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The wireless AP I've been using has glitched out and the two symptoms are the DHCP server no longer working, and random stalls in the connection. I can't reboot it, so I've been trying to solve the problem locally.

Every once in a while, the connection will stall for anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds, during which time no packets are received. On Windows, clearing the arp cache netsh interface ip delete arpcache will cause the connection to instantly start working again (even though the ARP cache was never bad), and I've resorted to running a script that clears the ARP cache every N seconds. This indicates to me that packets are getting improperly buffered somewhere.

If I continuously ping Google.com, I get 0% packet loss with round-trips never over 50ms even though I can watch the pinging stall and then all of a sudden show the last N missing pings.

Any ideas about what I could do to fix this problem on Linux or Mac?

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1 Answer 1

If you are using wireless, this might be caused by outside interference.
Try to change the router's channel to 11 (the strongest), and see if transmission improves.

If this is not your case, please give more details about your network architecture.

EDIT

You say that the network architecture is ultra-simple and the problem is in Windows (although the post is tagged "Mac" & "Linux"?).

Windows is known for wireless freezes caused by regular scanning for new wireless networks, even if you are already connected to a network.

The following article explains the problem and proposes some solutions:
How to Fix Wireless Lag in Vista and Windows 7.

Despite its title, the proposed solutions work also for XP.

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Outside interference fails to explain why clearing the arp cache in Windows causes it to start working, nor why the problem started when the router glitched out. The network is a simple wireless route with clients. –  erjiang Jul 23 '10 at 15:49
    
@mazin k.: See my edit. –  harrymc Jul 23 '10 at 16:11
    
I meant that the problem can be temporarily fixed on Windows, and would like to find out some sort of similar fix on Mac or Linux. –  erjiang Jul 27 '10 at 20:19

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