can follow Nitschefan and go fuck yourself.

How rude!!

nietzschefan
08-18-11, 08:21 AM
Ya we all learned Sxygays likes to surf porn and get virus...whoopdifkindo

sifreak21
08-18-11, 08:27 AM
rule of thumb you get what you pay for if you paid for a cheap on it will be more likely to fail

Syzygys
09-02-11, 06:11 AM
rule of thumb you get what you pay for if you paid for a cheap on it will be more likely to fail

The router has been fine, my dear, it was a laptop problem...


How rude!!


Why was it rude? I didn't start the fire and the Bible says an eye for an eye. :)

P.S.: I came back from vacation and Varda's posts have been deleted all over the place for trolling, what does it tell you? Oh yeah, and you were banned too... :)