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Is Your Wireless Connection Dropping?

Woman mad at computerIs your wireless connection dropping unexpectedly? For example, while you’re away from the computer, or if the screen saver kicks in, or if you don’t use the Internet for a while?  The most common causes for a wireless connection drop are your wireless router and network card.  We’re going to show you some troubleshooting tips, in order of helpfulness, that should get your wireless connection back up and running.

Set Your Router to a Specific Channel

We’ve been getting this question from Time Warner’s Road Runner customers in particular, so we’ve decided to post it at the top of this article in case it saves anyone time. The symptoms are a wireless connection that literally will drop out quickly for seconds at a time. If your cell phone (iPhone) is on the same network, the battery will drain super quickly because of the phone switching to 3G every time the connection drops.

Here’s a tip that can get your wireless connection from dropping out repeatedly. If you are using a router (particularly a dual band router), you’ll want to go into the wireless settings (usually under “setup”), and specify a channel. Try using a different channel than the default, and make this settings for both of your bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) if you’re using a dual bound router. Definitely do not use the “auto” setting. From our troubleshooting it appears that this is the main culprit. Try setting a higher channel, and if that doesn’t work, try different channels. It’s very possible that there are enough networks in your immediate area on the same channel that they’re conflicting with each other.

If this solution works for you, please comment below!

Check your wireless power settings

If switching the router channel didn’t work, you can try these other tips to help prevent your wireless connection from dropping.

First, see if your computer is managing your wireless card’s power. It may be instructed to shut off your wireless connectivity after a certain amount of idle time goes by. If you have system specific utilities, such as Dell’s Quickset, make sure that the wireless power management isn’t set to shut off the card if your computer is idle for a certain period of time.  Second you’ll want to check the settings on your wireless card via your device manager. In Windows XP:

  • Right-click on “My Computer” and select “Properties”
  • Select “Hardware” and click on “Device Manager”
  • Find your wireless card under “Network adapters” and double-click it.
  • Verify that there aren’t any auto power management settings enabled that might be shutting your card down prematurely.

Power cycle your hardware

Another thing to try is to simply shut down all your hardware – ie. your PC, your modem, your router, your laptop, etc. – anything on the network. Then power them back on in the following order: modem -> router -> PC (wired) -> laptop (wireless) and see if that fixes the issue. If not, proceed to more potential solutions below.

Update your router firmware and wireless card drivers

If all of the above hasn’t prevented your wireless connection from dropping, you’ll want to update the firmware of your wireless router, and you’ll want to update your wireless card drivers.  This should solve the problem most of the time. With any firmware or driver update, please make sure you are retrieving the update directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Stay Clear of Driver Robot!

There’s quite a bit of marketing being done by the company Blitware around software such as Driver Robot which is supposed to help you find and update drivers that match your hardware configuration. It has been brought to our attention that the software, while not a virus, may install so-called adware, that may slow down and prevent your computer from functioning correctly.

A rule of thumb with drivers is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Driver updates should only be installed if you are currently experiencing issues and told by the manufacturer that updating your driver will help resolve the problem. Finally, make sure that you are only downloading drivers from the manufacturer’s website, and not from a third-party.

If your PC is already infected by adware, you can download Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware for free to remove it.

Adjust your wireless router settings

  • Lower the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) from 1500 to 1492 or less (usually found on your router’s main/ basic setup page)
  • Adjust the following advanced wireless settings:
    • Lower the beacon interval from 100 to 50
    • Lower the fragmentation threshold from 2346 to 2306
    • Lower the RTS threshold from 2347 to 2304

That should solve your wireless connectivity problems and should prevent your wireless connection from dropping.

wireless connection dropping every couple of seconds

Does your wireless connection connect, then disconnect, then connect again, only to disconnect two seconds later, and so on and so forth? It could be that your PC is trying to find an IP address and the DHCP server (which hands out IP addresses) isn’t cooperating or isn’t finding one. If you’re using Windows, open a command prompt by browsing to Start -> Run -> and type in “cmd.exe”

In the command prompt window, type the following: ”ipconfig.exe /release” followed by “ipconfig.exe /renew” You’ll get a status message that may help you pinpoint the issue.

Wireless connection drops in WPA mode

If you can get your wireless adapter to connect without security encryption set (ie. WEP or WPA), but it drops every couple of seconds when you use WPA mode, try updating the network card driver’s firmware.

We had a similar experience on a Dell Inspiron laptop. The included Intel Pro 2200BG network card worked for a couple of years, but then every time we’d take it to a public Internet location, connect via WiFi, then bring it back home to connect to our WPA network, the connection drop issues would resume.

If that doesn’t do the trick, you will need to reset your router.

Resetting your wireless router to factory default settings

Resetting your router can usually be done by inserting a pin (like the end of a paper clip, not a knife or mechanical pencil) in a little hole at the back of the router, and holding it down for 10 seconds or so. You should see all the lights on the front of the router flash, signaling that the router has been reset to factory default settings. After this, power cycle all your equipment.

You’ll then need to reconfigure your router’s security settings. I recommend using WPA2/TKIP+AES this time around, and setting a new password. If you were cloning your MAC address this setting should be disabled, which means you’ll be assigned a new IP address.

Restart your laptop, select the wireless network in range you want to connect to, select “advanced settings” at right, and in the list of networks, edit the properties of your network. In the properties dialog, you’ll want to specify the new security protocol (in Windows XP, you’ll only have WPA/TKIP available – this will work for WPA2), enter your new password, and save your settings. We also recommend clicking the advanced button and opting to not have Windows automatically connect to the network.

Hopefully your connection will now connect and remain stable. If it does not, post below or in our forum for help.

IP address already allocated message

If, when running ipconfig, as described above, you get an IP address already allocated message, it means the DHCP server is unable to assign you a new IP address. You can try logging in to your router (usually by going to http://192.168.1.1) and enabling the DHCP server (if it isn’t already), and then increasing the Maximum Number of DHCP Users.

If you’re going to set up a static IP address as described below, you’ll also want to define two static DNS addresses. Check your router’s DNS addresses for ones to use (on our Linksys WRT54G router they can be found by going to Status -> Router).

Assign a static IP address to your Computer

If none of the above work, and your computer is currently set to retrieve its IP address automatically, you may want to try to give it a static IP address instead. To do so, simply:

  • Browse to Control Panel -> Network Connections
  • Right-click your wireless connection and select “Properties”
  • Select the TCP/IP protocol, and edit its properties.
    • Set your static IP address as follows:
      • IP: An IP address within the range assigned by your router (usually defaults to between 192.168.1.100 and 192.168.1.149) that is not taken by another device. To see which device IP’s are in use, check the DHCP clients table in your router (on our Linksys WRT54G router the client table can be found by browsing to Status -> Local Network))
      • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
      • Gateway: 192.168.1.1
      • DNS: Assign DNS records corresponding with the ones specified in your router’s static DNS settings (described above)

Save your settings and restart your PC and see if your connection works. If not, and you’re running Windows XP, you might want to try this Winsock fix tool as a last resort. Just make sure you backup your registry first in case anything goes awry.

Disable third-party networking utilities

If you’re still stuck, it’s possible that third-party software is interfering with your network settings. Try disabling any third-party networking software you may have installed, power cycle through your system, and see if that gets the wireless connection back up and running.

If not, you can try to manually reset Winsock and TCP/IP. Just make sure you create a system restore point and backup your registry before trying either of the below methods.

If your Windows Sockets (Winsock) registry subkeys are corrupted, you can recreate them by running the following in a command prompt window (Start -> Run -> type “cmd.exe”):

netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

If that doesn’t work, you can try completely reinstalling the keys as follows:

  • Uninstall the TCP/IP protocol
  • If prompted, do not restart the computer now.
  • Delete the following registry keys:
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock2
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock
  • This time, restart the computer.
  • Reinstall the TCP/IP protocol.

Trying to renew IP address error

If you start getting the trying to renew IP address error, your connection is probably struggling to find an IP address as described above. Try the above solutions, if they don’t work, and your connection works despite this message, simply ignore it. To have Windows diagnose the issue, run the Windows network diagnostic tool as described below.

Windows network diagnostic tool

The Windows network diagnostic tool will analyze various components of your network connection and point out problems it finds. If it’s not installed by default, you can download the tool (Windows XP), and then run it as follows:

  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer, click Diagnose Connection Problems on the Tools menu.
  • Browse to Start -> Run -> and type %windir%\network diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe, and then click OK.

Network diagnostics freezes at 99% when formatting results

As with any system changes, make sure to create a Windows restore point and/or backup your registry prior to making any changes.

If the Windows network diagnostic tool almost completes, but freezes at 99% as it’s “formatting results,” you can try downloading an updated version using the link above, or do the following:

  • Start > Run -> type regsvr32 jscript.dll, and click OK
  • Start > Run -> type regsvr32 regsvr32 wshom.ocx, and click OK
  • Start > Run -> type regsvr32 scrrun.dlll, and click OK

About Alex Schenker

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
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  • angiefuz

    worked for me!

  • http://www.asecurelife.com/ Kimberly Kurimski

    Thanks for posting about how you solved your problem Josh! I’m sure it will help others as well.

  • hashem

    This web site seems to be promising. I have bought tpl link TL-WR941ND and wanted to set it as access point. I read a couple of instruction on the internet and it says that I should turn off the dchp and set a static ip. Now I don’t know the reason for that. Besides I couldn’t change my ip address. Any way I left it alone with the dchp on. Now when I connect all computers in the computer lab some of them seems to have connection drop after a while and then reconnects again. I wondered what the problem could be? I appreciate if you could help me. My primary router is both a modem and router.

  • Marc

    I have a netgear wndr3800 flashed to gargoyle. My problem is every 3-4 days my 2.4ghz drops but my 5ghz is active and running. Also, my wired connections are good. Whenever my 2.4 drops I have to reboot my router in order to get the 2.4 back. I’m wondering if it’s the 2.4 channel being set at channel 11 and interfering with other routers around my area. I have my dhcp lease set to 24hrs. I’ve also tried to set the channel at 6 but it seemed to get worst. What other channel could I try? Please help

  • Andrew

    Hi, I’m not sure if you covered this problem which I have.

    With DHCP automatically assigned, my router gives out really odd addresses. Not all the time, but every now and then. For example, my iOS device today has the address 169.254.178.98

    These sorts of addresses come up every now and then and make sure that I won’t be able to connect.

    What causes this, and how do I prevent it? Thanks

  • Dave Andrewws

    This feature is no longer on Chrome.

  • Guest

    I almost hate to admit this, but we have so many wireless gadgets in our home that we need several components to keep everything running smoothly. We even have our own server for backing up data, which also happens to be wireless. While the functionality of wireless gadgets is wonderful, it can also become problematic from time to time, especially when a new gadget is added to the network.

    We’ve found that the best way to prevent your wireless connection from dropping, due to the introduction of a new wireless device, is to manually setup the wireless connection on the new gadget. This will help prevent the gadget from stealing the IP address of other devices. While it can certainly take more time, it’s much easier than trying to find out which address has been stolen or wondering why your device that worked yesterday isn’t working today.

    Hopefully has technology gets better, it will be easier for wireless devices to connect flawlessly, no matter how many devices you might have. Because, the way things are going, everything will need a wireless connection; even our toilets will need to send messages to our doctors wirelessly. Don’t believe it? Just wait and see.

  • Guest

    I do love the convenience of a wireless connection. The problem is that we are all a little spoiled. The better the technology that comes out, the more reliant we become on it, or at least I know I do. For instance, my first computer had a monitor that I could have used for bench pressing and easily developed some pretty tone arms. It had a floppy drive and I believe the most current thing on it was the smaller version of the floppy drive. It was not the first computer I used, but it was the first one I owned. I had dial up and an AOL account. I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

    Now, I have a laptop that I can toss in my backpack and take anywhere. Everything in my house it hooked up to the wireless router, including my television, which has its own aps pre-installed. We certainly have come a long way!

    The only thing is that once we get used to these things, we can’t remember how to live without them. I mean, when my old wireless router was having problems and I actually had to connect using a cord you would have thought someone stole an appendage. Anyhow, thanks for the great article that served as a reminder to me of how to do some basic troubleshooting!

  • guest

    When I bought my first router, I went as cheap as possible. To me it was just a standard piece of equipment. I was new to this kind of thing, so I really had no idea what I was getting into. At this moment, I still could not tell you which router is the best type to get or the details of range. That is because I do not study these things out of interest. I study them when I need to buy them. My current router ( a Linksy’s router by the way) rocks so I do not worry about the info needed to upgrade at this point. But that was not always the case.

    I bought routers the way a non-artist buys paper. Quality did not seem to be something to worry about. After year or so of dropped connections, lots of cussing, and my broadband starting to seem more like dial up, I finally did my research and invested in a decent router. It was well worth it. While I am still not the router guru, I know that my first couple of routers never would have handled all that mine does now. I think of it the same way as I do when I add something to my vehicle. If the motor is struggling now, an additional workload is not going to make things any better.

  • Guest

    This is a great article. Even the comments offer some very real advice and potential reasons for losing your Internet connection. There is just one more I wanted to add that may seem a bit extreme.

    I live in the midwest area of the United States. Lately, Mother Nature has taken to doing some interesting things around here and they have had an impact I never expected to see though it is based on an idea that I have always considered.

    If you were never losing your wireless connection before you experienced some really crazy weather in your area, and now you are losing your wireless connection, it may have to do with the static electricity generated by the weather. I know that my own devices have all been impacted by this. Even my electronic panel on my stove has not worked since the first storm we had. A few of my friends have vehicles that will not even start anymore or even try to start since the storm.

    I know there are some lengthy scientific terms to describe what is going on, but I don’t know those terms. I just know that electronic devices have been severely impacted by the weather and that is a cause for losing my wireless connection at my house.

  • guest

    I’m happy that this isn’t something I deal with on a regular basis. In fact, I don’t think the wireless connection has ever dropped on the computer I currently own. However, I do have a small home, but our router can actually be detected several yards from our home, which is nice should we ever decide to move into a bigger home.

    Now, my video game consoles are another story. I have had so many problems with getting all my consoles to work in harmony. Throw in several more gadgets that access our wireless network and it’s enough to make you scream. What I hate the most though are those gadgets that immediately seek out the network and then steal the IP address of another device. Then when you go to use the other device, you have to do everything all over again.

    I do love these suggestions though. I think anyone who has been frustrated with their connection dropping should be able to find the source of the problem by using this article. It just takes a bit of patience and trial and error until you get it right.

  • guest

    This is something I had a major issue with when we had a surround sound system that had a wireless speaker. Any time we had the system on, it would completely knock out the wireless on my laptop. I have also had my router mess up and have needed to restart it, but it was a quick fix. This resource covers so many possible problems. I think one of the biggest problems people encounter in today’s world is the mass of devices that are fighting for wireless connections. Each time you add a wireless device, it can be nightmare to make sure the new device doesn’t try to steal the IP address of another device.

    Setting up my first Kindle proved to be a nightmare just because the device was being stubborn. In most cases, you just have to keep tinkering with your connection until you discover the problem. This would be a great resource for people to print out so that they can run through the steps and troubleshoot the problem on their own without having to call in an expensive professional. The key is to print it out though, because if your wireless connection isn’t working, you may not have another computer to access the information on.

  • Guest

    I know that some people have a problem understanding how wireless work and because of this, they often end up putting the router in an area that is pleasing to the eye rather than in an area where the router can serve the household best. They might also rely on shoddy materials rather than the materials that perform the best. Because of this, it is common to lose the signal.

    First off, don’t buy the cheapest router your can find. Make sure the router has the range that you need for your home. Then place it in an area where it can serve your home best, away from other wireless devices that might interfere with the router. Make sure your cords are securely connected to the router and other devices and that your children and pets do not have access to these cords. (A dog destroyed my network while having a snack made up of wires.)

    Allow all the devices you need on your network and black access from outside devices. Whether you like your neighbors or not, if you only allow three devices on your network and they are one of the three on, you may not be able to access your own network.

  • Guest

    Thank you very much for a very thorough article. There is just one thing you did not point out and that is that a decent router makes all the difference. I know because I am one of those people who does not like to spend money. I have tried the cheap routers and without fail, something always goes wrong with them. Since I probably spend 80% of my waking hours on the Internet, it did not take me long to figure out where I was going wrong. You can’t buy a cheap router and think that you are going to be able to stay connected out in the backyard or something.

    When you buy a router, take a good look at your house and try to figure out where you want to be using your laptop. If you have been sitting at the kitchen table but really want to be sitting at the picnic table outside, then buy a router that allows you to do that. It is not just going to allow for you to have a signal where you want it, but it is probably going to last quite a bit longer than you are used to a router lasting. It is a case of spending more money upfront so you can spend less money down the road. Then if you still have issues, try all the helpful info given in this article.

  • guest

    In my house, when I have lost my wireless connection it has come down to a couple of really simple things. I used to panic when I would lose my connection because it usually happens when I am in the middle of doing something important, like a huge assignment that I already spent hours on. Today, I just try to go with the common problems and when all else fails, I find myself coming to a site like this that gives me the step by step details. Thanks very much for that!

    We just had some huge storms go through here and I had a moment of panic because over the weekend I lost my connection several times, even after the storms had passed. However, I have found that nine time out of ten, if I just shut everything down and start it back up again, things seem to set themselves right. However, there is one issue that many people might not know about if they are new to laptops.

    When you do updates for your router, you may have to plug your laptop into the router with the Ethernet cord. I have no idea why, but this seems to be the only way it will update properly. If you don’t do this, you could lose your wireless connection on a regular basis. Again, it’s something simple.

  • Guest

    I know it sound stupid, but you really have to start with the basics. I have actually seen people spend hours trying to figure out a tech problem they thought was never going to get fixed, only to find out that one of their cords had been unplugged by a curious cat or something similar. So my suggestions is; start simple.

    If everything is plugged in as it should be and all the right lights are flashing, try resetting everything. Shut your computer down, as well as your router. Let it stay shutdown for about a minute or so. Then restart everything. In fact do this with all your wireless devices to see if you are getting interference from one of them. When you turn things back on, just turn on your router and laptop. If you have a device like a television that stores power, you may even want to unplug it.

    With only your router and computer on, try to get online and stay online. Then, one by one, turn your other devices back on and connect them. If one of them comes on and you lose your connection, you may have found the problem. It may something as simple as having too many devices on. I know I had to reset my router to allow more devices when I bought a smart TV.

  • guest

    I have a few friends who constantly have problems with their wireless connection. I can’t even take my laptop over there and get on their network because it is just too frustrating to deal with. I also don’t want to waste my time troubleshooting it for them. I am not an IT person and with my luck, I might end up making the issue worse. But, the one thing I always tell them is that you need to have a decent router. There just isn’t any way around it. I understand that people want to save money, but sometimes you get what you pay for. If you’re going to buy the cheapest router you can find, you’re going to get the cheapest service from it. There isn’t any way around it.

    The other thing is that sometimes you just need to reset your router. You can do this with the reset button, but I find that in the end, I always have to actually unplug it and let is sit for a minute. I know you probably only have to let it sit for 30 seconds, but I like to be sure.

    Buy a wireless router. Make sure you aren’t sitting right on top of your cordless phone or something. Use the tips in the article. They work.

  • Guest

    I am a penny pincher. I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to. I don’t hoard it. I just don’t want to pay for more than what I need. That included things like a decent router up until a couple of years ago when I bought a whole new system. Before I ever bought one I had the router that the phone company gives you. It sucked. And I had to pay more for that generic router than a new one because I got charged for it every month.

    When I finally broke down and bought decent router I was amazed at how well it worked. I never lost my signal. I could walk away for as long as I wanted to and not worry about losing work or anything to the Internet connection. Most importantly, I didn’t have to immediately save everything to Word as I was working on it. I could work right in templates and not worry that something was going to happen to my connection and lose all my work in the process.

    I really thought all routers were the same up until this point. When I realized how simple the fix was, I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

    You already have some great trouble shooting information here. I just wanted to add how important it is to have a decent router if you happen to need to be online a lot.

  • Guest

    As someone who works online, losing my wireless connection is something that can ruin my whole day, especially if it happens more than once during the day. If I am in the middle of a job and I lose all my work just because my connection fails, it isn’t just lot time for me, but lost money as well. I support my family by working online so this is just unacceptable.

    I very rarely have any problems with my router or anything like that, but I did have a horrible experience with a satellite Internet provider. I only used them for about a year and that was only because there was no other option where I was at. I don’t care how nice it was out, at some point I would lose my connection. And when I would call them to complain, they would just say there must be a storm or strong winds somewhere and they were interfering with the connection. I never once got reimbursed for the loss of service and I found that the customer service providers didn’t really care and were actually quite rude. Their favorite response seemed to be that I should expect something like that since the weather can have such a large impact and how the service worked.

  • Guest

    When I came to this article I actually thought that it was going to be about signals on cell phones. I have no idea why. But, there is some great information on here so it was worth the time. While this information takes you step by step through technical processes, there are also some really simple things you can do to improve your wireless connection.

    If you have a cordless phone or other electronic or wireless devices, they could be interfering with your signal. I found this out through experience. My cordless phone was plugged in near my router for obvious reasons. What I didn’t know was that it was interfering with the wireless signal for my network.

    Something else you might want to think about is how you have your router set up. At one point, I had mine set up so that only three devices could be online at a time. Since there are only two of us that live in this house, this seemed reasonable, unless I want to listen to Pandora on the TV while I work online and my son wants to use XBox live while getting tips from his laptop.

  • Anonymous

    Very helpful. It worked instantly :P

  • Debbie

    I have been all over the web trying to solve my issues and stumbled on to your site today. You have, by far, the clearest and most concise steps to solve this issue of anyone. I have tried several of your suggestions and hope that my problem has disappeared.

    Thank you so much.

    • We Rock Your Web

      Hi Debbie,

      We’re so glad you found our article useful. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We hope your wireless issues stay resolved :)

      • Debbie

        Unfortunately, the problems persist but at least we tried. They do seem to be a little better with a channel change but I have to disconnect and reconnect to my wireless network a couple of times daily.

        Thank you so much,

        Debbie

        • We Rock Your Web

          Hi Deb,

          I’m sorry you’re still having troubles. Who is your internet provider (ISP)? And if you can provide us additional details such as connection type (broadband, DSL, etc.), router type, how you are connecting to the router (laptop, PC), operating system (Windows 7), etc. we’ll do our best to help you. Also, your ISP (ie. Time Warner) should be able to provide free tech support to help resolve this (ie. they should come out to your house and help you get it working at no charge).

          • Debbie

            My internet provider is Verizon and I have a broadband connection. I just bought a Linksys E-1500 router (thinking that my old router may be my problem). I am on a laptop running Windows 7. I am not having the problem nearly as often as I was and am not sure which of the solutions I have tried can be credited for that. Any insight would be helpful and appreciated.

            Thanks so much,

            Debbie

            • We Rock Your Web

              Hi Debbie,

              Since you changed out your router and tried all of our fixes the only thing I can think of is that it’s potentially an issue with Verizon. I would call them and see if they can help you troubleshoot.

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea what those numbers mean but they sure fixed my problem. Thank you Wifi Man!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the time to make this page, I’ve had problems with my connection dropping out every few seconds on a lot of routers, and it was all down to WPA! Sorted it now, thanks again, you’re a saint!

  • a web rocker

    My problem was the Power Cycle, very annoying.

    Thank you very much!

    • a web rocker

      My problem is slightly different. I have a wired PC, couple of laptops, one smart phone (Nokia Lumia 900) all connecting to the router (not all at the same time) without any issue. But our other smartphone Samsung Infuse (AT&T) drops the wifi connection randomly. The only way to get the connection back is to go into settings, disconnect the wifi, and then reconnect wifi. Even though I haven’t confirmed this for sure, I believe it happens mostly when we use the TV Guide app (and, I think , Weather channel app) . Don’t have problems with these APPs on 3G or 4G, only on wifi. Once we go into TV Guide app, usually it works, then after few minutes we go into the APP, and it is just stuck on the initial screen. We went to AT&T shop and they reloaded the entire OS with the latest available for that phone, but the problem still persists.

      Any ideas?

      • We Rock Your Web

        Hi there,

        The app problem is very strange – a specific app on your smartphone shouldn’t be causing the wifi connection to drop. My guess is it has more to do with your Internet setup. One possible issue would be if your wifi setup only allows a certain number of connections. If you disconnect some devices from wifi, does the problem persist? Have you tried power cycling your cable modem and router?

        Try connecting to a friend or coffee shop wifi and see if the problem persists. If it does, it’s a problem with the phone. If not, it’s a problem with your home Internet setup.

  • Anonymous

    You sir are some sort of saint.

  • Anonymous

    This article assumes we know how to do everything.

    “Lower the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit” is jargon to most non-technical people and this guide is not helpful in that regard.

    • We Rock Your Web

      That’s the same wording your router setting page uses. Notice that we point out where to find the setting. All that’s left for you to do is find the box labeled “MTU” and change the value. If that’s too difficult you probably shouldn’t be attempting this without the help of a hired IT professional.

      • BoboBianchi

        Some routers do not have such parameters at all (to be more pecise – these parameters are hidden and their setting is based on other choices).

  • Lisa

    My Dell was set to power off the card to save power (not anymore! Thanks for the quick fix!

    • Kimberly

      Glad we could help Lisa! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Kimberly

  • Emilee

    I was losing wireless signal every 30 seconds or so even in the middle of searching for a solution and when I found this forum, I changed the channel and immediately my signal stayed on the entire time. I found the System password on the other side of the adapter that the yellow sticker is on (printed directly onto the box but it was labeled Device Access Code and not system password as it asks for. But i also noticed that when I turned off the computer the light on my wireless adapter turned off so I also checked the wireless power settings for computer as well. For Windows 7 I just clicked on the start menu icon (lower left corner) and typed Device Manager then expanded Network Adapters > double clicked on my network and found that Allow this computer to turn off this device to save power box was checked so I unchecked that box as well. I have had a solid signal this whole time. I am ever so grateful that there is a solution!!!

    • Kimberly

      Hey Emilee, thanks for reading and posting what you did to fix your problem. Every bit of information we can give to our reader helps them out even more! Thanks again!

      -Kimberly

  • a web rocker

    Hi I have a DWA-125 Wireless 150 USB Adapter and a Belkin router. I am losing my wireless connection on my desktop regularly. I share my network with a MAC iOS machine. It might sound odd, but is somehow my losing of a network connection is related to the the MAC. Because every time my friend turns on his MAC and starts using the wireless, my system loses the network connection.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing the solution, I was searching it for almost an hour and finally got here my problem seems to be fixed now.

    Myself

  • Anonymous

    You are Simply Great. Thanks!

  • Dave

    Yesterday at work, my Dell Studio laptop kept losing its .wireless connection. Our IT guy tried to troubleshoot it, and although it came back on briefly after a cycle, it went back out again shortly thereafter. That had us thinking it was a router error.

    But the same thing happened at home, so now I’m thinking something is set wrong in the laptop. Suggestions?

  • Jasper

    Setting my router to a specific channel might have fixed it for me. Thanks for that. Never stop helping people, please.

  • Anonymous

    In my house I have one laptop, a desktop with a wireless adapter, a tablet device, and my smart phone that all connect to my wireless router on a daily basis. Before I read this article, I would have major problems with all of these devices dropping the connection on a fairly regular but not consistent basis. It was one of the most frustrating problems I can imagine. Nothing bugs me more than browsing the internet and clicking on a link only to discover that my connection had been dropped and I would have to go through all kinds of gesticulations in order to get it reconnected again. Plus, I was never really sure if what I was doing was getting me connected again any faster or if it would just come back on its own.

    What I did was manually change the channel that the wireless router broadcasts on and changed all my devices to pick up that channel specifically. Since I made that adjustment thanks to your article, I have not had a dropped connection since. I love it when things work the way they are supposed to!

    • Sajan

      I have the same problem and I’m interested to know how you managed to get your “devices” to pick up the specific channel. I have set my router to a specific channel, but not sure how to configure the devices (for example: configure my laptop or iPhone).

  • Anonymous

    I have a Dell Inspiron 640m. The WLAN internet connection adapter worked without problems during the first couple of years. The last year I encountered regular drop outs. Initially I used the repair facility in the Wireless Adapter application. But after some time, even this did not work anymore. I had to reboot to get connection again. I tried many of the suggestions posted on the Internet (update driver, power settings, etc.) without success. My ‘solution’ is the use of a USB WLAN adapter (leaving the internal adapter for what it is). I use a D-Link DWA-140 for Euro 30,- Until now I have no connection problems anymore. Maybe this may help other people as well.

    Klaas van den Berg

    the Netherlands

  • a web rocker

    My PC disconnects from the internet first, then the home wifi seconds later within 20 minutes to an hour after being connected. It then shows that no connections are available at all when normally 10 are available. It then freezes the connection entirely and the only way to reconnect is to reboot the computer. All of the other devices in the house are not having any problems. Only this one PC. My OS is Windows7 and I have tried everything suggested in this forum with no luck. I should also add the the internal modem doesn’t work so I use a USB wireless adaptor. Please help!

  • Anonymous

    A while back, I was having similar problems with my wireless connection dropping every time my laptop would go into its screen saver or into hibernation mode. I was able to help that problem by making a series of changes to my settings and ultimately purchasing a new router all together. However, I still have some pretty serious issues with my Android Smart Phone not staying connected when I try to connect to my WiFi in my house.

    It seems like connecting initially is no problem, but for no reason at all it seems, that connection will drop in the middle of browsing the internet and ultimately the phone will try to revert to using its 4G connection to pull in data. This is not always a huge problem, but occasionally it will not pick up the 4G connection either and I have to close the browser or even reboot the entire phone.

    If you have any advice on why this may be happening and how I can prevent it going forward, I would really appreciate it. I like the speed my WiFi connection offers.

  • Susan

    Thank you for the help… my problem was that the internet connection was shut off to save power. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I am really happy I came across this article because on my home wireless network, I was constantly getting disconnected unknowingly almost every time I would walk away from the computer. Most of the time, I would not have to restart the computer or even the network adapter, but simply restart my web browser. This was not a huge problem, but definitely annoying if I would be in the middle of a project and get taken away for some reason, just long enough for my screen saver to kick in.

    However, now I have read this article and I think I know a few things that I want to try now. The part about the network card on the wireless router and on my computer seemed to make good sense and I think I will start there. Otherwise I think what I will do is start searching some message boards pertaining directly to my router and my computer specifically. I have found good results through those sources in the past and I am confident I can get this fixed here shortly.

  • Anonymous

    I found this article to be pretty informative about solving some common internet connectivity problems. It is no doubt one of the most frustrating problems you can have using the web and if you are not careful, it can chew up hours and hours of productive time trying to fix it. Home wireless networks are very much the norm these days for both peoples’ residences as well as most businesses now. It is rare to walk into any store or commercial building that you cannot find some kind of network, password protected or otherwise.

    It is just so much easier than running wires and you really do not have to sacrifice any speed or convenience whatsoever. For most any application, it makes a lot of sense and thanks to the efforts of software and hardware manufacturers, it is getting easier and easier to do home networking setup for the average user.

    Well, I believe that this technology will continue to be the norm for at least the next several years but ultimately, I believe it will eventually fall by the wayside just as dial-up internet and Netscape did. The world is moving to a completely wireless network, both in demand and in the technology required to do it. You will be able to connect your computer or other wireless device to the global network that just exists in the air, like radio does, rather than pipeline in an internet connection via wire and then dispersing it with a wireless router.

    The demand is coming from current users who are growing to expect their devices to work in more and more places. Verizon wireless spends oodles of marketing dollars touting their network as the largest and most comprehensive in the United States, and with good reason.

    As a Verizon subscriber I can attest that my device works better and in more places than anyone else I know that carries another service provider. I have grown to expect that my smart phone will work both to make calls and to connect to the data network (internet) just about everywhere. When it does not, I am left somewhat vulnerable and I would gladly pay higher fees to ensure that it could connect no matter what. So I, like many smart phone users, am indicative of where the market’s expectations are growing. We want what we want, everywhere.

    The technology is likely already in existence. The “4G” network is currently the front runner as far as internet speed is concerned for mobile devices. With my Verizon 4G enabled phone, I can download and upload things to the internet almost as fast as I can at home. The race is on to see who can come out with the next level of speed and do so without breaking the bank. That is the real hook right there, it is likely that a 6G or 8G-type service is already a reality, but nobody could realistically afford it anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Recently, my wireless internet connectivity has been spotty. For some reason, today, my pc began trying to connect to the neighbors unsecured network instead of mine. I tried to open “View available wireless networks”, and it opened, but was telling me that windows was not managing my wireless networks. So I try to change the order of preferred networks, by opening the appropriate tab, and the window that opens is the properties window for my 802.11 wireless usb adapter and that window hangs on the “Authentication” tab and the entire contents of said tab are gray.

    On a previous attempt to correct this, I got the properties window and was able to look around a bit, but didn’t see anything that needed changing. So I tried to close the window and got some error saying that one or more of the changes couldn’t be saved and I had to choose something before I could close the window. There was a cancel option, but that was grayed, as I had actually made no changes. So I Ctrl+Alt+Del and choose shutdown – restart. Now problem is worse….Any advice?

    I will attempt the steps above to see if it solves the problem, and if it does I will post to that so others who may be experiencing the same can know that this works for them as well.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve

  • Anonymous

    A wireless connection can sometimes be a very fickle thing. Reading this article, I am reminded of a saying that I once reading on a message board. It goes something like this: technology is great and it works incredibly well, until it does not. I think that is a perfect summary to this article.

    Wireless connections can seem like magic to many people. Heck, I am always amazed that I can get connected to the internet from almost anywhere I go. It is kind of crazy if you really think about. But it can be problematic for a number of reasons. Maybe the location can be causing problems. Sometimes even being near a lot of other connected devices can make things go haywire. There can be just too many electronics sharing the same bandwidth and some of the connections are not able to cope.

    I think the article recognizes this when talking about the cell phone and the wireless router working on the same network. In that case, usually just simply switching the router channel (a great example of doing this is provided) will solve the problem.

  • Sarah

    Just bought a new linksys router and now about 15x a day I lose internet connection, Says no internet connection but yet says connected but isnt and I keep having to disconnect and then connect

  • Anonymous

    If you have been having problems maintaining a wireless connection to the internet, the problem could be caused by a number of things. This article gives a very thorough run down of many of these causes, along with a number of potential solutions to each of them. It is well worth reading if you are having any issues with your connection. Even if there are no issues at present, consider taking a look and saving the article for future reference, if needed.

    The author of this article (probably a technical guru!) makes the point that most wireless connection issues can be traced back to either your wireless network card or your router. I think the first several tips will probably help with the majority of these types of problems. For example, if your iphone has its battery losing power very quickly this could be a sign of having both the phone and router operating on the same channel. Simply going into the router settings and specifying a channel other than the default should help remedy this problem.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, there is nothing more frustrating than having connectivity problems with your wireless network. I have had wireless routers in my home for about eight years now and I have seen the process of setting them up and maintaining them get a lot easier in that time, but you can still run into issues that are not always easily solved. I have learned a few tricks of my own over the years; although I am not as technical as the author they still have a few nuggets of wisdom to take with you if you run into problems of your own.

    My first wireless router was a Linksys model that most everybody has seen before at some point. At the outset, it worked pretty well but the set up was a little complicated with the old Windows operating system and the primitive coding inside the wireless router itself. My roommates and I (still in college at this point) all tried to connect to the router via our laptops and we had a desktop computer as well that was hardwired to the router via an Ethernet cable. The problems we were having were computers intermittently getting kicked off the network and losing the connection altogether. I think looking back on it, the reason for this was that we did not have a secure network. Not that somebody else was accessing our bandwidth, but in that time hardly anyone secured their network with even the most basic password. So because of this our computers were getting confused and picking up other networks that may have had some different settings than ours and therefore we could not connect to the internet even though we may have been in the network. Windows is a lot better now about telling you the status of your connection and the network you are in, so it is not as big a problem, but something to be conscious of if you are having trouble.

    As time went by, I continued to use this router in the different places that I lived and it mostly worked fine. Eventually though, I started having some trouble. I could set up and connect to the network no problem with my laptop computer and my desktop computer hardwired in and with new Windows software, I could make them communicate much more easily. What would happen quite frequently though, and became more frequent, was that my laptop and my desktop would stop speaking and then my laptop would lose connectivity altogether. It would come and go though, so I would always get just enough usefulness out of the thing that I would not look at replacing it.

    It turns out that is exactly what I should have done. The router, for whatever reason, had just gone bad. It no longer could be trusted to transmit a signal consistently and as soon as I replaced it with another used router (a Belkin this time) it started working. Don’t wait like I did.

  • Parnetheus

    Thanks for this! I share my internet connection from my 2008 Apple iMac to other devices. With my 2009 white MacBook I connect via WiFi. It ALWAYS DROPS.

    I just changed my channel (to a lower one as I was always using the highest one 11) and my MacBook just reconnected!

  • Anonymous

    The only solution that worked for me for a D-Link DIR 600 with DD-WRT firmware on Windows 7 OS was adjusting my wireless router settings with the parameters indicated above. I’ve always had problems with my laptop with Win 7 on a wireless connection when disconnecting after switching from a wired to a wireless connection.

    The only temporary solution that worked was to restart my laptop and start it on a wireless connection, never knowing that these router settings are affecting the wireless connection in Windows 7. Now, whenever switching from a wired to a wireless connection there are no more disconnections on my wireless connection. None of the other suggestions above worked.

    • ARUN

      when the connection drops, the router’s SYS LED is off, the WLAN LED is stable [should be flashing according to the user guide].

      I tried changing the channel to 1, 6, 11 – reduced the bandwidth to 20, tried WPA instead of WPA2, changed threshold, tried resetting the router to factory default, nothing has worked so far. the router still drops connection. I tried with DELL/XP, Acer/Vista, Lenovo/Win7 – all gave me the same result.

      I have also updated the firmware of the router – not sure if its due to firmware update?

      please help….

  • Very web rocker

    Very nice and useful article. There’s nothing that’s more painful than having your wireless connection drop on the last page of a 15-minute long survey!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank You So much! Tried so many things as per my intuition before coming here. That seems fixing my problem and again came back. For now I changed the setting to not turn off the network adapter. Works fine so far. If not, I will try the other options. Looks like one of the above suggestions definitely work. I would have restored my laptop to factory setting if would not have found this Great article. Thanks again!!!

  • a web rocker

    I’ve been living with the drops and finally got tired of it. The first suggestion of specifying a channel for my wireless signal did the trick. Thank you. Great article all the way through.

  • Anonymous

    Many thanks. Simple instructions – vital for online users’ guides for occasional, competent non-professional people.

  • BoboBianchi

    Thank you for placing all these tips in one page.

    Setting specific channel instead of “auto” on the router side resolved the connection issue I experienced. Setting “Channel Width” to “auto” gives better results than selecting 20 MHz.

    I did not check all of the channels on the 2.4 GHz band, but on the PC side the connection always shows speed of 54Mbps (in the “Networking” tab of the Task Manager), while when on “auto channel selection” the speed was floating between 72 Mbps and 144 Mbps, but there were extremely big gaps in between relatively small packages.

  • Katherine

    My connection speed been getting steadily slower and then started dropping out although, again with increasing frequency. Super frustrating.

    Changed the channels and now the speed is fabulous (and actually more like what I pay for! ). And so far so good. .no drop outs….

    THANK YOU
    THANK YOU

    • Kimberly

      So glad it worked for you Katherine! It’s frustrating not getting the speed you pay for!

  • Anonymous

    I’ll try this again… I found a solution to my problem in the above, but because my problem was kinda unique (though I found the solution above, my problem’s “class”, or category, wasn’t specifically addressed, as far as I could see, therefore my urge, as a way of saying “Thank you!”, to put that category up explicitly). Anyway, I used a mildly derogatory term, so that may have been the reason for the problem. Another possible reason was the length — it was a very detailed set of instructions, and therefor a lengthy submission. Maybe I’ll try and delete the mildly derogatory term and see if that works.

    Thanks, though, for AOTA (all of the above)!

    Reb Rocker

  • Anonymous

    Firstly, thanks to this site for providing the solution to my problem, which is unlike the problems of most of the commenting users here. I provide this feedback because there may be others who have the same problem and can profit from the solution that I arrived at.

    I knew that the problem was not related to the router, because I just tap into, I do not control, the WiFi source (the router) where I live, yet the signal works just fine with my Dell desktop pc (Dell Dimension 9200 XPS) with a NETGEAR WN311B RangeMax Next Wireless-N adapter card that I installed. The problem was with my Dell Latitude D830 laptop – it would drop the signal CONSTANTLY! This is worse initially, every time I turn it on, as if the wiring or something works better once it all gets good and warmed up.

    That is NOT the explanation, though, I’m pretty sure. The problem, I believe, is related to the fact that this laptop will not operate on a battery – in fact, it refused to recognize the new battery I bought for it, though it must be said that it is not an official Dell battery, but the charger/AC cord is, so maybe if I EITHER bought a Dell battery to be used with the Dell charger, OR, if I bought an off-brand charger to go with the off-brand battery, everything would work fine.

    Moreover, the battery in the D830, though it works with the Dell charger, will NOT take a charge, and that, I’M SURE, is related to the problem of the constant drop of the signal, especially if the battery, after I have had it turned on for a spell, manages to take a minimal charge, even though the battery charger says that the charge is at 0%. So my hunch is that after the laptop has been turned on for 30-45 minutes, the battery has taken a bit of charge and therefore the signal drops are less frequent (but still frequent!).

    The specific thing that I did to solve this problem can be found above, and is as follows: I went to Start >Settings > Control Panel and double-clicked on the “System” icon. You are probably a WUS, meaning that you do not use the Classic View, which is easier to navigate when repairs are in order/ troubleshooting is in the cards, so I suggest that you temporarily, at least, switch to Classic View, like so: right-click the process line at the bottom of the screen (or just right-click the Start button) and choose “Properties”. Click on the “Start menu” tab at the top of the small pop-up window if the pop-up window doesn’t automatically open on the “Start menu” tab. Tick the “Classic Start menu” option, then click first “Apply”, then “Ok”. Thereafter (left) click on the Start button and follow the instructions at the top of this (this one!) paragraph.

    Once on the “System” icon of Control Panel, click the “Hardware” tab, then the “Device Manager” button. Find your WiFi adapter under “Network Adapters” (mine is an ‘Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection’), right-click on it and choose “Properties”. Click on (assuming you have a similar Intel network card) the “Advanced” tab*** and notice the “Property” menu on the left side. Scroll down to “Power Management”, untick the “Default” value of the “Value” box, and then drag the selector all the way to the right (“Highest” value), which corresponds to Highest Performance value/ Minimum Battery Life value.

    Click “OK”

    Done! This will make all the difference, provided that you have set the battery power management settings to “Never” here:

    Right-click on the desktop, choose the “Screen Saver” tab. Click on the “Power” button under “Monitor Power”. On the new pop-up window, choose the “Power Schemes” tab, then, under “Power schemes”, choose the value that prioritizes performance over battery life. I have Dell Quick Set installed, so I choose that under “Power schemes”. The Dell Quick Set power scheme has a dropdown menu that lets me choose the “Maximum performance” option. With the max performance option chosen, set ALL of the power management options below this option on the pop-up window in question to “Never”.

    Click “Apply”, click “OK”, then click the next-higher hierarchy window’s “OK” button, and you are ready to go.

    I went through the above procedure about 4 hours ago, and THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SINGLE SIGNAL DROP SINCE! This compared to my norm of about 100+ drops in the course of 4 hours!

    The point to remember here is that THE LAPTOP BATTERY WILL NOT TAKE A CHARGE, so one has to run the laptop off the el-grid (through the battery charger), with a battery that “works” (lets the el-grid “juice” pass through it), even if it won’t take a charge. This impinges — somehow — on the power management.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, in the same WiFi card pop-up window (see the paragraph immediately below), choose the last tab (“Power Management”) and UNTICK the hibernate (“Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”) box!

    ps: an EASIER way to access your Network Adapters card’s settings (remember, my card is the ‘Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection’) is to just double-click on its icon down in the System Tray beside the clock, on the window that pops up, click the “General” tab (it will probably open on that tab), identify your relevant WiFi card if there are multiple cards, then click on “Configure”, which will take you to the “Advanced” tab at *** above (follow the instructions there). Good luck!

  • david

    It worked like a charm for me. Weird.

  • Ward

    Rebooting everything in order helped me fix this issue. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent – simple and easy to follow. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, right now I am running on a default 6 for the last few days and have seldom faced the connection drop problem. The Skype video still manages to crash Ubuntu on a random basis, however.

  • Anonymous

    I have been through this wireless Internet problem for a long time. These guidelines helped me a lot, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Good tips you got there, I used to need them for wireless networking. The most common troubles I had in the past were about updating router drivers, it took me a long while to realize that I need to pay attention to updates and unfortunately I learned this the hard way.

  • Anonymous

    This article is quite thorough. In fact, there are so many different tips and ideas provided that I am wondering if the author is deliberately looking to put us tech people out of business! Actually, I think that anyone can benefit from this, since there are solutions here ranging from very simple all the way to incredibly technical.

    In the course of my career repairing and playing with computers and networking equipment, I have discovered a few things. The first is that generally speaking, simple is better than complicated. One of the easiest things to do is recommended near the top in this article. While it is technically called recycling or power cycling your hardware, this simply means shutting everything down and then re-powering or re booting everything one by one.

    When using this method, it is important the steps that you take to reload everything. Turn on the modem first. Then, turn on the router. Wait until each item fully powers on and is showing that it has a connection to the network. This may take a few seconds. Finally, turn on the computer.

  • Ahmad

    Using the first suggestion on this article did wonders for my wireless network. I hope it continues! Thank you very much!

    • Ryan N

      Worked with getting the speed up a few hundred kp/s on my USB adapter but not my Laptops default adapter.

  • Rocky Rocks

    Just changing the channel to fix my wireless connection drop worked. Thanks

  • Mark

    Gosh all these ways to try and fix it and for me it was as simple as going to “manage wireless networks” by searching for those words in the Windows search box (Start Menu), double-clicking on your router code in the list below and ticking the 3rd box down at the bottom that says “connect even if the network is not broadcasting its name.” Do not untick the top one that says “connect automatically when this network is in range” – leave it as it is so you have both boxes ticked.

    I was tearing my hair out with how many times I lost connection in a day. Even if I opened an email I got cut offline and had to reset my wireless router. I couldn’t watch youtube videos because it would cut off in seconds of loading the video and I couldn’t browse the web without being cut offline every few seconds. I put up with it for months and I fixed it myself today so yeah I’m happy and came here to share it and see if it also helps others.

  • Mike

    This happens when my router is in 300 Mbps 2.4 GHz N mode. Reducing to 140 Mbps solved the problem.

  • sawan gupta

    Thanx…setting the channel worked for me…

  • Stephen

    Changing the channel on my router appears to have fixed what was a really annoying issue with wireless disconnections. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    If this were happening to me, I’d probably have to change providers. I mean the situation that you describe sounds so frustrating, walking away from my computer and having the connection drop sounds like something from 1995 seriously. I hope that these situations are being worked out with customers quickly to find a solution for this.

    Actually though, now that I’m thinking about it, I’d try to be more softhearted. I mean the cable company is just made up of people, and sometimes you have to be kind and patient so that they can fix whatever is wrong. However, because I do work from the computer so much, after I’ve given it some time, I would have to just cancel my service and go with a new provider in order to take care of the business I’d need to take care of.

    I’m glad you have this article here for people. I’d try the steps you list before calling in a technician. If the steps still didn’t work, I’d call the technicians and then allow them however many times I could before I really had to do something else for the purposes of my work.

    • a web rocker

      This is incorrect. Networking is nothing to do with your Internet Service Provider. The service you pay for from your ISP is just a broadband service which they will be providing. If you merely changed ISP, you would still experience the same issue as you will still have exactly the same set up.

      • john

        As stated in the article, this is happening to Time Warner customers, in particular. Myself included. After connection repair, for about 30 seconds, accessing any webpage leads to TWC’s DNS error page. When the disconnection occurs, I can still access my files-erver and other computers/printers on the network, but not the internet.

        What I did to fix the problem: Specified a static DNS server address in the router settings.

        It’s not *just* a networking issue, (for some people) it’s Time Warner screwing around with their DNS servers. Typically when this happens, their Network Status page indicates that maintenance is being performed, and outages have been reported, coincidentally in my neighborhood. Before the fix, I noticed that the disconnections typically started around 9AM each day for 2-3 days. What a load of garbage from Time Warner and their crappy crappy service. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss AT&T’s DSL. It was less expensive and more reliable.

        Just an FYI. For those TWC customers, try a static DNS address with the instructions given in the article.

        • della

          Am on Time Warner at one home and NEVER experienced drops.

          Am on AT&T at 2nd home and constantly experience drops.

        • Emily

          Wanted to say thanks for the content of this page first of all. Kudos to the author. Secondly, I wanted to reply specifically to this post above regarding TWC’s horrible and extremely expensive “service”. That reply: I miss AT&T’s DSL too! LOL! So cheap and literally never had a problem with it, and it was never slow… and I am on the computer all the time, as well as other devices at the same time.

          But, I was and have still been having this issue with the connection dropping, but only from my laptop and my printer (both HP products). My iPad and iPhone never drop the connection. Regardless of what channel my router sets itself to, or anything else. Now, I knew about the channel changing thing and change it… every time the connection drops. But why does it KEEP setting itself to “Auto”? That is frustrating. Also, if my computer has been on for a while, even in sleep mode, no matter what I do, the connection will refuse to work properly. I can shut it down, restart, try everything with no change. iPad and phone still work like a charm. I have to go to my modem and router and unplug them, wait, plug back in, wait, start computer, wait… for it to finally “catch”. Is this just my computer or something? Or should I try the static address thing? If you can’t tell already, I’m not a whiz with this stuff, but I’m not incompetent either. I can usually figure this kind of stuff out on my own but figured I’d reach out this time because this stupid issue is chipping down at my actual work time, since I work from home. Thanks in advance!

  • Carl

    Channel change solved all issues!

  • Happy!

    Hi most awesome one!

    For 3 days straight I’ve been feeling helpless because of my wifi connection. I restored Windows 8.1 back to Windows 8 thinking that it would solve the problem of not being able to connect. I called my internet provider but they can’t give me a solution for it. I did uninstall and what not my WAN driver but to no avail. I came across this awesome article on my phone and it saved the day! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! You have no idea how happy I am:) My notebook’s new and I thought it’s going to be useless one that fast. THANK YOU!! This post deserves to be shared all over the internet!:)

    xx

  • Anonymous

    I think a tech person like myself was responsible for writing this article (or at least doing the research needed to support the writing), since many helpful ideas are proffered. There is no denying that when a wireless connection drops, it can be an incredibly frustrating problem. I have a lot of people calling me with this very problem. The author is correct in that many times if a person stays on one screen for a while, or walks away from the computer, many times this triggers a connection time out (that is tech speak for your connection is dropped). Things go from a mere occasional inconvenience to a major hassle when your connection drops repeatedly.

    The author continues by stating that most of these connection time out problems are caused by either your wireless router and/or your internet card. This has also been my experience when dealing with these problems. It seems to me that many times, it can be very difficult to get either of these running the way they are expected. In fact, sometimes the problem can be that these two elements simply do not interact well with each other.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I’ve gone through your entire solution. I have two laptops connected to my router and whenever I turn on my wireless in my mobile one of my connections in the laptop drops. I’ve checked the maximum number of DHCP and it is set to 253. Any advice?

  • Saroj Primlani

    You rock,
    I have been struggling with this for a couple of days as this has just started. I have been researching this on the web and have even tried my router’s tech support without any help. They appeared not to understand my issue. Just following your directions by making the small change to the mtu value did it. You are cool

    • Kimberly

      Happy to hear it worked for you Saroj! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)
      -Kimberly

  • Jamesn

    Changing the channel my router was on worked for me!

  • Scott

    Hi,

    I’ve got a Linksys Wireless-G WRT54GP2 Router with Wired and Wireless connections. I work on it all day with other wired (PD) and wireless (iPhone, iPad, etc..) devices connected at the same time without any problems. As soon as my son comes home from university and starts up his HP Laptop (Windows8 ) which connects wirelessly the network becomes very unstable. It starts the minute he boots up. On the wired PC’s the network will just drop out (IE. Exclamation mark appears in the network task bar item). It fixes itself usually within 5 or 10 seconds, but will happen again from time to time at no set frequency. It can work for an hour or more with all devices working. What should I look for on the laptop that could be causing this instability?

    Cheers.

    • Kimberly

      Hi Scott, thanks for reading and commenting. Try running antivirus software. Is your laptop Windows or Mac and what utility is it using to connect to the network?

      -Kimberly

  • Anonymous

    I tried updating my driver to the one from the Linksys website and Windows will not let me install it. Is there a work around?

    • We Rock Your Web

      Make sure you’re installing the Linksys driver that matches your piece of hardware. If you list your device (router) specs here, we can help you locate the correct driver.

  • Anonymous

    After trying some of the more simple solutions, it is still quite possible that you are experiencing problems with your wireless connection. If this is the case, then you need to proceed to other potential solutions. Actually, if you have first tried to turn everything off and then re load, you might be better going to the author’s first suggestion which is to set your router on a specific channel.

    The author strongly recommends this if your connection drops out for seconds at a time for no apparent reason. Additionally, if your i-phone is on the same network and you notice the battery draining very quickly this could be another indication. The phone is actually switching back to 3G every time the connection drops, causing it to use a lot of power needlessly.

    To help fix this problem, you need to go into the settings of your router. These should be listed under setup. All you really need to do is specify a channel that you like. If you are using a dual band router you should make this the settings for both of your bands. Whatever you do, do not use the default channel.

  • jason

    It saved my day!!! Thanks!

  • Tony

    I have a Dell Studion XPS laptop with Window 7 Ultimate. I use Charter for Internet at 30mbps and I just bought a Netgear Nighthawk Wireless router because I got those messages. It did not work. Now I get Netgear has lost connection. I also use this computer at work and have never had the issue of the gateway being lost. Any ideas on how to fix this issue? Any chance it could be Charter?

    • Kimberly

      Hmm this is a tricky one Tony. If you’ve tried multiple routers I’m guessing it’s probably not the router that’s the issue. Probably a configuration problem or the ISP. I would suggest contacting Charter directly for support. Sorry I can’t be of further assistance.

      -Kimberly

  • PatrickBardales

    When I start my laptop, it takes a while for it to get connected. When I try to access the internet (when it is supposedly connected), it drops again and I have to wait for it to connect and guess when I am able to start surfing the web or using online tools. As you may have guessed, I am using a wireless connection.

  • Anonymous

    If there’s one pet peeve that I have, it is losing my wireless connection. All of a sudden, it’s like I’m propelled back 10 or 15 years when I first starting using the web. I suddenly feel like I’m on a dial up connection and I just feel frustrated. I guess with the internet, we are so used to grabbing answers when we need them right away, that when we are stalled, we just can’t handle. Well, we can handle it. We just don’t want to. In many ways, it is definitely a feeling of entitlement.

    I really appreciate that you gave me some simple tips that I can use on my own. Though I love using the Internet and cannot imagine life without it, I am not a techie or an electronics genius by any stretch of the imagination. With my connection dropping, I did kind of suspect that it had to do with my carrier, and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who experiences these issues. I think it might not be a bad idea to power cycle my hardware every week to maybe avoid the issue altogether?

  • a web rocker

    This solution worked for me. I have a D-Link 634M. I reset the router and configured the system to a dedicated channel and have not experienced any more channel drops today

  • Paul Winslow

    I have four machines on my network. Three work well but I started having trouble with one machine. I was unable to connect with Chrome or Firefox. Explorer worked but I’d go to one site and when I entered a URL for another site I had to manually connect to my duel band Linksys router again. I did a factory reset to my desktop computer (I’m using Windows 8) hoping that the problem would go away. No such luck!! I was able to get on the internet using Chrome, Firefox, or Explorer. But again it would be a one time thing and I’d have to connect to the router manually and it would work again only to repeat the cycle.

    By the way the article above is interesting. I haven’t tried everything, yet. My Linksys E1200 router doesn’t allow me to make adjustments.

    • Kimberly

      Hi Paul, what kind of IP address is DHCP assigning to your router? Is it the same one assigned to the rest of your machines, or is it an internal IP (for example, one that starts with 169.)? Lastly, when you say you connect to the router manually, do you mean you specify a static IP address, or do you mean you are connecting via broadband cable instead of wireless?

      -Kimberly

  • Genoveva Bozhilova

    Hello, just came across this website and I think the advice is great.

    My problem is that every now and then, let’s say every 3-4 hours, my Wi-Fi connection switches off and I need to put the security key again in order to switch on again.

    I have changed the channel, checked if there was any power management issues, restarted the router to its default settings, power cycled the hardware but doesn’t seem to have sorted out the problem.

    Has anyone experienced that?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated, thank you.

    Genoveva

    • Kimberly

      Hi Genoveva, thanks for reading and commenting. Here’s a solution that might help if you’re using Chrome. If you aren’t using Chrome please let me know.

      *
      Open Chrome and type chrome://flags/ and hit enter.
      *
      Scroll down and find “Instant Extended API“. Most likely it would be enabled in your system.
      *
      Disable it from drop down.
      *
      Restart Chrome and problem should go away.

      Hope to hear positive news!

      -Kimberly

    • Bob

      Try changing the channel number, that worked for me.

  • a web rocker

    Thank you so much for posting the Time Warner info right up top!

    Over the last 3 months I’ve spent over 8 hours on the phone with TW tech support, 2 hours on-line chat, had 2 call-outs after the install, 3 different routers, and couldn’t keep a wi-fi connection up to any of my devices (2 phones, 2 tablets, 4 laptops, and a desktop w/ usb wi-fi adapter) for more than 90 seconds.

    With your tip, I changed the router channel from Auto to a fixed channel and have had zero problems in the last 4 days. Thank you very, very much!

    (Another hint: If you have an Android phone, use Wifi Analyzer to find an open channel. It’s very easy & free.)

  • Anonymous

    The last of the easy solutions recommended by the author is to check your wireless power settings. One possible explanation for the problem is that the settings are configured to automatically shut off power to your wireless card after a certain amount of idle time (in some cases this can be as little as a few seconds!). So, if you have some system (or card) specific settings go in there and check and see if there is anything strange. If so, by all means change them to something more appropriate for your situations.

    After this, the author points out that you should check the settings on your wireless card via your device manager. This is actually a very simple process and the author provides detailed instructions for doing so.

    After you have been through all of these potential solutions, it is STILL possible that you may be experiencing the problem. However, in the course of my work, the tips and techniques that the author has listed so far will solve about 90 percent of the problems most of you will ever encounter.

  • Amber

    I’m so glad I found this article! From what I’ve read it looks like this will actually help me with the continuous disconnection from my TWC wireless router. However, I am not very computer savvy and was hoping you wouldn’t mind giving me some directions on how to change my channel in my settings and what to change them to? I read a comment about unchecking the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” in Power Management which I’ve done but I want to make sure this problem is resolved once and for all with the tips you provided. Any help would be appreciated! You can email a reply if needed. I’m running a Windows 7 on Gateway with an Ubee router through TWC. Thank you!!

    • Kimberly

      Hi Amber, we’ve got a section dedicated directly to the Time Warner Cable router issues. (I’ve copied and pasted it here below.) The section in bold will tell you how to change your channel and as for which channel to change it to that can vary. As written below, try setting the channel to a higher one, but if that doesn’t work you’ll have to just do a trial and error until you find a channel that works for you.

      We’ve been getting this question from Time Warner’s Road Runner customers in particular, so we’ve decided to post it at the top of this article in case it saves anyone time. The symptoms are a wireless connection that literally will drop out quickly for seconds at a time. If your cell phone (iPhone) is on the same network, the battery will drain super quickly because of the phone switching to 3G every time the connection drops. Here’s a tip that can get your wireless connection from dropping out repeatedly. If you are using a router (particularly a dual band router), you’ll want to go into the wireless settings (usually under “setup”), and specify a channel. Try using a different channel than the default, and make this settings for both of your bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) if you’re using a dual bound router. Definitely do not use the “auto” setting. From our troubleshooting it appears that this is the main culprit. Try setting a higher channel, and if that doesn’t work, try different channels. It’s very possible that there are enough networks in your immediate area on the same channel that they’re conflicting with each other.

      As you can see, many of our readers have had success with this solution and I hope you will be one of them as well. Please let me know if this does not work for you. I will be sure to find you a solution so we get this fixed! Thank you for reading and commenting.

      -Kimberly

  • Denis

    I have an ASUS router, it drops at every 5 seconds, I tried the “ipconfig” thing but no result. What should I do?

    • Kimberly

      Hey Denis, have you reset your router to factory settings? Walk me through everything you’ve done so I don’t tell you to do something that already hasn’t worked. That way we save you time! :)

      -Kimberly

  • rbb

    THANKS!!! After months of my computer regularly dropping the wireless connection, and fruitless research on other web sites, I found your webpage. The simple fix entitled “Check your wireless power settings” for Windows XP worked perfectly. My major chronic problem was easily solved. You’re terrific.

  • Rafael

    Thanks a lot! Very complete report.

    • Kimberly

      Happy to hear it helped you Rafael! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Kimberly

  • Tashina

    Thank you so much, changing the channel worked amazingly for me. I have a Belkin router by the way and it was so simple and easy to change everything. Thank you again.

    • Kimberly

      Glad it worked for you Tashina! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Kimberly

  • Anonymous

    I have a Motorola SBG900 cable/wireless modem in one. It was originally setup to be used wirelessly only until my desktop began dropping the connection on a consistent basis. I plugged the Ethernet cable up and the connection works fine that route, however the wireless will still drop. It doesn’t appear to be a consistent time either. I can reconnect it immediately and it will stay up for sometimes as long as I am on the internet but when I step away it disconnects, other times though it will disconnect while I am using the computer. I am able to keep a connection with the Ethernet cable, however I don’t understand the wireless problem.

    I have attempted changing the channel because I live in a subdivision that is full of other networks, and using a program called NetStumbler determined that channels 1,2,4,6,and 11 were being used by networks in the neighborhood. I set mine to 8 and to no avail the problem still existed. What makes this even more strange is that my laptop will connect to the wireless network and stay connected fine, as well as my mobile devices. It is just the desktop that is having the dropping issue. I thought this pointed to the wireless adapter on the desktop, but after connecting to two other available networks that weren’t mine with no drops I realized this wasn’t the problem either. My computer is a Gateway running Windows XP. My wireless adapter is made by Allied Telesyn model AT-WCP200G. My service provider is Comcast. I am hoping to get some answers, if not though, point me in the direction to get some help. Thanks.

    Additional Details

    I have made the following adjustments as well and no success.

    * Lower the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) from 1500 to 1492 or less (usually found on your router’s main/ basic setup page)
    * Adjust the following advanced wireless settings:

    * Lower the beacon interval from 100 to 50
    * ower the fragmentation threshold from 2346 to 2306
    * Lower the RTS threshold from 2347 to 2304

    • a web rocker

      Something to keep in mind about channel usage. The higher WiFi speeds that 802.11/g and 802.11/n have versus 802.11/b require higher bandwidth. 802.11/b uses a single channel width, but 802.11/g uses a signal 5 channels wide and 802.11/n uses a signal 11 channels wide. 802.11/n doesn’t require a channel choice because its signal is all 11 channels wide. For dual-band, using both 2.5GHz and 5GHz makes sense and can increase the available bandwidth. 802.11/n adjusts for the presence of other wireless signals in its frequency band. Although 802.11/n should be faster than 802.11/g, you will not normally get its maximum potential speed in suburban or urban environments. For 802.11/g, the chosen channel centers a 5-channel wide signal on the selected channel. That means not only is the chosen channel used, but the equivalent of 2 more channels above and 2 more channels below are used also. This means for 802.11/g, there are only 3 non-overlapping channel choices and they are centered on channel numbers 1, 6 and 11. This is why 802.11/g access points tend to default with their 5-channel sets centered on channels 1, 6 or 11 and running two 802.11/g access points on channels 6 and 8, for example, makes no sense since one access point will use channels 4-8 and the other 6-10 so that the two access points will have overlapping signals on channels 6 7 and 8. 802.11/b uses a single channel but, when choosing a channel for it, one needs to consider the multiple-channel usage of nearby 802.11/g devices when choosing an 802.11/b channel. For 802.11/g, you are actually using a set of 5 contiguous channels. Other 802.11/b and 802.11/g users on other channels may affect your choice if signals overlap.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much – this helped get my wireless connection back online and so far it hasn’t dropped again (fingers crossed).

  • Anonymous

    Nice article. Having been very frustrated by my problem I followed your advice on wireless card drivers.

    Driver Robot identified that the driver for my atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 PCI-E Ethernet Controller was out of date. (Interestingly selecting update driver through windows device manager said the driver was up to date). Rather than paying for a driver robot licence, so it would update the driver automatically I just went to the Atheros website, downloaded the driver installer, extracted the rar file (using 7-zip) and ran the driver installer. This appears to have solved all my problems and didn’t cost me a penny.

    Many Thanks

  • Adam

    I have been using an HP laptop as a range extender using connectify, and HP was always dropping the connection (Limited access), I had this problem over 2 years.

    Then I skimmed this topic, and the comments (the most important), I found one which his problem was solved this one: (Submitted by Emilee (not verified) on January 9, 2014 – 4:01am.)

    I found my solution there!! (Device Manager then expanded Network Adapters > double clicked on my network and found that Allow this computer to turn off this device to save power box was checked so I unchecked that box)

    Thank you very much for allowing people to comment in your page! Without forcing them to connect to their social accounts, or to register in your site!

    (In other websites) :I always want to say my opinion, but they always want to register or to connect!

    One of the best sites!!!

    • Kimberly

      Adam, thank you so much for your kind words. I cannot agree more with the point you made about connecting your social media account or signing into the site. That deters me completely! I don’t want anything to post to my Facebook or end up getting tons of emails I don’t care about. We’re big believers in readers and commenters helping one another on our site. Thanks again for reading and commenting and I’m glad your problem was fixed!

      -Kimberly

  • a web rocker

    Thank you so much. I have Windows 7 but was able to get your drift to device manager.

  • TY

    Had an issue with the auto channels, changed the channels and everything is working fine! Keep up the awesome help!

  • Anonymous

    Can I place it on my “drivers downloads” website?

    • We Rock Your Web

      I’m afraid not – all content on this website is copyrighted and may not be reproduced. You are welcome to reference it by linking back to this page, however.

      • Anonymous

        Sue me then! LOL!

  • a web rocker

    Thanks so much!! you guys solved my wireless connection issue!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks

  • Anonymous

    To answer the basic question, there could be a lot of reasons why your wireless connection is dropping. Of course, if we leave the internet on and then walk away for an hour or so and then come back, it would natural to see that the session has timed out and you would be required to log back on. A dropped wireless connection is something which is happening frequently and causing you some grief and anguish!

    The article here actually covers a great deal of material. If you are having this issue, I am quite sure that one of the solutions included will help solve your problem. The author is obviously very technically inclined and has provided this information in order to help us fix this issue with minimal down time.

    I think that generally the author has the right approach. Personally, I would always prefer to start fixing a problem by checking all of the little simple things that might have been overlooked. Sometimes something as dumb as shutting everything down and unplugging all connections (and then restarting) can solve even the most frustrating of problems.

  • Anonymous

    I searched for two days before I came to your website and was blown away. I have enough solutions to last me a lifetime, thanks!

  • andrew P

    I had this problem. Tried setting new network name (SSID) and settings on router, which is a good idea and often works, but didn’t for me in this case.

    Discovered the cordless phone on the shelf 1 meter above the router also uses 2.5 GHz. So added a 0.05mm thick copper sheet between the two from an art suppliers and everything is cured. Try using a thick layer of aluminum kitchen foil if you just want to experiment.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for tips.

    My ‘drops’ started with a new router. It got to where I couldn’t even fill out a ssl or https online order form before the connection would drop, much less reply at length, like now.

    Very annoying.

    So found the power save settings and turned those off first. Not sure why the problem started with new router though. If that doesn’t work will go to next steps.

    stched

  • Anonymous

    The following files: regsvr32 regsvr32 wshom.ocx & regsvr32 scrrun.dlll are not found! Where and how do I go about fixing this issue please?

    Cheers

    Tom

  • Anonymous

    Problem: When multiple computers are connected to the SonicWall wireless network, the wireless network goes down every 15 minutes.

    Synopsis: The problem has been confirmed resolved by updating the firmware and disabling the Intrusion Detection on the wireless network.

    Solution: Update the SonicWall firmware to the most recent version. Disable the Intrusion Detection on the wireless network.

    Shawn Zernik

    Internetworkconsulting.net

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been having problems with the low-band on my router going off line, only to work for a short period of time after powering off or resetting.

    Changing from AUTO to a free channel in my neighborhood, my 2.4GHz popped back online allowing my cell phones and tablets to reconnect.

    Thanks for your help!

    ***Belkin’s, what “they” call help line, gave me the old standby answer, do a factory reset. Unfortunately, they didn’t have this answer.

    • We Rock Your Web

      We’re glad adjusting your router channel worked for you! We’ve found that sometimes even a manual channel will eventually get clogged up with traffic, in which case we simply adjust the channel up or down one until we hit one that’s more or less clear.

      • Jorge C

        Try using a WiFi analyzer app to see which channel is less clogged. And which networks might be interfering with your router.

        I use the Wifi Analyzer app on my android.

        Great article, it has all the information in one place. I found some of the same hints scattered all over the InterWebs.