General Question

gemmasgma's avatar

Why does my wireless internet connection keep turning on and off?

Asked by gemmasgma (201 points ) August 12th, 2010

I run windows, use IE 7, and have FrontierFios high speed internet. My HP laptop is 4 years old The connection just abruptly ends about every 3–10 minutes for 30–60 seconds, and it is a hassle. My son can be using the network at the same time with his Apple computer, and he claims this never happens to him, so it must be something with my computer, but I took it in for repairs, and they say it works just fine with the internet at their shop.

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5 Answers

earthduzt's avatar

If it’s Win XP check to see if you have a 3rd party wireless client, I’ve seen many times that they conflict with Windows wireless. If you do have a 3rd party client I’d personally uninstall it. Also check Windows Wireless Zero Config.

Start>Control Panel>(switch to classic view) Administrative Tools>Services>(scroll down to the W’s) double click Wireless Zero Config

Wireless Zero Config properties window click on recoveries tab….put all three dropdows on Restart the service, then click apply. Go back to general tab make sure start up type is set to automatic, and if you can hit the Start button, do so. Click OK. Close all windows.

Now go to Start>Control Panel>Network Connections>(right click) Wireless Network Connection>Properties

Properties Window…click on Wireless Network tab, make sure there is a checkmark in where it says “Allow Windows to configure/manage my wireless network”...then go down in your prefered networks list box and clear out all networks there. Press OK. Right Click again on Wireless Network Connection and “view available Wireless Networks” Reconnect to your network (have WEP key handy)

GeorgeGee's avatar

Most likely the signal is too weak.

TommyGun's avatar

I think it’s the signal, try repositioning your laptop and see where the signal is the strongest. Also try updating the network adapter’s drivers and check the router for any problems, try restarting it.

jerv's avatar

Not all wifi adapters are created equal.

Just about any wifi card/chip can pull a signal at short range with line-of-sight, but some are really touchy about range and intervening obstacles. The wifi in my Toshiba T135 never has any issues at home, but my desktop system that I have on 802.11n (I didn’t feel like stringing 30 feet of CAT5 cable) will occasionally drop for a few seconds. It’s a little odd since sometimes I will be less than three feet away from the tower with full-strength on my laptop when the tower drops yet my laptop doesn’t.

Given the age of your laptop, I think it entirely possible that it’s wifi adapter just isn’t as strong as a modern Macbook’s. It’ll be working like new, and it’ll pass a bench test, but it’ll be intermittent and flaky in real-world use.

perspicacious's avatar

I would think the network adapter in that PC or your router are likely suspects.

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