How do I test my wireless router?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Syzygys, Jul 20, 2011.

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  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    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....
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
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  3. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Get a new router.
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  5. keith1 Guest

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  7. Chipz Banned Banned

    Someone with a near identical router may have moved very close to you. Change the channel on your signal.
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    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?
  9. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    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.
  10. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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

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

    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???
  11. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    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...

    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...
  12. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    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.
  13. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Well, if I get to the conclusion that the router is getting old, I might try the Tomato or dd-wrt firmwares:

    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:

    Netgear trying to solve the same issue:
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    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....
  15. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    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.
  16. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    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.
  17. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

  18. keith1 Guest

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2011
  19. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    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.
  20. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    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...

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

    Since those cables are never touched or moved, how do they become worn? By electricity?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    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.
  22. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    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.)
  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    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.
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