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The computers are within the same network using WLAN.

The error doesn't always show. Sometimes I can connect without a fuss, and sometimes the error shows.

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And just after I posted this question, I was able to connect both through ssh and sftp. Weird. Any clues? –  Randell Jan 11 '10 at 23:55
    
Are you connecting by IP or hostname? Are you sure that the machine you are connecting to isn't dropping it's wireless connection, perhaps due to something else such as a cordless phone or speaker? –  ridogi Jan 12 '10 at 2:52
    
I'm connecting by IP. Both machines aren't dropping their wireless connections AFAIK. No cordless phones or speakers either. –  Randell Jan 12 '10 at 4:22
    
Is there a firewall issue? I see this every now and then on my machine that is running Mobloquer (linux version of PeerGuardian). Do you have SNMP or any other monitoring to see if the connections themselves are dropping? –  Steiv Jan 12 '10 at 5:29
    
Nothing that I'm aware of. –  Randell Jan 12 '10 at 14:45

2 Answers 2

The Destination Host Unreachable from the PING, means that the ping fails (packet drop).

It would probably be one of

  1. Errourous IP-settings - If you can surf the internet intermettiantly, then this is not the problem. But if you cannot access anything this might be it.
  2. Weak Signal - Move your Computer/WLAN-card closer to the Access Point, or moving antennas to improve connectivity.
  3. Interference - Try changing the WLAN-channel in the Access Point/Router to something else. Also make shure there are no operating microwave ovens in the proximity. (Or anything else that operates at 2.4GHz)
  4. Sketchy Drivers - Update your WLAN-adapters drivers.
  5. Faulty Hardware - Try a different WLAN-adapter.
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WLAN is more unreliable than wired networks. It can drop packets without dropping the connection. Try to change which channel your network is running on.

To check if it's dropping packets you can have ping running in a window.

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How do I know which channel my network is running on? Ping returns Destination Host Unreachable. –  Randell Feb 14 '10 at 19:34
    
On Linux you do "iwlist <interfacename> channel". It shows all available channels and what channel you are using. You change it on your router (or access point) and your client will follow. –  Jimmy Hedman Feb 23 '10 at 19:53

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