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This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Hello,
I am a FTTC customer with the standard 'out of the box' configuration -  BT modem+Tecnicolor router.
We have two cabled connections:
'big' windows PC
Freesat box
Numerous wireless devices:
Ipod
Ipad
Kindle
Kindle fire
Laptop
Internet radio
various family phones...
Everything has been working fine for nearly a year now. That is, until some time yesterday afternoon.
Suddenly, all of the local wireless devices dropped out.
I ran the usual poweroff reset to the router after waiting the required 10 seconds or so before power on.  No change.
Powered off the modem and router, waited, restarted. No change.
All the time the wired connections were working perfectly - 50mbps down, 12 up, therefore no internet connection issue.
Attempts at connecting the Apple devices all resulted in 'unable to connect'.  Tried 'forgetting' the network and rebinding with the security key - still 'unable to connect'. Windows simply said that it couldn't connect to any of my preferred networks
The SSID is broadcasting, I can see it in my network list with 100% signal strength. Just can't get any wireless connection at all, even when I sit 2 feet away from it with the device.
I have an old HH3 router that I set up some time ago as a backup. I plugged that in and restarted, and initially it seemed that all was fine again. I could get the laptop to connect and the apple devices all connected to the internet. But ten mins later, all the wireless devices dropped out again. As before, the wired coonnections were working beautifully. All attempts to drop and restart the wireless connections at the devices led to the same.
So, I put the techicolor one back in at lunch time. Once again, it appeared that the devices connected for a very short time (just enough time for my Twitter feed to update!), and down they all went again.
I just don't understand it.  It connects very briefly and appears to be working as before, then off they go..
Just to recap:
1) Wired internet connection fine and stable - no outages at all. Internet connection 100% fine.
2) Wireless devices all drop out, no wireless devices can connect (Windows/apple/kindle fire and so on)
3) Restart of the router made no difference
4) Changing the router to a Home Hub 3 worked for about five minutes
5) Changing the router back to the technicolor router worked again for about 5 minutes.
6)  SSID is brodcasting and can be seen as good strength all around the house.
When I log on to the router (http://192.128.1.254) all the wireless settings are fine, although I can see the 'actual speed' value slowly drops from around 300Meg to 1Meg which looks very odd to me. It seems like the router is strugging to speak to the wireless devices.  But both of them?
Thing I have tried to alleviate the issue:
1) changed SSID  - no change
2) Changed security type and key - no change
3) Checked for source of local interference - none around.  All was fine until yesterday afternoon and certainly no devices that could interfere like AV routers or other 2.4Ghz devices are anywhere near or came into close proximity at that time.
4) Changed channels just in case of local interefence I was unaware of.
I just don't get it. I am tempted to buy a new cable router but bearing in mind I have changed the router to no avail already, I don't really want to go to that expense based on a hunch.
Anyone at all had any similar issues or can offer any new advice that I haven't already covered above?
Thanks in anticipation
Tim
23 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Have you tried using a different channel? Someone nearby could have started using the same channel as you.
Edit: Just reread your post Embarrassed Which channels did you try?
Have you looked to see what is active around you by using InSSIDer?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

haha ! No worries..  Yes that was my immediate thought at the time.    I have used the wireless listener url (can't quite remember it's name as I'm away from my machine now) and can see several other SSID's all aroound me, including mine at the top with a glittering 100% signal strength. The others all seem to be ch 1 or 11  so I have already picked 6 and 8 just in case.
I just don't understand why they seem to connect for a very short period of time, then drop out. That kind of rules out any security key configuration issues, as in theory they wouldn't have connected at all if that was the case. 
And the same conditions being displayed by two different routers?
I don't like these sorts of mysteries.
It's like there is some kind of jamming going on, but again, if there were, why do the devices connect fine initially and then drop out a few mins later?
Confused... Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Although 1 and 11 are in use nearby, have you tried using them?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Quote
It's like there is some kind of jamming going on, but again, if there were, why do the devices connect fine initially and then drop out a few mins later?
I've seen exactly that when a video sender was being used in the immediate vicinity, as they both operate on the 2.4Ghz frequency band.
hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Thanks for the replies so far.
I haven't tried CH1 yet, although not sure why 6 or 8 aren't working if no-one else is using them, or why the connection suddenly went yesterday afternoon after changing nothing..
I'll give it a go later and see what happens, thanks..
Re AV senders, we live quite away from our neighbours and they would have had the AV sender running non-stop since yesterday PM, so I'm still a bit doubtful of that.  Wish I could afford a spectrum analyser! 
The SSID is showing a strong signal and is broadcasting..  So still unsure where to go next
Thanks for replies
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

There's always wireshark on Linux, or Microsoft Network Monitor on Windows, which can capture wireless traffic in "monitor mode", and maybe see what's going on.
hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Thanks for that, something else for me to have a look at..
Just in case I do decide to replace this router in the end  (some of the reviews I've just been looking at don't exactly rate it too well!), does anyone have any fibre router recommendations up to around £100 ish?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Anything approaching £100 should be decent quality.  I'd expect one of the many Asus fans on the forum will be along to recommend something as these seem to be well favoured currently.
One (remote) possibility: could any of your wireless devices have a static IP set that might be conflicting with another device?
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Thanks for your suggestion. I'm not aware of this being the case as I would suspect problems would have arisen earlier.  I have read reports of being able to effectively 'lock out' wireless by setting up your phone as a gateway, but unless next door are doing that I'm not aware of that being the case. And they are a little way away from us too.
Nevertheless, I'll start by powering all the wireless devices off and introducing them one at a time to see what happens. I've also raised an official support ticket to see if anything can come to light from that angle.
Thanks again
Tim
TBag
Grafter
Posts: 74
Registered: 06-03-2013

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Save the router configuration, reset the router to factory defaults, restore the saved config, see if that helps.
hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Thanks tbag - done - no change
Changed to ch 1 - no change
Await a comment from support to see if they have any other ideas..
hawmead
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Registered: 20-12-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

Wireless continued to be completely down all yesterday evening. Gave up and went to bed.
I don't know how, but when getting up this morning and trying again, everything was fine.
I have no explanation as to what may have caused the problem.  All I know is that after 36 hours of limited or no wireless activity, everything is back and running as before. I had made no changes to anything.
Thanks for all your suggestions. I guess this one will have to be written off as a mystery.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

That points more to it being something in the vicinity - I'm not optimistic that the issue won't return. Sad
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: This is an odd one - wireless devices suddenly unable to connect

One thing you could try.
Change the IP address of your router to something like 192.168.1.100; assign the range to be 101 to 254; and change the gateway address on all devices to that of the new router IP. Reboot the router and let the devices find it.
It's possible the devices are trying to clock on to a different network using the same gateway IP as yourself!
Geoff,
York.