wireless dead again - router suggestions?

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montanagirl
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wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by montanagirl » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:22 am

After a year and a half, the wireless part of our Nighthawk router is dead again. We can get to the internet from our desktops, but none of the mobile devices including the TV can get on. I've tried updating the firmware and rebooting, but it didn't fix the problem. My devices keep trying to connect, then look connected momentarily, then try again and again.

So that's about 6 dead Netgear routers for us. I think they crap out from overheating but DH wants to leave it running all the time. But I admit I used to turn them off at night and they still failed on a regular basis.

Maybe I should try something besides Netgear? Does anyone have any suggestions?

marstaton4
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by marstaton4 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:31 am

This probably isn't your problem but I've had several wireless routers that I thought were bad that actually had power supplies that have partially failed. Some symptoms I had were frequently dropped connections and frequent reboots needed for the router to work normally at least until it needed its next reboot. Might be something to check out if you have another one with similar specs floating around.

jbuzolich
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by jbuzolich » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 am

These types of devices are designed to be left running untouched for years at a time. Leaving them turned on is what they are supposed to do. Overheating should not be an issue assuming you have it uncovered with free air flow and not under a piece of furniture or buried in with other items or equipment. Something is going on though if you've gone through six of them. I'd look to the power supply and the outlet you are using. Make sure it is plugged into a quality surge protector.

My routers tend to die within five years regardless but I don't spend much on them either.

lightheir
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by lightheir » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:58 am

There are tons of posts will lots of thumbs up for the mesh-networks systems - Google wifi, Orbi, etc.

I posted before, but I was using a hi-end Netgear router as well, couldn't reach my garage and also flaked out from time to time. I got so annoyed I got a Google wifi afterwards, and it's literally been flawless. The few times my internet disappeared, I just popped open the very easy to use Android app, and confirmed it was the house internet, not the wifi router nodes that were down. Hands down best, most stable wifi I've ever had, and also the easiest to set up.

Stonebr
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Stonebr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:01 am

jbuzolich wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 am
These types of devices are designed to be left running untouched for years at a time. Leaving them turned on is what they are supposed to do.

My routers tend to die within five years regardless but I don't spend much on them either.
We turn ours off every night and always when we go on vacation. We have never lost one to anything but obsolescence. Our current one is over 5 years old. The previous one was 6 years old when we moved. These are nasty little phantom loads that can and should be turned off with a power strip when not in use.
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pshonore
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by pshonore » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:01 am

Sometimes resetting routers to factory defaults will cure the problem. There's usually a reset button (sometimes only accesible with a paper clip, etc.) If you go that route, don't forget to establish new passwords, etc/

emoore
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by emoore » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:01 am

I’ve owned 2 main routers in the last 15 years. Both Apple AirPort Extremes. The first lasted 12 years and I only replaced it because I wanted ac and timecapsule. I highly recommend the Apple routers.

livesoft
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:04 am

My spouse bought a new laptop. Ever since, we have had wireless problems whenever she users her laptop to stream videos. Rebooting the router fixes the problem. When she is not home, I've had no problems whatsoever and I stream videos all the time.
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montanagirl
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by montanagirl » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:12 am

marstaton4 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:31 am
This probably isn't your problem but I've had several wireless routers that I thought were bad that actually had power supplies that have partially failed. Some symptoms I had were frequently dropped connections and frequent reboots needed for the router to work normally at least until it needed its next reboot. Might be something to check out if you have another one with similar specs floating around.
Wouldn't that affect the Ethernet connection to the internet as well? I'm hardwired to the back of the router now and the connection has never failed.

Also I did the factory reset, which also brought a firmware update, and it works not at all now whereas before it was intermittent.

Will look into the Google solution.

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Ged
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Ged » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:22 am

Google is good equipment, the problem I have with it is that it comes with a privacy notice - they collect data from your router. Be sure you are ok with that.

Recently I've had good luck with Asus - they patch vulnerabilities aggressively and most models are based on well established Open Source products. The Asus I use manages to cover a 2000 sq ft house with no mesh network or repeaters needed.

Y.A.Tittle
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Y.A.Tittle » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:53 am

I assume this is for home use. Hard to imagine 6 of any router going bad, but I have no experience with Netgear routers. Netgear powerline Ethernet products are top-notch.

I would not turn routers off every night. I would be diligent about thermal issues: ensure free airflow, don't put anything on top of them, keep all four sides clear of "stuff" and elevate them a bit. Some have weird little stands to put the antenna up high and ensure that the bottom gets fresh air. I second the motion to put it on a surge supressor.

As to recommendations, I've had great experience with ASUS routers. They have several, so choose based on capacity, how much WiFi coverage you need and price. Their U/I is good and once up & running, I've only touched mine to check for firmware updates.

marstaton4
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by marstaton4 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:37 pm

montanagirl wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:12 am

Wouldn't that affect the Ethernet connection to the internet as well? I'm hardwired to the back of the router now and the connection has never failed.
It's been a few years and I believe I only had one pc connected via ethernet and I think it was working. In general the radios in devices like this are a bit more sensitive to power issues and usually draw the most current from what I understand.

Afty
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Afty » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:43 pm

I agree that routers are designed to run continuously, and turning one off at night is not necessary. I've been running various WiFi routers for at least 10 years and have never needed to turn them off except for updates.

How's the airflow where you are placing these routers? Does doing a reset fix the problem?

deikel
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by deikel » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:49 pm

For what its worth:

We have an Asus Dark Knight router and it showed the same symptoms and it was clearly overheating when doing so. There is a wireless strength or 'sent wattage' setting you can reduce (or in my case increase since I wanted to reach a Neighbor and share my WiFi) - maybe worth a try to check yours ? On my router I can not go above medium or it acts up, than again I don't need it either, router is in central location and has plenty range in my house - so low wattage use is fine.
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2comma
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by 2comma » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:11 pm

Since you've had so many routers die I'd make sure it was on a new surge protector (I've read they decay with time) and make sure it has plenty of ventilation. I've read several instances where the wifi went out but the hardwired connections still worked. Recently I was looking for routers and read reviews and Amazon comments on way too many and I couldn't really get a good feel for which are the most powerful or reliable. There always seemed to be 10-15% bad comments with all and a bunch of people complaining about poor customer support . From all that research I tended to favor the Asus but got a tp-link but the Nighthawks are very popular and Linksys and all the others so I came to the conclusion I wasn't going to find a superior router so you take your chances and see what you happens.
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lthenderson
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by lthenderson » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:17 pm

montanagirl wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:22 am
So that's about 6 dead Netgear routers for us. I think they crap out from overheating but DH wants to leave it running all the time.

Maybe I should try something besides Netgear? Does anyone have any suggestions?

I would have tried something other than Netgear four routers ago.

For what it is worth, my ASUS router has been on non-stop for the last five years when it replaced one that was probably ten years old that also was on non-stop. The one it replaced worked fine but I needed a faster router.

Easy Rhino
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Easy Rhino » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Did all of the routers die the same way? Wireless dead but ethernet still works? If so its probably the radios dying. I would look at air circulation or maybe even you AC power is having problems.... you were replacing the ac adapters each time right?

You shouldn't have to turn it off at night.

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Toons
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Toons » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:08 pm

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Katietsu
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Katietsu » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:16 pm

I have the Netgear Nighthawk. It has been running continually with no problem for 2 years or so. I have never even had to reboot it- though I guess a few power outages would have done that. I use it with half a dozen devices including iOS, Android and windows based. My good old Linksys 54g is well over 10 years old and still be used at a second location. I say this because it sounds like you have phenomenally bad luck or a bigger problem to address.

aristotelian
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by aristotelian » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:18 pm

I just use whatever AT&T gives me. When they die, I call and complain and get a new one for free.

killjoy2012
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:38 pm

Are you sure the wireless is dead, and it's not just that your neighbors decided to put their wireless on the same channel you were using? Having 5 wireless routers die in < 10 years or whatever is almost unheard of. The problem with wireless is that it's great, until stuff stops working like it's supposed to.

If you do decide to go with a mesh technology, understand the liability/risks associated with using a cloud-based management solution requires.

jbuzolich
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by jbuzolich » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:58 pm

Stonebr wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:01 am
jbuzolich wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 am
These types of devices are designed to be left running untouched for years at a time. Leaving them turned on is what they are supposed to do.

My routers tend to die within five years regardless but I don't spend much on them either.
We turn ours off every night and always when we go on vacation. We have never lost one to anything but obsolescence. Our current one is over 5 years old. The previous one was 6 years old when we moved. These are nasty little phantom loads that can and should be turned off with a power strip when not in use.
Sounds great, not worth my time personally though plus we may use ours at any time 24 hours a day. I do shut it off on vacations as well if I think about it. My comment was that they are not designed with a need to be turned off or cooled down like some electronics. There's no requirement to turn them off so the OP questioning about doing that and maybe not having the routers die as often should not be a factor.

nexesn
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by nexesn » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:13 pm

Someone posted this earlier in the thread. It's quite possible that the power is spiking and destroying the router. I've had one nether that has lasted 7 years without fail.

I would suggest getting a regulated power strip when you replace the wireless router. That will hopefully help with the issue.

If you are looking to increase signal and speed of your wireless setup (which it doesn't sound like you are) I would highly recommend the Velop mesh router system. But, if one router has been doing the trick, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S is a good router.

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Ricola
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Ricola » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:25 pm

I had a high-end Netgear Nighthawk for about 2 weeks. It acted strange and uncontrollable from the beginning. Took it back and am now trying a TP-Links, so far so good.

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wander
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by wander » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:46 pm

I used to have problem with Microsoft, Western Digital and Linksys routers. They worked for a few months and became intermittent. It worked a minute before and suddenly stopped at a minute later. Reset eventually fixed it. I replaced them with Buffalo DD-WRT routers and have been so happy. It's run last three years without any problem, if it stopped working then I knew the problem was from the Internet service provider (ISP). One of the best features is: every 5 minutes, it checks the connection with the website I want and if it could not establish the connection, it will reboot by itself. For example, I let it run for a year but it displays that it has run for 23 days straight, meaning it rebooted 23 days ago when it detected internet connection lost. All happened automatically.
You may flash your router with DDWRT firmware.

Raven2
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Raven2 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:50 pm

montanagirl wrote
So that's about 6 dead Netgear routers for us. I think they crap out from overheating but DH wants to leave it running all the time. But I admit I used to turn them off at night and they still failed on a regular basis.
Since you've had so many routers die I'd make sure it was on a new surge protector (I've read they decay with time) and make sure it has plenty of ventilation. I've read several instances where the wifi went out but the hardwired connections still worked. Recently I was looking for routers and read reviews and Amazon comments on way too many and I couldn't really get a good feel for which are the most powerful or reliable. There always seemed to be 10-15% bad comments with all and a bunch of people complaining about poor customer support . From all that research I tended to favor the Asus but got a tp-link but the Nighthawks are very popular and Linksys and all the others so I came to the conclusion I wasn't going to find a superior router so you take your chances and see what you happens.
It may be an electrical surge problem or the router is located in a confined location with inadequate ventilation that causes it to overheat. All popular routers, Asus, Linksys, Netgear, Tp-link, etc. have about the same reliability with none significantly better or worse. Experiencing 6 dead routers indicates a problem other than router reliability.

Try replacing your surge protector with one having high joule rating, and avoid the cheap ones. Check the router is placed in a cool area with adequate ventilation. Routers are designed to be left on 24/7 and turning on and off each day may shorten their life.

montanagirl
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by montanagirl » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:52 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:38 pm


If you do decide to go with a mesh technology, understand the liability/risks associated with using a cloud-based management solution requires.
Thanks, I decided against that due the security issue and price as well.

So, I bought a less expensive Linksys router and *this time* got the 2 year replacement warranty. Funny they didn't even offer 3 year. :? DH is going to install a shelf to lift it up and away from everything else, and has a wire rack to put it on as well.

At least it's not another Netgear.

finite_difference
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by finite_difference » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Linksys WRT54GL w/ DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. Run Ethernet cable if you need to extend your reach. The wireless bridge mode also works quite well.

Any recommendations for a Cisco wireless router that can be gotten relatively inexpensively? That would be the next step up in my opinion. Not sure if there is a good used option in the ~$500-1000 range though.
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JBTX
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by JBTX » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:28 pm

Installed orbi system about a month ago. So far so good. No issues and much improved WiFi reception through out house.

I’ve had a couple of prior routers go bad every3-5 years.

Big Dog
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by Big Dog » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:56 pm

fwiw: I can't recall that we've ever had a router die. (A couple of modems conked out over 20 years, but no routers.). We do turn them off every night - to save a few pennies of electricity. Plus, I know I can't be hacked if the internet is off!

That being said, we have upgraded routers over time, just to obtain the new bandwidth. Used D-link for years, since it worked best in our house. For past ~6 years have been using Apple+Time Capsule for auto backup.

darrvao777
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by darrvao777 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:31 am

JBTX wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:28 pm
Installed orbi system about a month ago. So far so good. No issues and much improved WiFi reception through out house.

I’ve had a couple of prior routers go bad every3-5 years.
Same here, love my orbi

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:25 am

+1 to the suggestions about the power adapter. I ran Netgear routers for years and did have to replace one power adapter. I keep a box of my old power adapters and have one that is a multifunction adapter.

I did just convert to a Google Wifi mesh system. It is very nice.

rutrow2015
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by rutrow2015 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:03 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:04 am
My spouse bought a new laptop. Ever since, we have had wireless problems whenever she users her laptop to stream videos. Rebooting the router fixes the problem. When she is not home, I've had no problems whatsoever and I stream videos all the time.
Is it possible that your wife's laptop is using a duplicate IP address? An address that has already been assigned to another device on your home network?

Check the network connection properties on her laptop - specifically the TCP/IP v4 settings and make sure she is using DHCP and not static (both IP address and DNS server should be selected automatically). How to get there depends on what Operating System the laptop is running.

Another possibility, albeit remote, is that your router has QoS settings that throttle normal traffic by dedicating too much bandwidth to streaming videos going to her laptop specifically. I've never actually seen a router setting that allows QoS on a 'per IP address' basis like this but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I guess expanding on this idea ... is there something inherent in her laptop settings that allow it to hog all of the wireless bandwidth when she is streaming videos? Some routers have tools with realtime charting of bandwidth usage that might help you visualize what is going on when she streams.

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munemaker
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:27 am

Stonebr wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:01 am

We turn ours off every night and always when we go on vacation. ...These are nasty little phantom loads that can and should be turned off with a power strip when not in use.
What is the reason for turning them off? The electrical load of a router is very small, not nasty at all.

This reminds me of my mother in law. One of her kids bought her a digital picture frame where the digital photos are displayed on a screen and switch automatically from photo to photo. MIL would plug in the picture frame, view the photos, and then unplug it. Saves electricity, sure, but seems a little ridiculous.

My electric bill averages $100/month. So maybe if I unplugged my router when not in use, it would average $99.90?

livesoft
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:55 am

rutrow2015 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:03 am
Is it possible that your wife's laptop is using a duplicate IP address? An address that has already been assigned to another device on your home network?

Check the network connection properties on her laptop - specifically the TCP/IP v4 settings and make sure she is using DHCP and not static (both IP address and DNS server should be selected automatically). How to get there depends on what Operating System the laptop is running.
[...]
Thanks, I'll follow up on your suggestions.
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KNMLHD
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Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

Post by KNMLHD » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:16 pm

I've used many Linksys routers in the past (The WRT54G was a tank), but about 2 years ago switched to Asus 86U - not the latest and greatest, but I don't have a wireless device (yet) that needs any of the newer gizz bang wireless protocol changes. Pretty good range, lots of extra security features compared to past routers... It's gotten fairly solid reviews over the year(s)... I've been quite happy w/it.

If you have an Asus router, check out the Merlin 3rd party firmware (built on top of Asus's firmware. Asus often takes bug fixes from this firmware and folds them back into their main branch).

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