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#30616 - 07/19/14 11:11 AM Wifi dropped connections
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I've seen Wifi connections drop occasionally when I try to troubleshoot my parents' Dell laptop and iPad.

I can't troubleshoot the iPad, of course, and after looking at this Netgear page, I'm not sure there's much more I can do about it. I tweaked the router. The connection comes and goes, for reasons unknown to me. This page says something about interference from neighbors, but I find that hard to believe. It's like saying two neighbors can't make a phone call at the same time.

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/23655/~/troubleshooting-intermittent-wireless%2Fdropped-wi-fi-connections
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#30617 - 07/19/14 12:14 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> This page says something about interference from neighbors, but I find that hard to believe.

I'm afraid it's believable - think kinda like party line telephones - and I say that from having experienced dropouts myself.

They've come and gone any number of times over the years, and I've never had a clue what (who?) caused them or been able to overcome them in any manner; I've just suffered silently 'til they cleared themselves up.

Do your parents live in a single or multi-family dwelling? The proximity of possible sources of interference may give you a clue about what's happening.

Edit: Baby monitors are likely suspects.


Edited by artie505 (07/19/14 02:19 PM)
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#30618 - 07/19/14 03:29 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
If you were to download and use a free WiFi scanning tool such as Netspot (the free version) you could see the potential co-channel conflicts with other WiFi hotspots in your area....and then choose a different channel to move your access point onto that is less impacted than your current channel.


EDIT: I've provided the direct link rather than the AppStore route because the AppStore version is broken....


Edited by MacManiac (07/19/14 03:31 PM)
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#30619 - 07/19/14 04:08 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: MacManiac]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
Good, thanks. I can't access the Apple Store.
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iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30620 - 07/19/14 04:12 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I tried to start it and got the following message:

"An error occurred while scanning
AirPort is turned off.
Turn it on and try again."

I don't use Airport.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30625 - 07/20/14 08:32 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: deniro
I tried to start it and got the following message:

"An error occurred while scanning
AirPort is turned off.
Turn it on and try again."

I don't use Airport.

The term "Airport" was used in older versions of OS X in the generic sense of a wireless network or device. I believe it was in Mountain Lion when Apple switched to using the term WiFi.
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#30627 - 07/20/14 09:08 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
Okay, but I never have Airport turned on. So I can't get Netspot to work.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30630 - 07/20/14 10:24 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Turn it on to use Netspot so you can see how many different WiFi access points are competing for bandwidth in the area of concern at your folks place.....once you pull the info on the best channel to use, you can turn Airport back off.
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#30631 - 07/20/14 11:33 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: MacManiac]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Remember that wifi interference does not necessarily come from other wifi devices. It could be from a refrigerator, a television set, an air conditioner, a microwave, in short any improperly shielded/grounded electrical appliance in your neighbor's place, or in your own.

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#30645 - 07/21/14 07:51 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: ganbustein]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
improperly shielded/grounded electrical

Excellent point.
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AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30803 - 08/13/14 03:30 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Might want to ask your cable company which channel they recommend (the one they tell everyone to use) and then use a different one...

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#30806 - 08/14/14 11:58 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: slolerner]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I bought my parents a new desktop Dell running Windows 8.1 and a new Netgear router (N300, WNR2000) for the upstairs Mac. Things are working well. Except for the wireless.

Once in a while I've actually seen the downstairs wireless speed the same as the plugged-in connection upstairs on the Mac. Most of the time, the connection drops, esp. in the morning, esp. a certain time in the morning, but not exclusively. I've spend years addressing this problem. I've read a lot, and tried a lot. Maybe you can comment on the following.

1) Range extenders (sometimes called repeaters, for some reason).

2) Dual-band routers.

3) New ac routers.

4) Netgear's excellent Genie software lets you monitor the network connections. Why does an ipad consume over 50% of the bandwidth even when it is off? The upstairs Epson printer down the hall gets about 88%. The downstairs Dell about 30%.

Would greater (promised) range in a more expensive router necessarily reduce or eliminate the disconnections? I’ve seen the neighbor use his ipad outside. So someone manages to get long-distance connections.

Related links:

How to Buy a Wireless Router

Best Wi-Fi Extender

Best Wi-Fi Router

20 Myths of Wi-Fi interference

OfficeMax Routers


Edited by deniro (08/15/14 10:14 AM)
_________________________
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iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
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Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30809 - 08/14/14 01:33 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
When you say the connection drops, do you mean the wireless connection specifically? For a while, when I was using Clear for broadband, I'd get periodic disconnects from the Internet every evening. I thought my wireless was acting up, but when I plugged directly into the modem via Ethernet, the disconnects kept happening; it turned out it was the actual broadband service, not the wireless, that was flakey!

Assuming it is the wireless, a new wireless router might solve the problem, but different brands (and sometimes different models in the same brand) vary widely. My Netgear wireless router works really well, but when I bought an Asus wireless router, it dropped constantly--and a Google search showed this was a very common complaint for that model.

New AC routers aren't really beneficial if you don't have any computers or devices that can use 802.11ac.

I have a Netgear range extender in the writer's loft, since the router is on the other side of the house and the wireless doesn't reach. It works great!

An iPad might consume a lot of bandwidth for any of a number of reasons: if it's set to sync with a computer over WiFi, if it's downloading a software update, if it's running a program in the background that consumes mass quantities of bandwidth (I'm looking at you here, Facebook).
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#30811 - 08/14/14 02:17 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: tacit]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
The AC band is for smart TVs, I think. One idea is if you have a dual-band router, you can use the 2.4GHz bandwidth for older items and only run things where you need maximum bandwidth on the 5 GHz part.

ps: I love my router.


Edited by slolerner (08/14/14 02:18 PM)
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#30815 - 08/14/14 05:19 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: slolerner]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
Right, the wireless drops, not the DSL.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30816 - 08/14/14 07:27 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I wonder if there is a way that Deniro can disable a lot of the backgrounding stuff on the devises themselves that is using bandwidth. Things such as checking for updates, automatic syncing, updating Apps, downloading movies and things when he is not actively using devises, etc.
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

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#30818 - 08/15/14 07:51 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: slolerner]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
Turns out there's a "button" on the ipad screen that turns off the Wi-Fi. I guess that means if you don't hit it, the wi-fi is always on, consuming bandwidth. Remember this is a computer with no off switch.

I never cared much for the iPad. I'm shocked that it's so popular. I find it a pain in the neck to use. The touch screen doesn't always work, the swiping technique is apparently too much for me. I've never liked touch screens either.

I googled and found a lot of people having trouble keeping their ipads connected to their wireless. What often worked was going into the settings and resetting the network prefs, re-entering the SSID and password.

In the process, I also read something by Apple that said not to use something generic for your SSID, like "Belkin03" because the ipad might not recognize it.

I never read anything like that before.


Edited by deniro (08/15/14 07:52 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30819 - 08/15/14 11:41 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: slolerner]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
The 802.11ac is the new, high-speed, 1Gb/second flavor of WiFi. It's available for any kind of device, not just TVs.

There is a control in the iOS control panel to disable WiFi, but leaving it on all the time doesn't (necessarily) mean an iPad is consuming bandwidth all the time. It consumes bandwidth only if some program is uploading or downloading information. Unfortunately, a lot of iOS developers are pretty sloppy about that, and tend to use lots of bandwidth all the time (Facebook is a big offender here). You'll also use a ton of bandwidth if you have your device set to back up or sync to iCloud, wirelessly sync to computers, or if you have your photos on your iPad set to sync to iCloud.

My iPad uses very little bandwidth when it's idle, but I don't have iCloud sync turned on, and I read Facebook from my phone or computer.
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#30820 - 08/15/14 12:23 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: tacit]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
OK.

I've ruled out getting an extender or an ac router. I'm trying to decide whether to take back my Netgear N300 for the dual-band N600 (there are actually 2 different N600s).
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30825 - 08/16/14 06:24 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: deniro
Remember this is a computer with no off switch.


Actually you can turn the iPad off. Press and hold the button at the top (the end opposite the Home button), then slide the screen switch to power off.

I used the Netgear 600 for a few years and liked it. One advantage it has is the ability to have a 5g network, which is "cleaner" and can be used by the iPad. It also responds real nicely with a Netgear extender.

I stopped using it only because of a switch to AT&T U-verse and their gateway modem.
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On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#30829 - 08/16/14 10:09 AM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: Ira L]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
The N300 can be used with the ipad, I just haven't tried it yet or figured it out.

I'm leaning more and more toward moving the Dell upstairs to different room and ending all the nonsense.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#30848 - 08/18/14 02:09 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: deniro]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I noticed that the router I have has the option to prioritize media. Something like that might help...

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#30992 - 08/27/14 08:36 PM Re: Wifi dropped connections [Re: slolerner]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
My solution to this problem was to move the Dell to a different room closer to the router.
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OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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