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Intermittent wireless signal with 802.11N routers and access points

This article will help you troubleshoot an intermittent wireless connection problem when connecting to your Linksys router.  You should begin the troubleshooting process by doing the procedure listed below.  After completing the following steps, you may then move into other areas of troubleshooting as necessary.

Step 1:
Disable the wireless adapter on your computer.

NOTE:  For instructions on how to disable your wireless adapter, click here.

Step 2:
Connect your computer using an Ethernet cable to an available port on your router or access point.

NOTE:  When applying changes to the router or access point configurations, you should always be connected Hardwired via Ethernet cable.  This will ensure that the changes will be properly saved.

Step 3:
Access the router's web-based setup page.

NOTE:  For instructions on how to access your routers web-based setup page, click here.  If you’re using a Linksys E-Series Router, you need to launch the Linksys Connect software first to properly access the router’s web-based setup page.  To know how, click here.

Step 4:
Once you are inside the web-based setup page, click on the Wireless tab at the upper area of the screen.



Step 5:
In the Configuration View field, select Manual.  Ensure that the Network Name (SSID) is correct.


Step 6:
In the Channel Width field, select 20MHz only.


NOTE:  Other router models have options to select 40MHz.  If you want to know when to set the network to use 20MHz or 40MHz channel width to avoid interferences, click here.

Step 7:
You should now have the option to manually select a channel, in the Channel field.  When using 802.11N, the following channels are known to provide the best throughput:

  • Channel 1
  • Channel 6
  • Channel 9
  • Channel 11

Select channel 6 for now.

NOTE:  Always start by selecting channel 6, followed by other channels to compare the performance of each one.


Step 8:
For testing purposes, set SSID Broadcast to Enabled.


Step 9:
Click on Save Settings at the bottom of the page.


Step 10:
Once you receive confirmation that your settings have been successfully saved, click on the Continue button and close the window.


Step 11:
Completely power OFF your router and computer.  You may now disconnect the Ethernet connection between your computer and router.

Step 12:
After 30 seconds, power your router and computer back ON.  Once the Wireless LED on your router lights up blue, try connecting to the wireless network again.

Step 13:
Once you are successfully connected, verify whether the wireless connection's stability has improved.  If there is no improvement, try any of the alternative channels recommended in Step 6 and verify the performance again.

The figure below illustrates the performance of 802.11n networks versus other wireless network standards.


NOTE:  In order to take full advantage of the speed and range that wireless 802.11N has to offer, both router and adapter must be wireless 802.11N capable.

After testing the recommended alternative channels and the performance is still not improving, you may then upgrade the router’s firmware.  For instructions, click here.


Related Article:

Checking the wireless connection speed of your computer


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