WiFi flaky all of a sudden

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by gypsy3001, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. gypsy3001

    gypsy3001 Guest

    I am quiet baffled . . . I had WiFi G set-up in my home for months now
    and it had always worked wonderfully. I am able to connect all through
    out the house and even outside. But just a few days ago, connection has
    been sporatic, even though my notebook is in the same room as the
    access point not more than 5 feet away. I didn't give it much thought.
    But last night, I cannot connect it from anywhere outside that room.
    The SSID shows up fine but connection usually fails. Even when it is
    able to connect, packet lost is practically 100%. Pinging the access
    point in the same room resulted in 50-75% packet loss. If I get lucky,
    packets are successfully transfered with decent to high latency.

    The only thing I can think of that I changed around the house a few
    days ago is that I put up four strings of Christmas lights in the back
    patio (this past weekend). They weren't on at the moment I had this
    problem. Could the Christmas lights be the source of this problem? It
    seems that the chance is so remote, but I can't think of any changes in
    the past week.

    What do you guys think?

    gypsy3001, Dec 6, 2005
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  2. gypsy3001

    gypsy3001 Guest

    Some additional note I forgot to post . . .

    I had thought that maybe the access point is now failing (even though
    it is a fairly new device with the router portion disabled). So I tried
    enabling the WiFi B on my older router with a different SSID on a
    different channel. The same exact symptom occurs with the 802.11b
    access point. So I'm fairly certain that the device is not bad, but
    something else is interferencing with them.

    gypsy3001, Dec 6, 2005
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  3. gypsy3001

    gypsy3001 Guest

    Ok. Seems like I keep leaving out information . . .

    I have tested with two other notebooks with the same results. Neither
    could connect with the WiFi network. So I think that means the built-in
    802.11g network card on my notebook is not defective. One of the two
    notebooks is 802.11g, while the other is 802.11b. The 802.11b worked
    fine at the dining table on Saturday morning.

    Your advice is appreciated. Thanks.

    gypsy3001, Dec 6, 2005
  4. gypsy3001

    gary Guest


    You should connect to the router directly with a cat-5 cable. This
    will let you get to the router setup. That is assuming its' a wireless
    You did not state the equipment(s) type. So to assist you in detail,
    you need to include the hardware specifications.

    By chance have you added anything wireless? Like a wireless phone,
    wireless control unit of some kind for xmas lighting?

    What about a neighbor that could have installed a wireless device on
    the same channel?

    You did not specify which OS you are using. You could search for
    available networks!

    gary, Dec 7, 2005
  5. gypsy3001

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO alt.internet.wireless - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    More likely interference from something else, cordless phone, neighbor, etc.
    John Navas, Dec 8, 2005
  6. I'm with John, the WiFi stopped working in our family room, and after
    hours of troubleshooting my wife's laptop I change the channel and the
    problem went away. I suspect my neighbor has an AP with SSID
    broadcast turned off...
    William P.N. Smith, Dec 8, 2005
  7. gypsy3001

    gypsy3001 Guest

    By chance have you added anything wireless? Like a wireless phone,
    Nope. Just basic el cheapo Christmas lights. No new wireless devices.
    That's possible that a neighbor could have installed an AP. There are
    quite a few APs in my neighborhood, but unfortunately, I didn't keep
    track of them.
    I have both Linux and Windows. But I'm primarily using wireless with
    Windows XP and 98. I have tried NetStumbler and quite a few AP's showed
    up. My G router has the highest signal.

    gypsy3001, Dec 9, 2005
  8. gypsy3001

    gypsy3001 Guest

    More likely interference from something else, cordless phone, neighbor, etc.
    You guys are right to a certain extent.

    I used NetStumbler to find all of the channels that my neighbors are
    using. I finally picked channel 1 for my own network. Now I can get on
    the network from all around my house again. The only problem is that
    the throughput is still not as high as it was before all this problems
    started. Instead of getting 54 Mbps like I use to get, both my wife and
    my notebook gets 48 Mbps. It could drop down to 24 Mbps in other rooms.
    But at least it's bearable and there are virtually no packet drops.

    Last night, we turned on the computers, my wife couldn't get onto the
    network with her notebook. She couldn't even see the SSID. On a hunch,
    I unplugged the Christmas Lights that we lit in our backyard patio. (I
    was a little too lazy to pull the whole Christmas light off to test.
    Plus my wife would be disappointed if I don't put them back.) And whoa,
    her notebook found the SSID immediately and was able to connect at 48
    Mbps. I also tested it with my 802.11b router, and the SSID wouldn't
    show up with the Christmas lights on or off, even when it is only 5
    feet away from the notebooks. (As I said before the 802.11b worked in
    every room before.)

    Even though I can't guarantee it is the Christmas lights. I now
    strongly believe that the Christmas lights are interfering with my
    wireless network whether they are on or off. It's obviously worse when
    they are on.

    gypsy3001, Dec 9, 2005
  9. gypsy3001

    Quaoar Guest

    The speed changes you see were likely always there. Your thorough
    investigation just shows the nature of wireless transmission. These
    speed changes are what happens when the signal goes from Excellent to
    Very Good and surely do not impact your intenet connection speeds.
    Wirless antenna orientation and shielding (especially for laptops) is
    the culprit, IMO.

    Quaoar, Dec 9, 2005
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