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WRT54G/GL wireless wierdness.

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by ScaryFast, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. ScaryFast

    ScaryFast Network Guru Member

    To date I have purchased 9 Linksys WRT54G/GL routers but yesterday I bought my first D-Link and am beginning to wonder why I bought all those others. I'm not some nutcase who has managed to break 9 routers, I just have a 6 router setup (with a bunch of different antennas) at a campground my mom owns, 1 for myself at home, and then 2 spares that came from the campground because I thought they were bad.

    I bought the D-Link because my roommate is a woman and prone to fits of anger of things such as slow internet (leading to me setting up QoS in Tomato) and disconnects (wireless rather than wired to avoid drilling through the ceiling)

    She's had tons of wifi disconnects in the past 6 months. Sometimes she reconnects right away, sometimes the router doesn't show up in the list until rebooted, etc. I told her it must be her PC or wifi card but she bought a new wifi card, has formatted her pc, upgraded drivers, etc.

    I hooked up a second Linksys (one of the spares) with slightly different wifi settings, channel, etc. and the disconnect problems persisted as well as the network just dissapearing on her until rebooted.

    One day she came down, stood behind me, and said "GOD DAMMIT I HATE YOUR F'ING ROUTER!" so I took the spare, set it up as a wireless ethernet bridge, and nearly threw it at her face. Everything worked fine for a few hours before the disconnects began again.

    The next day we came home from work and not only was the spare router disconnected but the wireless was actually turned off in the gui! I turned the wifi back on, had her reboot the router upstairs, and that spare router still has no reconnected. I have yet to bring it back down here to see if the wifi is turned off on it as well. Our wifi has WPA encryption with a long key composed of letters and numbers. The router also has the Tomato username (root) and a unique pass no one knows but me so there's no way anyone logged in and changed it remotely. I remember this happening at my moms where the wifi was just turned off one day on one of the routers.

    Now that we have a D-Link Wireless N router hooked up to the main Linksys, my roommates wireless has been flawless. She has better signal strength (new router is right beside the old one) and not disconnects.

    And now I think I have a possible solution to the wifi issues at my moms campground. Up until this summer we had 4 routers. The 3rd was a wireless ethernet bridge connected to the second via an omni on one end and a directional on the other. This connection seemed okay but occasionally the router needed a reboot. Setting it to reboot daily at 4am probably helped.

    But this summer we added 2 more routers bringing it to a total of 6 and router #3 (now #4) seemed to go down multiple times each day and would require someone drive down to the building it was in and reboot it.

    In my testing I could go to the far edge of the park using one of the new big antennas and as long as I kept to limited web browsing or email things seemed fine. But if I tried to download service pack 3 from Microsoft as well as run some speed tests, router #4 would go down in quick order. At first I could still log into the router (because it was connected to an AP via cat5) but that would degrade until I could do nothing unless I physically unplugged it for a few seconds. I just now remembered that when this happens I sometimes have to drive up to the office and power cycle the router there as well that the bridge is connected to. So it might be more than just 1 Linksys not acting properly.

    I ended up disconnecting the 6th router reducing the coverage in the campground to about half which means that router would bog down and lock up less often but it's still a problem.

    At first I thought it was a bad router, but I have replaced it with another Linksys and it still does the same thing! I hadn't given up all hope and was planning to put a UPS there to rule out power issues, but now I seriously have my doubts.

    As for why it's only the router in that spot that's having these problems it must have to do with the fact that it's the wireless ethernet bridge that links the main part of the campground with 70 sites to the main office where the DSL connection is. So basically 2 (now 1 since 2 makes it die faster) routers (1 AP + WDS, 1 WDS) connect to that single router which is ONLY the wireless ethernet bridge, which connects to a router at the office that acts as the DHCP server. There's yet another router in front of that connected to the modem that handles QoS I believe, unless the DHCP router does that too, I forget.

    Could this be a problem with some parts in the Linksys routers? Do you think it would be worth while to try tracking down one Buffalo router to try it out instead or are the internal parts mostly the same?

    Or, since I don't really need access to ALL the Tomato options on that router, can anyone recommend another good router I can use for wireless ethernet bridge duty?

    I suppose this is what I get for trying to use cheap consumer routers in a potentially high traffic area :p Doh.

    It's hard to say "sorry mom, I wasted over $1000 total buying cheap routers and big beefy antennas for them when the routers suck for our purpose. Let's spend more on Cisco Aironet! Thank god I didn't take your advice and try to start doing this for other businesses because I'd be up to my eyeballs in angry customers!"
  2. ScaryFast

    ScaryFast Network Guru Member

    Just to be thorough I just disabled the wifi on my main router and have changed the new dlink to use the same channel. So the only difference now is that the SSID is different and it's a dlink rather than a linksys. If her problems come back I can chalk it up to some weird interference on channel 1 even though there are no other routers in the area and all my ancient neighbours probably still uses rotary corded phones they've been renting from the telephone company since the 60's.
  3. CaNsA

    CaNsA Network Guru Member

    Bit of a tale for the pub there ;)

    Regardless of the wifi being disabled are u sure it couldnt have been a problem with you roomates laptop/desktop?

    I have encountered many computers that suffered from frequent disconnect and traced it back to:-
    Wifi management Software from the manufacturer.
    Corrupt WZC
    Crap being installed on the system
    Spyware etc

    The thing that always resolved the Supplied Software issue was using Juniper Networks Odyssey Access Client which is a wifi manager that works with nearly every wifi card/dongle.
  4. ScaryFast

    ScaryFast Network Guru Member

    The fact that she's since formatted and reinstalled windows, updated her drivers, installed all windows updates, and the fact that it just plain works on the new dlink make me think otherwise when I was convinced before that it was her system.

    Also, up until I disabled the wifi on my Linksys, her Wii was having the same issues.

    Or at least every time I checked the DHCP Client Lease time in Tomato the Wii was always between 23:30 and 23:58. I never saw it lasting longer than 30 minutes before it received a new IP from the Linksys and her computer did the same thing. Now that her PC is on the Dlink the DHCP lease time has been the amount of time since I changed the channel to 1 earlier.
  5. slam5

    slam5 LI Guru Member


    May I ask why you are running Tomato? Try it on stock Linksys and see. Maybe Tomato has some settings in there that need some tweaking before it works with her wifi card?? btw, which wireless nic she got?

  6. ScaryFast

    ScaryFast Network Guru Member

    She's tried 2 Dlink wifi cards. I actually came here because I have some news.

    Turns out the new Dlink worked fine for about a day and now is giving her similar problems. If it's not just dropping off for a second or two it's disappearing from the list of wireless networks completely.

    Today she was sitting at home before work when she heard the neighbours phone ring through the wall (we rent half a duplex) and she got disconnected and the dlink dissapeared from her list of wireless networks.

    As soon as the phone stopped ringing her computer connected again. It's still weird though because the neighbours have a dlink router and through all of this their router NEVER dissspears. It used to be on channel 6 but is now on channel 2. My routers have been on channel 1, 3, 9, and 11 and this problem never seems to go away.

    Right now it's on channel 2 along with the neighbours, which I hate to do, but maybe it will magically work :p
  7. CaNsA

    CaNsA Network Guru Member

    Linksys aint so bad after all then ;)

    out of interest, what model dlink did u get?
  8. leveup

    leveup Addicted to LI Member

    Thanks for all your post, I have the same problem and now it has been sorted!
  9. ScaryFast

    ScaryFast Network Guru Member

    Glad to see my stupid fumbling around trying to solve my problems helped someone else :p

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