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Just really bad luck? Wireless router problem

Discussion in 'Networking' started by jjkowal, Jan 22, 2013.

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  1. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    I'm sorry but this will be a long post - it is driving me crazy.

    Just before Thanksgiving my belkin wireless dual band router just stopped broadcasting on the 2.4 band. The 5 band still worked (my wife's phone could still connect to it no problem).

    My cell is a motorola Razr maxx and only works on the 2.4. I have an app (wifi analyzer) that allows me to see what is happening with my network - specifically when i would try to connect to my network - my network name would be listed but as soon as I hit "connect" it would disappear. Only to come back into the list saying "MYNETWORK saved, secured WPA/WPA2". Every time I would try to connect same thing. Contemporaneously, I would check the network activity using wifi analyzer and could see that roughly each time I tried to connect to my network - it would drop off completely.

    Ok - after scouring the internet - it does seem that a wireless router can stopp broadcasting on the 2.4 and still have the 5 band work. (btw - my pc is hardwired through the router and is not affected).

    So I bought a new Linksys 3500 dual band router. I installed it and it has worked fine....up until yesterday.

    Now I have the same problem. While my wife's phone still works on the 5 band it will not work on the 2.4. In fact nothing will work on the 2.4. Could I have just bought a crappy router?

    I'm not sure what pertinent info to list...
    Cell Stratosphere - works on 5 band not 2.4
    Cell Android razr maxx - will not connect on 2.4 (5 is not an option)
    Kindle - can not connect on 2.4
    Roku - can not connect on 2.4
    Tivo - can not connect on 2.4
    Older Linksys modem works with no problem.
    PC (sefl-built) running Windows 7 64 bit (w/ Norton) is not having any problems with connectivity - as it is hard-wired into the router.

    I've switched the 2.4 broadcast channel from 1 through 11. Nothing.

    I've cycled both the modem and the router about a dozen times - does not fix the issue.

    I have reset the router back to factory settings 3 times - no fix

    I am using WPA/WPA2 - but I have changed the router to run as unprotected - nothing changes.

    I've even out of desperation gone back and tried restoring my system to earlier restore points just to see if anything would happen. zilch.

    So did i just catch some bad luck by buying a faulty router? Or am I missing something? It seems implausible that I could have 2 routers where the 2.4 band died within 2 months?

    Any suggestions? I really don't want to have to buy another router.

    any help would be unbelievably appreciated!

    Joe
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    Wayne
    can we see an xirrus screen shot - that will show the 2.4 and 5 broadcast and levels
    we may also want to try inSSIDer

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Run Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector
    Download and install

    If you cannot access the internet with this PC, then you will need to copy the program across to the faulty PC
    Save the file to a USB flash drive or other removable media. Plug it into the working computer with internet access and copy the file and install the program.
    You will now need to take a screen shot and copy that back to the working PC and attach the screen shot in a reply on the forum here.

    http://www.xirrus.com/Products/Wi-Fi-Inspector.aspx
    Direct link to the program is here http://info.xirrus.com/Wi-FiInspectorConfirmation.html

    {If the above link does not work heres another link http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_download/fid,77196-order,4/download.html}

    Then run and install the program - on a wireless enabled PC/Laptop
    if you get an error - You need will need to have NET Framework installed for the WiFi Inspector to function.
    On windows 8 - (i do not have windows 8) but, it would appear that, When you first try to run, you may get a message that .net framework is needed, and included in that message is a link to download/install.

    Run the program

    A user guide is available here http://www.xirrus.com/cdn/pdf/Xirrus-Wi-Fi-inspectorguide-1-2-1-RevB-6.aspx

    post a screen shot of the program running.
    if there are a lot of networks showing can you click on "networks" top lefthand area - so we can see all the network information.

    post which SSID name is yours, its located in the list, under network "Adapter Name" (1st column)

    To post a screen shot of the active window.
    1) (For windows 8 see below) hold the Alt key and press the PrtScn key. Open the Windows PAINT application (Start> All Programs> Accessories> Paint) and Paste the screen shot. You can then use PAINT to trim to suit, and save it as a JPG format file.
    OR
    2) if you are using Vista/Windows 7 you can use the "snipping tool" which is found in Start> All programs> Accessories> Snipping Tool

    To upload the screen shot to the forum, open the full reply window ("Go Advanced" button) and use the Manage Attachments button to upload it here.
    Full details are available here http://library.techguy.org/wiki/TSG_Posting_a_Screenshot


    Note:
    For a reliable (or robust as the Xirrus user guide says) wireless connection you need a signal of about -70 dBm or better. "A desirable signal level for a robust Wi-Fi connection will be green".
    note: the signal level is a negative number, so for example -88 is worst and -40 is better

    If you are using the Mac OS then use http://www.istumbler.net/

    if you want to optimise base station position and signal strength / dead spots use
    http://www.chimoosoft.com/products/apgrapher/ which has a graph function to monitor signal

    For windows 8 - I dont have windows 8 and not tried - but this should work

    1) MSPaint is only available in classic desktop mode and can not use this program with the new Windows 8 start screen.
    You can find MSPaint by typing “mspaint”, which will search and allow you to install.
    MS "Fresh Paint program" is for Windows 8, download free from the Windows 8 store.

    2)
    >Open Snipping Tool (From the Windows 8 Start Screen, type "snip" and press enter.
    >Press the Esc. key.
    >go back to your Windows 8 start screen - Swipe from left or press Window Button
    >Press Ctrl+PrntScr button to use Snipping Tool
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    I am at work atm. But I will do as you suggested as soon as I get home. thank you
     
  4. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
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    IGoPhish is the 5ghz and IGoPhish is the 2.4.

    As you can see from the screen shot the 2.4 does show up with a good connection. However whenever I try to connect anything to it - it disappears for a few seconds only to reappear. And repeat.
     

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  5. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    I really want to believe that my 6 week old router hasn't died - does anyone else have any ideas?
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    In spite of the crowded Wi-Fi it seems to me you should be getting better results. Channel 9 may be marginally better than channel 10 for the environment shown. Any chance you could test that router somewhere "isolated." You don't need internet access, just someplace to plug in the router plus a PC to take a look at the Xirrus, make sure you have a "clear" channel (I mean one whose channel number differs by any other one by at least 5) and see what happens when you try to connect to it?
     
  7. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    The problem is that I am not getting any results. Every time I try to connect anything to the 2.4 - the 2.4 connection disappears from the list just to reappear. I've also seen this by running wifi analyzer on my android and then watching the 2.4 connection "drop" off completely when i try to connect my Kindle, roku, etc.

    I live in a condo - so my options for isolating the router are pretty much nil.

    Are there any other factors that could presumably "kill" 2 routers? i.e. too many devices connected to the 2.4? Or by necessity both the router and modem are situated about 6 inches apart - could my modem "kill" the router?

    I'm running out of ideas.

    So now I have 2 separate programs (Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector on laptop and WiFi Analyzer on Android) that indicate that my router is broadcasting on 2.4 - and rather strongly - however any time I try to connect a device to the 2.4 - the 2.4 connection drops, disappears and then shows back up. Contemporaneously, the 5Ghz still continues to work fine.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Imprisoned in the condo? Can never leave?

    Certainly could if the "modem" is a modem/wireless router combo.
     
  9. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    @TerryNet

    Sorry - I should have fully written out that I've tried to move the router to a different area - but I live in a small 1 bedroom condo. So there are very few options for trying to move it to see if it will operate normally.

    Understood - but my modem is just a modem not a modem/router combo.

    A question: Can my 2.4Ghz be effectively "dead" yet still "show" that it is broadcasting?

    This is so frustrating because it worked fine for the first 6 weeks - I can't see where anything really changed - and then it just stops working.
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I haven't encountered your exact symptoms before, but router's are very inventive--they find new ways to fail pretty much every day.
     
  11. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    amen to that.

    Try to disable the 5Ghz and only do the 2.4Ghz and see if connects.
     
  12. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    Well I was able to exchange the route for the same model (linksys EA3500). Went home, installed it, and...same problem.

    While the router and monitoring programs show that it is broadcasting on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands - I can only connect to the 5 Ghz.

    So either there was a defective lot of routers sold (I think this would fall in the probability of winning the lottery) or there was some event that is crippling the 2.4 band.

    So the next thing I can think of is getting a very long ethernet cable and trying to set up the router as far way as possible from the pc and modem.
     
  13. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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  14. jjkowal

    jjkowal Thread Starter

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    So after spending several hours speaking with tech support at Cisco - everything is now working. We went through the process of resetting the router to factory defaults several times. At first nothing would work - but finally - for some reason that neither of us could figure out - everything is working fine.

    The tech guy was great but he was/is as puzzled as I was am.
     
  15. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Thanks for letting us know.
     
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