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I have two laptops in front of me, running continuous pings to my gateway (router) and to google. One computer pings both targets fine and doesn't time out. The other computer, an Asus G73JW laptop, occasionally times out. This makes browsing annoying because loading websites sometimes times out, network operations (like file copying) times out, etc.

Screenshots:

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I've updated my wireless card drivers. During this test, I'm sitting beside my router to minimize distance.

I'm at a loss. What would be a good next step in diagnosing this problem?

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It could be interference, have you tried switching channels for wifi? Channels 1,6 and 11 overlap the least, so these are best to try. –  Paul Dec 17 '11 at 20:34
    
I tried that, no difference. –  Mark Dec 18 '11 at 16:25
    
It gets more difficult if it isn't that, did you look to see if there were updated firmware for the router? It would be good to see if windows is having to renegotiate the wifi session during these drops. –  Paul Dec 19 '11 at 21:48

2 Answers 2

How may wifi networks are in your vicinity? Too many wireless networks means lots of band interference even if you choose a unique channel. Cordless phones, microwaves, sliding glass doors, etc. can all also impact attenuation.

Does your router have 5Ghz wireless-n capacity? If so, and all of your devices are also wireless-n 5Ghz capable, then consider switching to that frequency as there is much less interference in that band.

Have you tried hard-wiring to the router to see if you can replicate the issue? If you do not have packet-loss issues when connected directly via CAT-5 to the router, then you can rule out issues with the router itself.

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Sitting right next to the router will not necessarily improve the performance. Wireless signals need space to propagate to their optimal beam shape. Personally, I'd sit no less than 15 feet away from the antenna.

Certainly the proper performance of the one wireless adapter points to problems with the improperly performing adapter. Perhaps it handles interference poorly and there is a 2.4GHz source of interference nearby.

Perhaps you're first step would be to try this same test on someone else's wireless network, preferably one that is in a different physical area than you and has a different brand WAP. E.g. go to a friend's house who has a different branded WAP and who lives in a different neighborhood. If the problem persists, then you can be certain that you need to focus your troubleshooting on the wireless adapter in your laptop. If the problem does not exist, then you need to focus on either your WAP, the RF frequencies in your area or the settings that your wireless card is using to communicate with the WAP.

Once the trouble has been sufficiently narrowed down, more troubleshooting can be performed.

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