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Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Howdi
The SO has been complaining for a while that the laptops internet keeps dropping dead. Naturally running Vista I assumed the laptop was at fault until today. I've got a Netbook and its running XP and also suffering from the same problem BUT the network file and printer shares are ok when it happens.
Internet on ethernet wired machines is unaffected.
The Access point is a 866MHz Pentium 3 with a Ralink 2500 based chipset wifi card set to hardware AP mode via a special bit of software which leaves it permanently in AP mode (IE you don't need to run a special program everytime its turned on- just press the power button and leave it).
So.. network shares are unaffected but internet access just drops like a stone. Any ideas?
I'm sure its not a firewall issue as the machine only has XPs bundled firewall on it. The signal strength on both the laptop and netbook both show as excellent at a rate of 54M. I'd try using netstumbler but that will also only reveal the signal not the problem with the internet Sad
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Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Have you used ping and tracert to see how far the access gets? Have you checked if it is a DNS lookup problem by using nslookup?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Yep, pings work fine across the network but not to the internet when it drops. It drops for about 2-3 mins and then returns.
Meanwhile the internet on the actual wifi AP computer is unaffected. It's very strange.
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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Does the AP computer connect to the internet through a router and if so can you still ping the router from the laptops?
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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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Hi
Yes it connects through a router. The AP machine CAN ping the router though when these drop outs occur. The laptops however can not.
The strange thing is that the AP computer has NO monitor, keyboard or mouse and thus I log into it from the laptop using remote desktop to do the router pings!
By now I'd be suspecting a duff wifi card but the fact that I can still use remote desktop, access network shares , ping network devices etc makes me think the card is ok but there is a software fault or something. Maybe its the windows network bridge?
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Community Veteran
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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

It sounds like the latter.
Why don't you go for something like this? I've been using one of these in conjunction with my Netgear DG834 (basic version without wireless) for a couple of years - totally trouble free.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

I would but that machine is kind of a backup incase of DSL failure. It has onboard shared dialup. It also serves other purposes too..
I'll have to have a rethink on the network I think. I've got the hardware resources to do it but just not sure how to rearrange it all logistically.
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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Wouldn't it just be a case of specifying it as the default gateway instead of the router when in backup mode?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: Wifi internet access randomly drops dead but network shares still good?

Yep, but the machine is also used for other bits too. It goes back to the old days when we used dial up and ADSL. DSL would drop sometimes overnight when it was running and downloading stuff so I had the machine setup ready for dialling too. Worked very well until I needed to reorganise everything a while back. That machine had to go under the stairs when we moved due to the noise and having no where else to stash it. That made connectivity a bit difficult so the router was moved next to the socket.
The AP machine now acts as a remote AP with the router shared via the main desktop PC which connects to the AP machine as a client. It's overly complex I know and I don't like it that way but it worked very well for a long time. It's only the last couple of months its started to become a pain.
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