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Which Firmware for WRT54GS V4 to improve wireless connections

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by JohnWB, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. JohnWB

    JohnWB Network Guru Member

    I have a WRT54GS which works fine most of the time but occasionaly I cannot connect to the wireless connection, even if I sit beside the WRT54GS. Also the range is not very good. I was thinking of upgrading the firmware to either a new Linksys one or one of the special ones that are around. Which would be best bearing in mind that I do not need any fancy settings just a more reliable connetion & maybe a greater output
  2. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    On a v4 you can load just about firmware you please. Best IMO is Tomato. If you want just a little more control than the stock firmware, Thibor15c is very cool.

    However, judging from
    I'd say your problem is related to your wireless network card/adapter or its driver, not the router. The Intel 4965 cards in particular are full of crap in terms of connecting. Look for a driver upgrade for your card.

    First look at the drivers, location of your WRT, interference from neighbors, your wireless phone, a HAM around you, big transformers, microwave ovens, etc., before looking at anything else.

    If range is your problem, and you have looked at the above, look at adding a parabolic reflector (google for that), or other means to focus your signal. If that's not doable, look at better antenna(s). Wireless is a 2-way street: For a wireless "coversation" to take place successfully, a client must transmit and an AP/router receive, AND a client must receive and an AP/router transmit. A better antenna on the AP improves both directions, and a better antenna on the client further improves both directions. Increasing Tx power on the AP only helps with AP/router -> client, and does not really help with the "conversation", as the signal from the client -> AP can still be weak.
  3. JohnWB

    JohnWB Network Guru Member

    Thanks for the reply, the lack of connectivity does not happen all the time and is the same with either my PDA, laptop or my sons iPhone so i tend to think that problem is at the router end. I tried a different channel but that didn't seem to make a difference so any more advice would be welcome.
  4. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    OK, load that Thibor15c or Tomato, then:

    Do a site survey and see what's on around you. Choose a channel that's as far away as possible from other channels: say one neighbor is on chan 6, another on chan 11 and another on 9, you should use like chan 1 or 2.

    You should also now see signal strengths/noise, so that could indicate the presence of wireless phones or other interference. Remember that phones, microwave ovens, etc. would create intermittent interference, so check the noise and signals every now and then.

    What authentication scheme (None, WEP, WPA, WPA2) and what encryption (TKIP,AES) are you using? Choose a SINGLE scheme and encryption that's supported by all your wireless devices and set all devices, including the router, to those - the reasoning being that, if the drivers in your devices are not so hot, they could get confused if they have to choose between say WPA and WPA2, or between AES and TKIP encryption. Best IMO is WPA2/AES, 2nd best WPA/AES. TKIP encryption is slowish, so avoid that if possible.

    That should do for now.
  5. JohnWB

    JohnWB Network Guru Member

    Thanks for the advice, I have loaded Thibor15c & that seems to have sorted things out. I can now connect most of the time. I have also increased the power output to 100% to give me a bit more range, but I was wondering is that would that cause any problems.
  6. JohnWB

    JohnWB Network Guru Member

    UPDATE, I tried to check what the various people in my area were using for thier Wireless & found they were on 11 & 6, with me on 12.
    I tried 1, would not work at all, tries 13 same result, tried 9 OK and finaly settled on 7 which gives the best performance ever. Strange that 1 & 14 would not work but thats computing for you. Regards John
  7. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Channel 14 is reserved for Japan. Elsewhere it's well into the HAM radio band. Channel 13 is already close to being in the HAM radio band. If a HAM is operating even close to channel 13 he/she is probably putting out so much power that your channel 13 is not useable due to noise.

    Channel 1 is frequently used by TV radio links, phones, etc. Those transmission you cannot see on a site survey, as they use the same frequency as 2.4GHz wireless, but don't talk a language your WRT can understand.

    You can also try channels 3, 4 or thereabouts - maybe they will be slightly clearer.

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