I purchased a Netgear DG834G Router a little over two years ago when I switched from dial up to broadband. It is the router that came from the broadband provider and following the initial set up which I was talked through by tech support, I have had little trouble with it - at least until a matter of days after the warranty ran out.

It was set up to work with my desktop pc and my laptop and for no apparent reason the connection suddenly started slowing down to 1.0Mbps before dropping entirely. On occasions it also suddenly became an unsecured connection just before it lost it completely. On other occasions, becoming far more frequent as the problem has continued, I have been unable to connect to the network at all with either computer, both of them getting stuck whilst trying to access the network.

I run the two machines with a WPA-Personal Authentication level and TKIP encryption. I also have access control on. I can't see that there is anything wrong with the settings (although I am far from an expert so could easily be wrong), but if it is a problem with the settings, I would imagine I would not be able to gain a connection at all.

Both the desktop and the laptop are running Windows XP.

The laptop's wireless adapter is an "Intel(R) Pro Wireless 3945ABG Network connection" which was pre-installed with the computer.

The desktop has a Netgear WG111v2 USB adapter to enable it to run wirelessly.

I contacted technical support for both my broadband provider and Netgear. The broadband provider was helpful but could only offer limited advice such as updating drivers and changing channel frequencies etc which with respect to the drivers I had already done and the latter didn't work to fix the connection. Netgear support was less helpful.

After resetting the router back to factory settings three times in as many weeks I decided to try to find help elsewhere.

The router runs perfectly well via the ethernet cable and on some occasions runs okay wirelessly, but the drops in speed and connection are becoming far more frequent and are not limited to any particular time of day. The disconnections happen on both of the computers so I am guessing that it isn't a problem with either of the adapters as I doubt they would both develop faults at the same time.

I have altered the channel from the default of 11 (on the advice of my broadband provider) as there are a number of other networks in my neighbourhood running on the same frequency. One odd thing I did notice after doing this and checking if it was on a different frequency - there appears to be an unknown access point in the network which is still running on channel 11, I don't recognise the MAC address as being one on my list of trusted ones but am not techie enough to know how to find out what the MAC address relates to. I don't know if this could be the cause of the problem.

I hadn't done anything in particular to either of the computers before the problems started. Just working on them as usual.

With regard to security software. The laptop has McAfee Security Centre on it, though it was disabled whilst trying to sort out the problems. The desktop hasn't got any anti-virus/security software on it at all due to a whole other set of problems. Whilst trying to sort out the issues with the wireless connection I disabled the Windows firewall on both machines but the problems persisted.

I hope that someone here might be able to offer some advice on what might be the problem. If you need any more information please ask me and I will do my best to provide.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry it got so long but I was trying to include as much information as possible.

Sorry, I don't have much advice for you...but you might try changing your encryption key in case someone is listening in. That rogue channel "11" can be fixed by just changing your to the other direction, say 3 - try to get it on one of the non-overlapping channels available to you.

You can check the local environment by downloading netstumbler. You're on your own if you use this program...you can mess things up, so tread lightly. It will allow you to see what your network card sees in detail...you'll have to re-start your computer to go back to normal network card profile...i.e., you can't run netstumbler and be on the internet at the same time - put it on the laptop.


Thanks for the advice. I have actually already changed the key (since I am rather paranoid like that). I'll see about changing my channel again though. I am running on 1 at the moment since it was one of those in the area that didn't seem to be being used. Most were on 11, though there were a couple on 6.

I have never heard of Netstumbler but will see if I can track it down. It may be that it is too technical for me though - I have trouble understanding a lot of the terminology and a lot of it goes way over my head. If I do download it, it will definitely be used with caution.

Thanks again.