Wi-Fi Weirdness

mubs

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Long story, please bear with me.

My wi-fi gear is Buffalo, purchased in 2006. There's a router/mothership and two identical access points that work with the router. They all have 4 Ethernet ports in the back. Have never used one of the access points; it continues to stay in its box.

The router has always been used as the main access point and not a router because the DSL/Telco provider typically has provided the router with a single Ethernet port. This has been connected via a short cable to one of the ethernet ports in the back of the router-used-as-access-point. One of the pure access points is located in another room where the desktops are, and communicates with the main access point to provide internet connectivity to the desktops.

The Buffalo equipment have a feature called AOSS (AirStation OneTouch Secure System) which is a single button press for 30-seconds system by which two Buffalo access points start communicating with themselves in the most secure manner possible. There have been no issues at all with the Buffalo gear communicating with each other, ever.

In this new location (We moved in May), we have only one desktop, mine, connected via ethernet cable to the satellite access point. The laptop communicates wirelessly with the main access point. There have been numerous issues with the laptop seeing the network but not able to connect. I live in a high-rise apartment complex, and at anytime, 2-4 additional access points are visible (except one, they're all password protected). After much fruitless troubleshooting, I changed the channel on which my access points worked, and the laptop's internet connection has been stable since.

My new Android smartphone had no issues with wi-fi (till today; more later). The daughter's Ipod 5 has had zero issues with wi-fi connections.

I got my daughter a new Android 4.0 smartphone a few days ago, and on the first day, with defaults (DHCP), it connected to the wi-fi immediately. The next day we went out (out of range of the wi-fi) and I turned off wi-fi on her phone, telling her the battery will last longer. When we came back, it wouldn't connect when we turned wi-fi on in the phone. I went nuts trying to figure that one out. It kept saying "connecting...Connected...Connecting...Connected" over and over again. I put in a static IP address. Now it would stay connected, but couldn't browse. Googling gave some ideas. I powered off - on the main access point and bingo, the phone connected immediately and was able to go to the 'net. By now the phone was back in default DHCP mode because of all our troubleshooting efforts.

This morning I tried my phone, and it's doing the "connecting..., Connected" flashing thing over and over again. Wi-fi, bluetooth and mobile data access are always off in my phone, turned on only when required and then turned off again.

I don't think it's the phones. Is the main access point going senile? It supports only AES WPA-PSK (my pw is 36 chars long, but I remember that pw are sent/received in plain text and can be snooped on?). Should I replace it with N tech gear? I will need the same setup - main AP and a satellite AP.

Comments, critiques welcome. TIA.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
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Jan 21, 2002
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Should I replace it with N tech gear?
AC is the latest norm, not N. To my knowledge, the wifi key isn't sent in plain text ; it's encrypted. It can be snooped on, but then they have to decode it.

And Striker's idea to switch channel is a good one. I've often done it with success. Nice app BTW.
 

mubs

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Done. I am on Channel 11; one neighbor is on 1, another on 6. No conflicts. My signal is the strongest (about 3x as high as the next most powerful one). Each parameter shows my current settings to be best.

Of course I will check again multiple times tomorrow to make sure current results aren't a fluke.

Thanks.
 

mubs

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AC is the latest norm, not N. To my knowledge, the wifi key isn't sent in plain text ; it's encrypted. It can be snooped on, but then they have to decode it.
Is AC ratified or still draft? I'd hate to spend a pile of money and find my router is non-compliant.

My point was that my Buffalo gear use WPA, not WPA2. AFAIK, WPA is easily hacked.
 

mubs

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After a few days, another network popped up on the same channel I was, and other than the second Buffalo AP that could connect without any problems, no mobile device could, despite mu signal strength being much stronger. I changed by channel to one a few steps away, and my signal strength became even stronger than its previous highest, and all mobile devices could connect. Have to wait and watch to see how it goes.

Lunar, it may have been mentioned previously, but I got my Android phone only a couple of months back, so Striker's post was immensely useful to me.
 

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
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My gear was purchased in 2006 - works only on 2.4 GHz :)

Sad part is my cordless phone also works on 2.4 GHz and suffers from interference :(
 
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