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Hey guys. I need some serious help with a problem that is seriously driving me nuts. If you don't care about my setup, skip down to the problem to see what I want help with.

The Setup
Here are the basics. I live in a two-story townhome apartment. There are three rooms: one large room downstairs with two people in it and two smaller rooms upstairs with one person each. I live in one of the upstairs rooms. I have multiple machines in my room that must be connected together with a switch of some sort since the amount of traffic between my machines is so high that the wireless speeds would unsatisfactory and the wireless network would get bogged down by the traffic.

We currently have a D-Link DI-612 as the focal point of our network. I have three machines in my machines that are connected with wires. The other upstairs room has one machine connected wirelessly with a D-Link DWL-G510. The downstairs room has two machines that run a D-Link DWL-G132 and a Zonet ZEW2501.

The router is currently set to use Channel 1 as almost all of my neighbors with routers use Channel 6 and a couple use Channel 11. We have a total of three cordless phones that operate in the 2.4GHz range.

The Problem
These are the symptoms that I experience:

  • Whenever a cordless phone is used near (within a few feet) the router or the phone rings for more than three seconds, all the wireless connections will drop, the router will go into a kind of locked state for about 15-20 seconds, and the router will reboot itself.
  • Reboots at seemingly random times. The router cannot go a day without rebooting itself. Sometimes there will be a few hours between reboots, at other times, less than a minute.
  • Router drops broadband connection at seemingly random times. I have removed the router, tested the connection, and confirmed that the router is the issue, not the connection. Sometimes the dropped connection will also cause the router to quickly recycle (drop and renegotiate) all the connections (note that the router does not reboot in this instance; rather, it is actually just reforming all the connections).

What I have tried

  • Using every firmware available for extended periods of time.
  • Tweaking all the available settings: turning off the "Super G" mode, changing the preamble, changing the channel, turning off UPnP, turning off Gaming Mode, changing the security, etc.
  • Moving the router to many different locations in the apartment in many different orientations.
  • Using the Windsurfer from FreeAntennas.com.
  • Praying
  • Cursing

What I know

  • The DI-624 router is notorious for it's poor stability and frequent rebooting.
  • The 2.4 GHz phones need to go.
  • Apartment complexes and wireless equipment don't mix very well.
  • When we first moved in, we were all connected with wires. It was a mess. I had all sorts of cables running out of my room, which caused many people to trip. Each time someone would trip on a cable, someone's connection died. Sometimes I would have to just mess with the cable, and sometimes I'd have to put a new jack on it.

    I got the wireless devices to alleviate these problems, which just created a series of new ones.

    Because of the design of the apartment and the fact that it is an aparment and not a house that we own, it is not possible to do a clean wired installation. In other words, there will always be a giant mess of cables if we go back to wired connections. It is for this reason that I don't want to go back to a wired installation.

What I need advice on
Sorry for all that info. I want to provide as much as possible so I get good responses.

  • I know that I need to get rid of the 2.4GHz phones, but I don't know if that will make enough difference. We share a wall with two neighbors, and I'm sure that at least one of them has at least one 2.4GHz phone. Their phones probably help create some of the reboots not caused by our phones.

    Are there routers that can perform well even with all this frequency noise?

  • I'm sold on the idea that my DI-624 router is junk and is the cause of most of my problems. So much so that I am considering never purchasing from D-Link again.

    How many of my problems are caused by my router? In other words, if I purchase a different router with a better track record, will all of my problems go away or just some?

    Am I right in planning on avoiding D-Link? Is Linksys, Buffalo, or Belkin really any better or did I just get a bad model?

  • Can a MIMO-enabled router help resolve any of the issues I'm experiencing?

I appreciate any advice that you can give.

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Discussion Span
Last Post by jbennet
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Wow man, you don't have an easy fix. I don't know what your budget is but I will tell you what I run in my house:
- Cisco PIX 501
- Cisco 2912 switch
- Cisco 340 Aironet AP (yeah the old VxWorks one, I will replace with at least a 350)
- 2 X 900Mhz cordless phones (pretty hard to find new anymore)

It all came off ebay for around $600 except the phones which I have had for years. It has been running for years without any problems, I can recommend the setup to anyone who is willing to put a little effort into configuration.

If this is too much $ swapping out the phones is a good start, replace the router with a Linksys, lock down a channel on the AP and stop broadcasting the SSID incase your neighbors computers are trying to associate, let their phone do the hopping.

Oh yeah, good luck!

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... Is Linksys, Buffalo, or Belkin really any better or did I just get a bad model? ...

FWIW: I've only used Linksys routers for my personal use and my current one is a WRT54G, which I have in the garage. The garage is separated from the house with walls made of reinforced concrete (concrete with lots of metal rods in it, which, one would think, is probably an inhibitor to wireless connections). I recently switched the house phones to 5.8GHz cordless units, except for the garage, in which I still use a 2.4GHz unit (and it gets a lot of use). Even when all the cordless phones where 2.4GHz I didn't have problems with dropped signals (obviously, with the 5.8GHz units its not a problem either). I'm not sure that one datum point will help you, but I'd definitely get another Linksys(Cisco) unit again if I needed to. Good Luck!

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w1r3sp33d,
Turning off the SSID broadcast is a bad idea. If I turn off the SSID broadcast, none of the clients will connect to the router anymore because Microsoft in its infinite wisdom handicapped the WZC. Here's the gist of the problem. If you turn off the SSID broadcast, configure the client to connect the SSID by setting a connection to the SSID, and then try to connect while there aren't any unsecured APs in the area, it will connect just fine. But... throw in an unsecured AP (many of which exist around our apartment), and the client will connect to the unsecured AP rather than the AP that you configured it to connect to. Think I'm kidding? Read this. Pay special attention to the "This behavior is by design" line. They also indicate the reason that they added this "design feature". It's because Microsoft feels that it is a poor security measure, so it should not be used. This made me very mad at Microsoft since it adds a security hole. If you connect to an access point with the SSID broadcast turned off while on a machine running Windows XP and you are away from other APs, someone can hijack your connection by just running an unsecured AP near your machine. This would allow them to inspect your traffic if they set it up that way. It would also give them access to your network neighborhood and any unsecured files that you have. Sounds like a winner design idea by Microsoft.</rant>

As for the setup, yeah... that's just a bit steep for me. I'm really fretting over the idea of spending upwards of $100+ on a router when I just dropped $80 on the one that is giving me the fritz.


aeinstein,
I've heard nothing but rave reviews of the WRT54GS and the WRT54GL (which I understand are basically identical). As a fan of Linux, I love that it runs Linux and can be upgraded and have features added using third-party software.


There are a few routers that I am looking at and wanted to know if you guys had any praises or curses to share about them. I've heard really good things about the Belkin Pre-N router but have no experience with Belkin products, so I don't know what to base the opinions on. I'm mainly leaning towards Linksys (since they were my first router love) and am considering the WRT54GS(L), the WRT54GX2, and the WRT54GX. What do you guys think?

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Turning off the SSID broadcast is a bad idea. If I turn off the SSID broadcast, none of the clients will connect to the router anymore because Microsoft in its infinite wisdom handicapped the WZC

that's not true. I have a wifi network with SSID not broadcasted. all laptops are configured by me before I give them out to employees, and everything works fine.

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Hey guys. I need some serious help with a problem that is seriously driving me nuts. If you don't care about my setup, skip down to the problem to see what I want help with.

FWIW, I have 2.4Ghz phone in my home and a WRT54G. no problems. Also, I do not broadcast SSID and have no experienced the problem you mention. They are on opposite sides of the channel spectrum.

Next solution.. For god sakes man, dump the dlink. ;)

You could also go with 802.11N and step on everyone elses phone calls.

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that dlink does suck. my cousin has it

get a linksys - i have 3 and highly recommend
also the phones shouldnt be that bad, my phoneis next to my wifi router and it works fine

the reason it might randpmly reboot/drop is i have noticeed if you are using DCHP and your lease is gettong renewed

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and you dont need the ssid - what you do is go into control panel -> network connections

then right click and do properties on wifi card
under qireless networks tab click add and type in the key yourself

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