WiFi disconnections and password prompts

  Larches 17:14 25 Mar 2018
Locked

My poor old mother is being driven up the wall by a flaky WiFi connection on her PC. She had quite an old machine that used a TP Link WiFi dongle connecting to a Plusnet ADSL router and had frequent internet connection drop-outs. She has since upgraded to a nice new machine with a Gigabyte WiFi card, and a Plusnet Hub fibre router, and although things are a bit better, it still loses the connection sporadically. This is despite not being far (a couple of rooms away) from the router, and apparently getting a fair signal according to Windows (although it does fluctuate a bit).

So the first question is... should she upgrade the (relatively new) ISP-supplied router to a branded one, or buy a WiFi range extender, or powerline adaptor? It's difficult to know which would help the most. A range extender or two might be handy because there also seems to be a WiFi blackspot in one of the rooms downstairs.

My other question is... does anyone know why, when the connection drops and she tries to reconnect, Windows often prompts for the WiFi password as if it were a new network she's connecting to? This just exacerbates the problem and is at least as annoying as the loss of connection itself.

Any advice gratefully received - thanks in advance.

  wiganken2 17:51 25 Mar 2018

If the Plusnet Hub Fibre router is the "Plusnet Hub One" model then it is dual band and supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 5GHz is the most reliable band (see click here but, if the Gigabyte Wi-Fi card only supports 2.4GHz then that is less reliable. If it only supports the 2.4GHz band are you able to swap it for a Wi-Fi card that supports 5GHZ band? Also router location is important. See click here .

  Larches 20:55 28 Mar 2018

Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's the Plusnet Hub One router, amd the WiFi card is the following model: click here says it's dual band.

The article on router location is an interesting one - it's OK on most of those points, exceptions being it's not quite central and it is close to a PC and not too far from a cordless phone, so might be worth trying different positions before we resort to buying new hardware.

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  wiganken2 08:49 29 Mar 2018

Apparently there are several versions of that Wi-Fi card and later versions are better than the early versions. Read the "36 Answered questions" on the link you posted. Check the version you have. Although dual band your connection will be 2.4GHz or 5GHz, not floating between the two. You will have selected the band when you set up your connection with password etc. If you selected the 2.4GHz band then this is less reliable. Wireless devices nearby (like keyboard and mouse) can interfere with 2.4GHz signal. Check your Wi-Fi band connection and if it is 2.4GHz then try the 5GHz band.

  Larches 21:40 29 Mar 2018

Thanks, I don't remember the band selection so will check that out. The only RF device nearby is a cordless phone, so will maybe try moving that too.

  rdave13 22:01 29 Mar 2018

The further you are from the router then the 2.4GHz band is the more reliable connection.

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