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#1
Old 03-24-2012, 02:52 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,998
Wireless router problems - how do I know if I need a new one?

I have an older Linksys router (BEFW11S4, if it matters) in my apartment that worked just fine until last night. Today I can't get online on the wireless network at all. Yet my laptop claims to be on the usual network and shows excellent signal strength. At first I thought it was a problem with my internet service provider, but if I plug the cable from the modem straight into the laptop then everything works fine, so it's obviously a problem with the router. I tried to get online with my iPod touch and my roommates iPad but neither of them will connect either, although both also say that they're on our network and have good signal strength.

I tried to Google for a solution to this, but it seems difficult to find info on this specific issue and most of what I did find simply advised restarting or resetting the modem and router, which I've tried several times to no avail. We've had occasional problems before with the internet cutting out and restarting did help, but we've never had this situation where the computers appear to be connected but aren't. Any other discussion I found quickly got way too technical for me to follow - unfortunately I'm not great with computer stuff. I can't figure out how to determine the difference between a router that is beyond repair and one that can be saved. I realize that the thing is pretty old and I'm not fundamentally opposed to buying a new one, but I don't want to do that if it can be fixed.

Any advice from the more computer literate out there would be much appreciated!
#2
Old 03-24-2012, 07:50 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,405
Unplug the router, wait 2 minutes 15 seconds, but no more then 2 minutes 18 seconds* then plug it back in.

*Really wait about 10 seconds

You can also logon to your wireless router and order it to reboot which is sometimes easier then physically doing it. For linksys the IP address is usually 192.168.1.1 (put into your browser), the user name is either admin or leave it blank, the same for the password. (so a max of 4 combinations, actually 3 as I've never seen it blank for both fields). Then once your in look for the 'reboot' option, not the 'retore to factory settings' button, also stay away from the self destruct button of your model has one.
#3
Old 03-24-2012, 08:01 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Winslow, ME
Posts: 6,322
I agree with kanicbird, although for extra measure I'd do both the modem and router. Unplug both, wait 10 or 15 seconds, plug in the modem first and give it a minute or so to lock on, then plug in the router.
#4
Old 03-24-2012, 05:31 PM
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 23,742
Honestly, whenever my wireless router starts acting up beyond its normal annoyances (I have to reboot it every 2-3 days) which is probably every 2-3 years, I go buy a new one from a big box store (Best Buy). I set up the new one and if it works then yay! It works! I can stop fucking with the router and get on with my life!

If it doesn't work, then I've eliminated the modem and the router as problems (always eliminate the modem first, as you have) and I return the router to the store. That's why I don't buy the router online even if it might cost a few extra bucks to get it in a store.

Troubleshooting a router can drive you insane. Go the easiest route as quickly as possible.
#5
Old 03-24-2012, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,998
Okay, I tried unplugging everything and restarting, as suggested. Still getting the same thing - laptop says it's connected with excellent signal, but no internet. The only difference now is that the iPod and iPad won't connect to the network at all (although they both list it as an available wireless network).

ETA: ZipperJJ - I suspect you may be right and I should just buy a new one. It might be much less frustrating, I don't have a lot of time to mess around with this thing.

Last edited by Meyer6; 03-24-2012 at 05:40 PM.
#6
Old 03-24-2012, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,405
Both Windows and Mac OS have a network diagnoses option, you might try that. In both OS's it can usually be accessed though the wireless network 'icon' near the time on both types of computers.
#7
Old 03-25-2012, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
Both Windows and Mac OS have a network diagnoses option, you might try that. In both OS's it can usually be accessed though the wireless network 'icon' near the time on both types of computers.
Okay, just tried that but it says that there is no problem with the network - it seems to think everything is working fine. I tried hitting 'repair' anyways, but it didn't do anything.

Oh well, looks like it might be time to head to the Future Shop and grab a cheap router. Thanks to all you guys for the advice though.
#8
Old 03-25-2012, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NY Metro area
Posts: 1,828
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Troubleshooting a router can drive you insane. Go the easiest route as quickly as possible.
+1. This primarily due to the fact that they never have the courtesy to simply die outright. They insist on doing this prolonged an annoying swan song where they're dead, and then they're not and then they are, ad infinitum.

Put it gently on the top of recycle pile just in case it's really not the problem and get a new router. If that's not the problem, great, now you have a backup router - in the long run, you won't regret that.
#9
Old 03-25-2012, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 192.168.0.1
Posts: 9,769
#1 log into router and disable security, see if you get a different result with no security. (no no real danger doing that to test for a bit)

#2 Try changing SSID and or channel, especially if you are still using the default SSID (wireless network name: linksys)

#3 hard reset the router (the little button you need a paperclip to push on the back) and set it back up from scratch to see if your router is just having issues.
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