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Please Help Me With My Piece Of...wireless Router...


SystemD
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I was hoping you could help me with my predicament...

Every night at around 10:30 pm, my WIFI goes to total crap. Tonight I decided to actually do some research as to why. It turns out my neighbour is not only using his WIFI with damn near the same signal strength, but for some reason that's beyond me, both our routers are picking the same channel to use (5).

After having a chat with him, it would seem he's on the computer around about 10:30 every night so I have good reason to believe my issues are due to interference.

I'm checked my router settings and it's on auto detect, but won't switch away from channel 5 even though 1 and 9 are sitting free of any signal right now. I tried manually specifying another chanel and I keep getting an error.

Is there something I'm doing wrong on this? Or should I just call my ISP who supplied the equipment and give them hell?

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Reset the router with the switch on the back, then immediately go in and change the admin password, and disable administration over wifi. Change the SSID to something new, different than what you had before. Then, go to the routers manufaturer site, and RELOAD the firmware. I don't care if it says its already the same revision, reload the firmware. Then start making all your changes. Do all of this over a wired connection of course too, turn off wifi until all updates and configuration changes are made, then re-enable the wifi, and set it up for WPA2 if capable and choose a NEW password than what you used in the past.

As for interference, its certainly possible. Its also possible someone hacked your router though. Reloading the firmware, helps to at least start fresh, in the event someone else may have hacked and done that already to you. Also, once done, you should be able to change the channel to something like 11. Usually you want to choose channels 1, 6 or 11, since everythign else bleeds into other channels and causes some major issues. If you are savvy enough and can find firmware for countries outside the US, you can enable channel 14 on the router(if its capable) and then set all your home devices to channel 14(if they are also capable, which some require registry hacks to enable the other channels since they won't show up with US drivers all the time). Putting it on channel 14, pretty much should clear up interference with the neighbor. Also, you can(and this may sound crazy) shield the router with tinfoil. You could get large pieces of cardboard and cover them in tinfoil, and place them near windows in the room the router is in, and this can also cut down on interference. Radio signals can't ravel through metal very well, if at all depending on the materials and thickness, so you could effectively "shield" your home from outside access. Sounds silly, but it actually works. Just don't cut of site with in your own home to your wireless devices.

Oh, also disable the automatic wifi configuration settings (WPS or wifi protected setup) if its enabled. Always use manual wifi setups, or your router could be taken over with attacks like Reaver.

Edited by digip
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Thank you for the help!

I'm going to try this in the next few days, when I can be reasonably sure that my roommates won't need internet access for a while.

I failed to mention too that its entirely possible tha tthe box was hacked because the username and password for the admin functions were left as the defaults. I'm going to go on record as saying that I've only moved into this place a few weeks ago and the internet setup is an inherited problem. They considered the fact that the building is mostly 50+ as security enough, but I'm starting to have serious doubts.

Looks like I'm doing my banking from work for now!

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If your building is full of older folks, I'd not do the channel 14 thing. The reason we can't use 14 in the US is because some wireless medical equipment uses that frequency, or close to it. Would suck to kill old Bob down the hallway when you fire up a torrent and his pacemaker explodes.

Oh, also disable the automatic wifi configuration settings (WPS or wifi protected setup) if its enabled. Always use manual wifi setups, or your router could be taken over with attacks like Reaver.

I've found some home routers are still vulnerable to reaver even when wps is turned "off". About all the gui does is uncheck the box, wps still runs. Linksys routers are good for this.

Edited by barry99705
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If your building is full of older folks, I'd not do the channel 14 thing. The reason we can't use 14 in the US is because some wireless medical equipment uses that frequency, or close to it. Would suck to kill old Bob down the hallway when you fire up a torrent and his pacemaker explodes.

I've found some home routers are still vulnerable to reaver even when wps is turned "off". About all the gui does is uncheck the box, wps still runs. Linksys routers are good for this.

Well, mine seems to kill WPS when its turned off. Clicking the external button on the router overrides it(since it essentially turning it on for a sync), but I have it disabled and reaver just times out on my router when trying it.

As for channel 14, I don't think you would have too much issue with this, because if "Bob down the hall" turned on his microwave to reheat dinner and sat right in front of it while watching it cook, he would effectively give himself the same effect. We're still talking 2.4ghz here, just very narrow fequency difference for the channel hop, and normal channels for wifi routers ALREADY can affect pacemakers in the normal channels 1-11, so I highly doubt channel 14 will hurt Bob, let alone kill him.

Also, there is a somewhat of a 6 inch rule for people with pacemakers to really be effected by Wireless equipment in general, which in essence speeds up their heart rate depending on the type of pacemaker they have and how its calibrated, but won't kill them. Might give them a panic attack at most. You could call them metal detectors, but instead of detecting metal, they can detect radio waves with their pacemakers. I think you'll be fine, so long as the FCC doesn't come in and catch you using channel 14.

Edited by digip
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Well, I opted not to go with Channel 14 on the grounds that it wasn't my wireless router to brick by accident. I did however, take all the steps mentioned by digip and still I was stuck on Channel 6 (or five, and can't reall tell from my Android app).

So I called my ISP and they said "it's a known issue with the particular router and, oh by the way, if your firmware doesn't match what we have in our DB, we push out our preferred version, so even though you put in a whole new version that fixed a bunch of problems, we just put it right back at midnight".

Argh.

On the plus side, we now have some fun new equipment coming that I'm going to set up properly from the get go, and I was able to negotiate for a better bandwith at no extra charge.

I should really thank you guys though, because when we called in and explained everything I already did, there was a minimum of scripted troubleshooting before I was passed through to a tech rep.

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Wait ROUTER or all in one Modem/Router from the ISP? If its not a STAND ALONE router, then I suggest 1, buy a stand alone router, 2, disable wifi on the modem/router the ISP gave you, and 3 roll your own Wireless solution from the wan port of the new router to the old one and you should be all snazzy jazzy with no issues from the POS device. ISP's, can't update consumer routers at home, only equipment such as the modem, or all in one modem/routers, which makes me think your on DSL or Fios with some crappy actiontec all in one device. No ISP should be able to load anything onto a home based router, while they may try though, if you own the router, and its not a modem they shouldn't be able to reach it. So, this HAS to be an all in one modem/router from the ISP, and if thats the case, do what I suggested with buying your own wifi router and disable wifi on theirs. That will run you wired from the modem to your new router, and then you can proceed to lock down the new router. Also, make sure to port forward port 69, to a non user address on the new router. Pesky ISP's trying to load firmware onto the device, can be blocked from doing so if you port forward tftp to somewhere that doesn't exist, which might even work with THEIR router, although if they have crappy firmware bugs to begin with, won't help your wifi using their device.

All ISP's can update modems, since thats how they work by design. They can receive the config from the CMTS, but also firmware updates. And if you didn't know it, they can also flash your TV and PC's cable cards firmware, something I detest and think is foul if you own the hardware, and am seriously considering going to my local congressman in my state to have a law put in place that they can't do it, but as of now, all ISP's can flash the firmware on all modems, customer owned or not, which in the event they actually BRICK your own modem you bought, they are not responsible. I had this issue with Comcast, and they bricked one modem, damaged a second, and loaded all kinds of back door shit on my 3rd one just last month.

So my suggestion, buy a separate wifi router, and wire it up to the modem, but make sure you lock it down, disable all remote administration interfaces from the internet side, disable wifi on the old modem/router, and roll your own wifi setup. Your speeds will increase and you will have much less issues with your network.

Edited by digip
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Heh, I had a 30 minute conversation with TWC's support last week because they "upgraded" their cable modem. I had them put it in dumb modem mode and pass the public ip to me, and disable the built in wifi. When they upgraded it, dhcp started and killed my internet, since my router was set to have the public number. After explaining to the tech support guy, that yes, the router really can do that, it took him 10 minutes to log into it so he could put the settings back. Took two more calls to get them to turn off the wifi. They kept telling me that it wasn't a big deal because it was outside my router, so no one could get onto my network. I told them, yea, but if my neighbor's kid uploads nude photo's of his girlfriend on it, who's physical address are they going to give to the FBI when they come knocking with child porn charges and my modem's ip address? He said he never thought of that.

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It was an ISP all in one. The new equipment is still on it's way, but when it gets here, I'm so going to turn off the WIFI on it assuming they let me. Canadian ISP's sometimes tell you no because they can, it's pretty rediculous the rules that our government has allowed through on some things. If they haven't shipped anything yet (which is possible) I think I'll try to talk them into sending just a basic modem since we don't have cable at all. Just a Roku streaming Netflix and my precious, precious internet.

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