Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Me vs. The Wi-Fi

Or as we call it around here, Wi-Fi Fo Fum...

My Nexus 5 phone has been suffering from what seems to be an endemic problem that came with Android Marshmallow that causes it to connect poorly with certain Wi-Fi hotspots, especially the one that sits in my office here at home. This means that the connection drops, picks up, drops, streams a few bytes, drops -- well, you start to get the picture. And it's been going on for several months now, despite my best efforts at jiggering the Wi-Fi configuration on both the phone and my WAP to get around it.

I have been swearing at my cheap Tenda access point hardware. A lot. Of course, the trick is finding something to replace it with.

And then my friend Greg posted a link to this prodigy of a Wi-Fi router which can also be easily configured as a WAP. I figured that I had more money than sense -- a configuration that is not quite as true today after paying the second installment of property taxes -- so I ordered the beastie in the hope that it would solve my problem.

The router arrived on Saturday. I hauled it upstairs, configured it as a WAP, told it what address range it should run in, plugged it into the network, and--

Well, things would connect to it. They just couldn't get any data out of it.

After about an hour of futzing around with the thing, I figured I would haul it down to the basement, reconfigure it as a router, and bring the old Cisco/Linksys E4200 router upstairs and configure it as the WAP in the hope that something would work.

A few minutes later, the new TP-LINK router was in the basement, connected, and happily broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal that my phone could connect to.

So I took the Cisco/Linksys router upstairs, reconfigured it as a WAP, plugged it into the network, and--

Well, things would connect to it. They just couldn't get any data out of it.

More swearing ensued.

Finally, I reset the Tenda WAP and plugged it directly into my computer so that I could get at it, which required me to reset the IP address for the computer, because my address range and the default IP address for the Tenda WAP are not compatible. And I reconfigured the Tenda WAP and set it up for assorted bits of default configuration. And I plugged it into the network, and...

Things saw it. Things connected to it. They got data out of it.

More to the point, my phone connected to it correctly and has continued to do so.

I am beginning to believe that the problem in the system was the Cisco/Linksys E4200 router and (possibly) how it was configured.

It is going on the shelf as an emergency spare.

And things are working.

Knock on wood.

(You would not believe how annoyed the girls got when I kept pulling the Internet access out from under the computers they were using while this hardware fandango was going on! You'd think that they had some sort of Service Level Guarantee or something...)
Tags: computers, hardware, home, musings, tech

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