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Wireless Tips – Does Your Wireless Router Keep Disconnecting or Dropping the Connection?

I’ve had a Netgear wireless router for about a year and it was pretty good until a couple of weeks ago all of a sudden my wireless connection kept dropping or I couldn’t connect until I restarted the router! It was a real pain, but due to the fact that I was lazy, I didn’t bother to fix it sooner! If you find yourself in the same situation, here’s what you can do to fix the problem!

The problem is usually caused by one of three reasons: your wireless card driver, your router’s firmware version (mainly your router driver), or your router’s settings. I found that if you are not using a really old wireless router, the old driver for your wireless card is most likely to blame. This means you need to update your wireless card. How do we do it?

Update the computer driver

First, you need to go to your computer manufacturer’s website: Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. and navigate to their support or driver download page. Here I tried to get direct links to these pages for the most common computers:

Dell – http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Products/

HP – http://www8.hp.com/us/en/drivers.html

Toshiba – http://support.toshiba.com/drivers

Sony – nttp: //support.sony.com/perl/select-system.pl? DIRECTOR = DRIVER

Lenovo – http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products?tabName=Downloads

Select your system or enter it and find the latest driver for your wireless card. There is usually a section called “Network” under which you should see a list of drivers. One of them should have the word “Wireless”. If you have more than one wireless driver, you need to find out which one you have installed on your computer.

You can determine the model number of your wireless card by simultaneously pressing the Windows keys + the Pause button. The System Properties dialog box opens. Another way to get to it is to right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Once there, click on Advanced System Settings.

Click the Hardware tab and then click Device Manager.

You will see a list of devices with a plus sign to the left of them. Click on the one called “Network adapters” and an entry for your wireless card will appear, as shown below:

Now download this driver from the list on the manufacturer’s website. Typically the wireless card is named “Intel Pro Wirelss” or “Dell Wireless,” etc. After downloading the file to your desktop, double click it and follow the installation instructions. You may need to restart your computer.

If the problem was with the driver on the computer, the broken connections should be completely gone. If not, you may have to try updating your router’s firmware.

Router firmware update

Updating the router’s firmware is not such a trivial task, which depends on the brand of router you have. Almost none of them have an automatic update feature. Instead, you need to download the latest firmware from their website, log into your router, and then download and update it.

First, you need to find out the IP address of your router and use that to log in through your browser. Read my post on finding the IP address of a wireless access point. Since the method for updating router firmware varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, it is best to search by router model number + “firmware update” to find specific instructions.

Router settings

The last problem that can cause the connection to drop is the various settings on your router. Lately, you have dual band routers that allow you to broadcast on 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. These advanced routers usually work very well with the latest gadgets and computers, but older machines can sometimes have problems. Here are a few things I would try:

1. Connect to a 2.4 GHz network if you are currently connected to a 5 GHz network.

2. Make sure your router’s channel settings for networks are set to Auto. If for some reason you have chosen a specific channel, try a different channel.

3. Disable advanced security features such as MAC address filtering, network isolation, and Wi-Fi Protected Setup. None of this actually improves security or causes more problems.

4. Make sure your Wireless Mode is set to Mixed. Sometimes choosing a higher mode can cause problems with older devices.

5. If you do not know anything about the router’s settings, try resetting the router completely by pressing the reset button. Set up wireless security and leave it as it is.

Hopefully one of these solutions will fix the wireless connection issue. If you have any other solution, please leave a comment and let us know. Enjoy!

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