Losing wireless often

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by tivoboy, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member

    So, upgraded to 1.10, and even without encryption turned on, I lose wireless about 2-3 times per day.

    Router seems fine, but wireless signal goes dead? Anyone having this?
  2. roadkill

    roadkill Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    if the wireless network adapter is IPW 2200BG try to update drivers
  3. nsumner

    nsumner LI Guru Member

    I was having the same issue and was going absolutely crazy. I had the latest drivers for my Intel wireless card and still some number of times a day my computer would loose wireless and the only solution was to reboot the entire computer... I finally changed from using Windoze to configure the wireless connection to letting the Intel software configure the wireless connection (based on some searches on the problem). I didn't think it would make a difference at all but since than I haven't lost my connection even once.

    However as roadkill says, make sure you have the latest Intel drivers for your wireless card.
  4. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member


    Not sure what happened to my response from yesterday, but,

    I have the IBM ATHEROS ABG drivers going, no problems with anything else. Two IBM laptops and one imac, all have the same problem.

    The wireless seems to drop from the router. It does come back, takes a minute or two.
  5. pharma

    pharma Network Guru Member

    Sounds like a wireless driver problem. Have you tried updating your drivers? You might find this thread interesting as the person resolved his disconnect problems by downloading the more recent Atheros Czech drivers.

    Also, do you experience the same disconnects with different router firmware, (Linksys, HyperWRT, DD-WRT)?
  6. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member

    only now

    I only experience these dropouts on this router, with the new firmware 1.10.

    I had been using a netgear for about four years, that was fine. Now, the ibms and the MAC computers, lose the connection every once in a while.
  7. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I went from 1.07 to 1.10 and started experiencing very erratic wireless performance. I don't know if it's related or not (I assume it was), so I just went to 1.11 this morning. We'll see how it goes. I plan on doing a full reset though, to just clear everything out later on.

    Just need to save my settings...
  8. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member


    Can one SAVE settings, upgrade and then upload the same settings? The settings are not dependant on the FW vresion.
  9. roadkill

    roadkill Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    try to play around with Beacon Interval settings
  10. Macskeeball

    Macskeeball LI Guru Member

    Yes, you can. Also, it is "Mac" not "MAC." MAC is a networking term and an acronym that stands for Media Access Control; it is not an abbreviation short for Macintosh. Just FYI.

    As a fellow Mac user, I may be able to help you with Mac-specific issues if they crop up.

    More generally, have you considered interference from cordless phones (2.4GHz) and microwave ovens? What about other wireless networks on the same channel as yours, or a channel close to it?
  11. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    Interesting. Say more...if it's too far between, does it cause drops?
  12. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I'm still experiencing erratic wireless now too. I doubt it's Tomato. I did change channels to see if that helps.

    I'll tell you though - so many people have problems with Windows and WPA wireless dropping out, and you always hear the same thing - update your drivers. I can't imagine that it's in most cases, it seems like a consistent flaw somewhere.
  13. voxabox

    voxabox LI Guru Member

    FWIW, I too used to experience temporary losing of wireless connection (just for the one computer that located near the router)
    By turning on SSID broadcast, the problem is gone
    IMHO, broadcasting the SSID is not a security issue as long as WPA/WPA2 is used with a strong pass phrase
  14. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

  15. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I do broadcast, so right now I'm playing around with different channels to see if that helps. I was on channel 1, and I was the only 1, but I'll play around and see if I can figure something out.

    I've read that article too Toxic, thanks for reposting it though. Always good as a refresher.
  16. dadmin

    dadmin Network Guru Member

    After my upgrade to 1.11 I started having wireless disconnects on two different laptops (one using Intel driver, another with Buffalo). I tried downgrading to 1.10 and it didn't help.

    Finally, I reset to factory defaults (using NVRAM clear option), upgraded back to 1.11, and then re-loaded my last backup config. Now I've been running for two days with no problems!
  17. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I think I may have solved the problem, and as I originally suspected, I think it was Windows causing the problems, and not Tomato or my router. I did some searching and tried the following steps (install MS KB file and mod the registry) on 2 laptops, and I'm seeing a major improvement in wireless performance. Securing an IP is now almost instantaneous and I've experienced no drops since.


    Use at your own risk (this isn't my page), but it seems to have worked on two PCs for me. I also did a search on the reg entry change to learn more about it, and it sure makes sense, as I felt like all my wireless networking issues happened once I went to XP SP2. I will say that I don't see if with wired connections, but that PC is still Windows 2000, so that could be it (not affected).
  18. houman

    houman LI Guru Member


    Couple years ago (3-4) when I bought my Dell XPS, I was getting random drops in MMO type games, and usually a drop in those games is usually a no-no.

    I went through possibly 3-4 routers, and 2-3 different adapters (linksys usb, linksys pci, and dell usb).

    I finally found out that all my problems were with Microsoft Zero Configuration, and found out that it's better to disable it (in services.msc) and use the intended application/driver for the adapter and keep it up to date.

    Couple weeks ago, when I was having problems with dd-wrt, I thought maybe it is because my Dell application for wireless does not have WPA2, so I upgraded the MS with a hotfix that adds WPA2 functionality, and I found out it was a big mistake with drops, etc... and decided to go back to WPA1 and just use the application program for the Dell USB wifi and it has been alright... of course changing from dd-wrt to tomato has also been a blessing.

  19. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member

    oh pleaze!

    oh pleaze!

    As for the phones. I have all 5.8 ghz phones, but the point is more about changes. I have never had this sort of problem, across all platforms. If it was one of the platforms, IBM, DELL, or Mac, then I would suspect the wireless cards, FW or settings, But, for all platforms, something seems to be amiss with the broadcast radio at that point.
  20. Macskeeball

    Macskeeball LI Guru Member

    Yes, I was implying changes in my post. As an outsider I have no way of knowing that you didn't recently get a new cordless phone, or a new microwave, etc., or that a neighbor of yours didn't recently setup a nearby wireless network that is now interfering with yours.

    Assuming they're running the same OS (say, Windows or Linux), Dell and IBM would be the same platform. The OS (Windows/Mac/Linux distro/etc.) is the platform, not the hardware. Macs are generally running the Mac OS and when they are doing that they are a different platform. So, for example, the platforms used at my house are Mac OS X, Debian, Tomato, and whatever the Wii OS is called.

    Yes, which is why I mentioned interference. If you haven't recently gotten some new electronic device that could be interfering- your reply implies that you haven't- then maybe you should see if any new nearby wireless networks have recently appeared. A neighbor could have set up one that is interfering with yours.
  21. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member


    I actually meant about the MAC comment, but we'll let that one slide.

    As for the "platform", of course the OS is one of the platforms, but even running on the same OS, there are various platforms for wireless cards, antennae, firmware on cards, and software for interfacing with them.

    Between a DELL and the IBM laptops, there could be more than 20+ combinations, all running say just XPSP2. Assuming everything is up to date and working fine, with a netgear that has been in place for 3+ years, and the tomato which has been running fine for 3+ months, and nothing changes on the LT's or the Mac HW, FW or SW,

    And net any changes in the domicile, and lacking any "platform" or chassis, engine, oil or gas changes, I gotta look at the broadcast radio and or FW controlling it?
  22. Macskeeball

    Macskeeball LI Guru Member

    You've yet to say whether or not you've checked for the existence of new nearby wireless networks that may be interfering with your own. That would be a possible change.
  23. Dudeman456

    Dudeman456 LI Guru Member

    I have the exact same problem.

    Every so often the Wireless connection will drop, and will not be surveyable. I experience this drop on my Samsung Q1 with an Atheros Wireless Chipset(802.11G), on my Nintendo Wii with a Broadcom Wireless Chipset(802.11B) and on another Windows PC using a RaLink Wireless Chipset(802.11G).

    Settings different than normal for me have been the Transmit Power set to 100 to reach the Ralink PC. I am on channel 1(Alone, unless hidden).

    I will try different Firmware like DD-WRT as well as a full Reset.
  24. tivoboy

    tivoboy LI Guru Member


    I had the same problem, but with .11, it has seemed to stop happening.
  25. lengo lad

    lengo lad LI Guru Member

    I just saw this thread, but it's good to hear you're getting it sorted, tivoboy. I have two t42s--one with ibm a/b/g (Atheros) and the other with Intel 2200 b/g--that work great with tomato (all versions since 1.06 (I think . . . )) and dd-wrt. One thing you might try is assigning static DHCP addresses for your different machines. Might just help them lock in and stay locked. Just a thought?
  26. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I'll tell you guys, I can't believe how much better my wireless stability is since I applied the hotifx from MS, and tweaked the registry per my post above.
  27. Dudeman456

    Dudeman456 LI Guru Member

    I'm back with my results. Whilst I used DD-WRT my wireless connection never dropped, but it started to have the original problem I had with it, Packet Loss. I have now return to Tomato the wireless dropping issue has returned.
  28. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    I had wireless dropping problems when I had reduce packet size enabled. What is your setting for that?
  29. ng12345

    ng12345 LI Guru Member

    Wish I had found this thread earlier,

    i am considering installing the hotfix -- the only issue I have is that my wireless connection is bad ONLY with the Tomato router

    I don't have any issues when I connect to a cisco AP that is hooked into my tomato router.

    The symptoms are the same as everyone elses and i am running tomato 1.11

    it will intermittently disconnect for 30s to 1 min and reconnect on my ibm t42
  30. szfong

    szfong Network Guru Member


    Sometimes wireless issues/connectivity is the result of your router randomly auto-rebooting. Please check the uptime and/or 24hr bandwidth graphs and see if it is so. If it is, it is an indication of router instability.
  31. s0dhi

    s0dhi LI Guru Member

    Please help soon, my wife is driving me nuts.

    Are there any updates on this front?

    I bought my wife a ThinkPad T43 for Christmas and we're experiencing the intermittent WiFi outages on Tomato 1.11.

    I rarely use my T61p wirelessly, but also noted the same problem.

    I was at channel 3 with SSID broadcast, but now am broadcasting and have since move to channel 1. We use 5.8GHz cordless phones and have a fairly new microwave. The wireless survey does not show any of our neighbors on channels other than a print server on ch 11.

    I do not think that this is related to my notebooks, as when using HyperWRT + Thibor there is not a time that I can recall being disconnected repeatedly.

    Please help soon, my wife is driving me nuts.
  32. StevenG

    StevenG LI Guru Member

    I've actually again started noticing some bouncing of my wireless connection. Even with the hotfixes. Still better, but I'm still digging.
  33. sharding

    sharding LI Guru Member

    As another data point, I've been seeing a seemingly similar problem for a while on my WRT54GL. Every so often, the wireless just goes offline. All of the clients lose access at the same time (generally this is 2-3 Macs with a mixture of OS X 10.4 and 10.5 and two TiVos. Every once in a while, a Windows machine). Rebooting the router immediately fixes it. It rarely fixes itself if left alone.

    IMHO, this is exceedingly unlikely to be a Windows issue or a driver issue, at least in my case.
    * It has happened many times when no windows machine has been on the network (or in the house) for weeks. In fact, there are almost never any Windows machines on this network.
    * It has happened independently when only the TiVos are online and also when only one of the Macs was online (I left the TiVos off the network for a couple of days at one point to rule them out as a cause of the problem).
    * It has happened to three Macs independently, all with different hardware and software revisions.

    It's possible, but unlikely, that all of these devices and systems have driver or hardware bugs that are causing the same problem. But when the only common denominator is the router, I'm inclined to think the router is the source of the problem.

    I've been thinking that this is a heat-related issue, even though the router should not be overheating (it's not in a confined or hot space, and it's not overclocked). At one point I turned down the transmit power (well below the default -- it's never been higher than default), and that seemed to decrease the frequency of the problem happening, but it did not eliminate it.

    I've considered doing one of the fan add-on hacks. But frankly, the reason I bought a Linksys instead of something else is that I wanted a simple solution that works reliably without any tinkering. The only reason I even installed Tomato was that I was hoping it would fix this problem when I saw it with the default firmware. If I wanted to screw around with this stuff all the time, I'd probably be running BSD on a Soekris as my router. But when I get home from work, I don't want to spend my time messing with my network. I guess I've failed at that. :-p

    Edited to add: I also don't think this is an RF interference or propagation problem. There are no other networks visible to any of my machines on an overlapping channel (I'm on 1, last time I checked my neighbors were on 8 and 11). But the bigger piece of evidence is that the problem continues indefinitely if I don't touch the router. If I reboot the router, it is fixed immediately every time. The odds of there being some interference that always happens to end exactly when I reboot the router seem infinitesimally small. I suppose there could be something that's coming along and causing the router to go permanently offline, but I haven't seen any strong technical explanations for what that would be. If you have information about something like that, I'd love to hear it.
  34. s0dhi

    s0dhi LI Guru Member

    I seem to have found a working solution. Based on the advice in this thread, I have enabled the SSID broadcast. Combined with removing the MS zero config, this seems to have resolved the intermittent wireless drop outs.
  35. sharding

    sharding LI Guru Member

    Out of curiosity, how long have you been running it with those changes without problems?

    If that really did fix it, my problem must be different, because I've always had SSID broadcast on, and as I mention I almost never have Windows machines around.
  36. voxabox

    voxabox LI Guru Member

    I too used to have just this one machine with wmp54g card that lost intermittently its connection.
    I found that by enabling SSID broadcast (alone) fixed it:biggrin:
    It has been months, and I have not not had a single wireless drop out
  37. s0dhi

    s0dhi LI Guru Member

    It has been rock solid since the 28th with many, many machine reboot cycles factored in to test it. Both of our laptops have also been running many hours daily.

    I forgot to add one other tactic I used. I backed up the configuration of the router and also did a full (thorough) NVram clearing, reapplying the configuration after the wipe.
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