Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 2701HG-B 2WIRE modem/router from my DSL provider (AT&T). It has worked pretty well for over a year now.

Recently, it has started giving my wireless devices some trouble (iPhones and laptop). Almost every night sometime shortly after midnight, the WiFi becomes unavailable for connections. The SSID is still being broadcast, the signal strength is the same as it was, but my devices cannot connect to it at all - no network nor internet connection. It then resolves itself usually within the next 2 hours.

Rebooting the devices doesn't change anything, so I assume it's the router. It doesn't matter how many devices are trying to connect (1 - 3), results stay the same. Rebooting the router fixes the problem, but frankly I'm tired of doing so every night.

Is there another known solution? The router has the most recent firmware updates. The router is not very configuration-friendly. I'd be willing to experiment.

Also, I still have my original modem, and can get a new router if the diagnosis is not favorable for the 2WIRE.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, this happens to the wireless devices even while I'm using my desktop connected via ethernet. My ethernet connection is amazingly stable. So I know the router and modem are working fine, it's just the wireless that seems to have trouble. I don't use torrents, my WiFi is WPA2 secured, and I don't know of any devices turning on that would be able to interfere (I'm in a house in the city, not an apt.) For instance, my neighbor has a sodium light, but it's on the other side of her house and it has always been there, so that would't explain why I have the recent disconnects.

share|improve this question
Are you sure it is the wireless? Have you tried plugging into it to see if it still happens with that computer? Have you tried a computer plugged directly into the original modem to see if it still happens? – MaQleod Aug 23 '11 at 5:00
Please see my edit. I believe I have it narrowed down to the wireless. I changed the channel, I'll see how it does for a few nights. – apathos Aug 24 '11 at 4:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you try the other things suggested by @MaQleod and @Matth1a3 and it really does seem that the wifi connection is the issue, it may be that some other device/s nearby are suddenly transmitting on frequencies, or just generating interference, on or near your wifi channel frequency during the time you are having the problem.

Things might improve or get worse if you change transmitting channel and it may help if you can run an app that lets you know what wireless activity is happening around the time you have problems; if you are running Widows, you could try something like Netstumbler or Meraki WiFi Stumbler

Things that may cause interference include:

  • Fluorescent (CFL) lamps (is a security light coming on outside?)
  • Nearby domestic devices using cheaper overnight electricity (eg: washing machines or storage heaters)
  • Someone scheduling downloads during their broadband 'off peak' period

The one thing that kills my wifi is my 2.4GHz video sender - it's set on its channel 3 and everything works fine, but if I have a power cut (my house is in a small village in the middle of the countryside and we have the odd power fluctuation a few times a year) and it resets itself to its channel 1 then I can connect to my wifi but no data gets sent or received (it's a good 'power fail indicator!!'). Maybe someone locally switches on a video sender and watches late night TV? Again, changing your wifi channel may help.

You should also consider the possibility that someone has managed to hook up to your wifi network and is using your bandwidth for some heavy downloads, causing difficulties for other devices, so it might be an idea to check that you are using strong wifi encryption (WPA or WPA2) and change your password to something 'stronger'/longer - maybe something of 12 characters or more with a combination of letters and numbers.

share|improve this answer
I changed the channel I was transmitting, and I have not had any problems since. Thanks for the help! – apathos Aug 28 '11 at 2:02

Mine was having similiar issues and I called AT&T. The guy first told me to go buy another one and I complained. He suggested I try a new power cord from radio shack. I did and that fixed it. Took me 30 minutes of being rude to get him to suggest it.

share|improve this answer
replacing a powercord stopped time related wireless issues? I'd love to know how that works. – Journeyman Geek Nov 28 '11 at 9:10

Try setting your computer to have a static IP within the network. Something like - there are tutorials to do this find-able through Google.

If this fixes the problem (which would be my first guess) it is most likely a DHCP issue.

It sounds like the router is running a scheduled script that is mucking up your connections. A possible fix is to update the firmware, or RMA the router.

share|improve this answer

When I did Xbox network support, I got about one of these calls a week. It's your ISP (ATT?), doing some maintenance task which interrupts your Internet connection. Logging the Internet traffic with Fiddler, Internet Logger or some other free tool.

Start a long download before the usual disconnect time (like a free movie from the Internet Archive), so there's lots of traffic to be logged. With those log files showing the disconnects, you can make a case to your ISP.

share|improve this answer

Do you have an intelligent meter for your electricity consumption? They emit every day your consumption, maybe that interferes with you signal and drops the connection. Just a thought.

share|improve this answer
Try to give a more concrete answer and supply a solution. Your current answer, as it is now, is more suitable for comments – matan129 Jun 5 '15 at 11:30
In Super User's Q&A format, answers are intended to be definitive solutions to the question. Speculative suggestions can be posted as a comment when you have a little more rep. If it turns out to be a solution, it can be reposted as an answer. – fixer1234 Jun 5 '15 at 17:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.