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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.

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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

3 Answers 3

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.

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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.

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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 192.168.1.55 - 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.

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