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CommieBastard
The computer in my bedroom - the one from which I usually access the Interweb - accesses our broadband connection via wireless, with an Actiontec router. Yesterday evening, it suddenly told me that there wasn't a wireless network in range. The computer downstairs, connected directly to the Interweb, continues to work perfectly.

Late at night - about half past twelve - it worked again. Still worked this morning, didn't work when I got home today at 1pm.

I've managed to rule out the following:

- Virus
- Malware
- Cordless phones
- Dimmer switch (apparently they do interfere sometimes)
- Anything going on with the downstairs PC

One thing I've heard suggested is that perhaps one of my neighbours has just set up a wireless network which is playing silly buggers with mine. If this is true, what could I do about it? What else could be the cause?

Any help at all will be appreciated, as it will contribute towards staving off my impending insanity.
mooooooooooopo
The suggestion about the people next door could hold some truth - wireless only has a limited number of channels (15+ I think but only 10 or 11 are legal in the UK) - if your neighbours were to clash with the channel you're on it may cause some problems though I've never experienced it so I'm not sure if it would cause complete outage or just reduce your bandwidth.

Another option is that the firmware on the access point crashed (gnah! I've spent the last year coding for network hardware...it happens lots) and somehow recovered. Maybe try power cycling the access point if it happens again.

Wireless also seems rather sensitive to stuff placed in the way - with my own wireless the walls are no problem to it but if the curtains move infront of the antenna (the access point is next to the window) it acts like the walls are made of lead.

Also (though not such a problem) microwaves can cause a lot of problems for wireless due to overlapping frequency ranges although most reasonably new wireless cards seem to have options to make them more resistant to this.

I wouldn't worry about the state of the downstairs PC being the cause, the protocol the wireless card uses to detect the access point isn't dependant on what's connected to it, the access point just sends out a beacon signal (usually every 100ms) saying "I'm here" regardless if anything is connected to the other end.

</gross oversimplification>
CommieBastard
QUOTE (moop @ May 4 2005, 08:34 PM)
The suggestion about the people next door could hold some truth - wireless only has a limited number of channels (15+ I think but only 10 or 11 are legal in the UK) - if your neighbours were to clash with the channel you're on it may cause some problems though I've never experienced it so I'm not sure if it would cause complete outage or just reduce your bandwidth.

Another option is that the firmware on the access point crashed (gnah! I've spent the last year coding for network hardware...it happens lots) and somehow recovered. Maybe try power cycling the access point if it happens again.
*


The software is automatically cycling through all the different channels (at least, the number in the "Channel" box keeps changing, so I assume that's what it's doing).

How do you power cycle the access point?
mooooooooooopo
Yank the power cord, plug it back in again. >_> That's geek terminology for you.

The cycling through channels is the operating system scanning each channel for access points since the card can only be tuned to one channel at once.
CommieBastard
Hmm, power cycling didn't work.

It's working now. This is all a bit odd, what could be cutting off my wireless network access at different times?

A bit of poking around has revealed that there's definitely another network in the area, a direct computer-to-computer secure one. Not sure if that makes any difference.
CommieBastard
Right, something of a development - it failed this morning, and I noticed I was still apparently connected to a network. Checking the network list, my network was there, but listed as "secure". It's not - at least, we haven't secured it. I couldn't reconnect to it, and then couldn't find it on the list.

This seems to me to support my theory that somebody is playing silly buggers.
Mata
Always turn on the security on your network! It sounds like someone is creeping in, which means that they can easily poke around on your machines: not what you want!
mooooooooooopo
QUOTE (Mata @ May 5 2005, 02:29 PM)
Always turn on the security on your network! It sounds like someone is creeping in, which means that they can easily poke around on your machines: not what you want!
*


I concur.

It's hard to say this without sounding horribly patronising but the access point web interface is password protected, isn't it? These are usually accessible from both the wireless and wired side of the access point so if you have no password (or no obvious password) on the access point and no encryption on the wireless it's suprisingly easy to sneak in. Also if you don't have encryption turned on it's easy for people to borrow your broadband connection sneakily (although WEP encryption is suprisingly easy to crack).
CommieBastard
I looked into doing that recently, but every guide to doing so I could find involved me doing things I had no idea how to do or understanding terminology and acronyms that were entirely alien to me...
CommieBastard
I think that's cracked it biggrin.gif Encryption seems to have done the job, thus far.
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