Internet Connection Drops

May 27, 2011 at 00:11:11
Specs: Windows 7 Home, 8GB
I have 6Meg DSL, a motorola DSL Modem, a Linksys WRT54G2, 2 PCs hooked to the router via cable and one wireless.

Starting fresh (every device including computers off, power up modem, then router, then each PC one at a time and allowing them to connect to the network) I run a speed test and the results come back prestine. The amount of time it takes before the issue occurs varys, it could be 5mins or days.

All of a sudden, be it watching a video on youtube/netflix or playing an MMO, the connection just bogs down and the video/game freezes. I run a speed test and the connection comes back at 1/2-1/3 of what it should be. Eventualy my little network icon in the taskbar says no internet/limited connectivity. When I check the modem all lights are green solid and no apparent fault. The router seems normal also. I am then forced to restart the modem and router to get the connection back up. Makes no sense to me. I recently disconnected the router and hooked the modem straight to my computer for a day and it seemed like an improvement.

What may be causing this issue? Is this signs of a failing router? Is there some settings in the router that may be causing this issue? Thank you for your help.

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May 27, 2011 at 07:28:19
Click on my name above in my response and read my "how-to" guide titled, "Troubleshooting Wireless Issues"

Go through the steps and see if that doesn't fix the issue. If it doesn't, you may need to replace the router

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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July 6, 2011 at 00:04:25
Ok I know it has been a couple months but I have been dealing with this issue since then off and on and still question what it is and it boggles my ind still. I replaced the DSL modem which seems to have increased the strength of the internet connection itself while everything is ok. I went through and reset both the router and DSL modem nack to factory default, followed by resetting personal settings.I made sure they both had the most recent firmware. The original issue still exists.

I have run multiple speed tests during ideal conditions and during periods when the issue is present. It seems that only my down speed is being affected by this problem and my up speed never fluctuates.

Can a faulty router actually cause my download speed specificaly to be reduced by 1/4-1/2 the speed, eventualy ceising the internet?

I have connected the DSL modem directly to the computer and it seems that the issue is not present but I have not had a chance to test it for multiple days as there are other family members that use the internet on the network.

Given the evidence, does anyone have any other ideas or would be willing to agree that it is definately the router and I should just give it up and get another one?

I just bought this router barely 2 years ago. What is the highest temperature a router can safely operate in? as this may be a probable cause for early failure.

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July 6, 2011 at 07:46:20
You're putting far too much faith in those speed tests. They're not all that accurate to begin with and are always affected by congestion. The busier the internet is, the slower your test will be. The busier the server you're connected to to run the test, the slower it will be.

Since you've already replaced the modem, it doesn't seem to be the culprit. It's possible the router is causing the issue so if you actually read my guide, you'd know I said if all the troubleshooting doesn't make a difference then it's like your router is the issue.

You ask about temperature, well, heat and electronics are enemies. So any excessive amounts of heat aren't good for any electronics. Sitting in a room at 70 F (20 C) won't do any serious damange. But sitting in a room that's like 90+ F isn't good.

You mention having the router for 2 years. I've seen them come out of the box bad. It happens. Hardware fails........some sooner than others. To test, get a replacement router you know works and try it for a week. If the issue goes away, it was the router. If it doesn't, it's something else.

This sounds a lot like a congestion issue to me. You mention sharing the internet with a family. If while you're online anybody else starts downloading big files or streaming video, or doing anything that is bandwidth intensive, it will slow you down to a halt.

Do you have any siblings/kids that run point-to-point sharing applications? If you do, make them stop and you'll find your bandwidth issues will disappear.

Is your sister/daugher watching videos on YouTube while you're doing your tests? If so, then make her stop and you'll see the issue goes away.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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July 6, 2011 at 15:52:06
I did read your guide. The family that is on the network is my parents and the extent to which they use the internet is checking their bank account and buying plane tickets. As far as congestion, in all my years of using broadband (since it came out) I have only experienced this causing a persistant fluctuation when using Cable internet, yet never to such an extreme degree.

Also, the speed tests may be inaccurate to a degree because of so many factors but it still provides a solid set of statistics during up time and when the issue is happening.

Thank you for the help. I suppose I will need to purchase a new one and hope this resolves the issue.

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