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I am having an issue in a wireless network. There are about 10 wireless machines (laptops) connected to a server through a wireless router (Cisco E2000).

Every once in a while a bunch of machines (maybe half of them) lose connection to the network. I don't think this is a router problem, because it is more router than needed. What could cause the end-user workstations to lose that connection, though? Any thoughts or suggestions on what to check?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Microwave ovens, wireless phones, and reflections off of people and walls of the router's own radio signal will all interfere with a wireless network connection. The reflections are mostly taken care of in modern routers, but the other two will blast out signals that are similar enough to the wireless router's signal to cause interference.

You might have some success by changing the channel the router uses. The best way to experiment with this is by changing to the channel at the other end of the spectrum: ie. from channel 1 to channel 20 or vice versa. You can go to the middle later if that doesn't work.

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+1. My first thought on reading the title was "microwave". We used to have a microwave in our kitchen until dev's started complaining about wireless access around lunchtime... It's now in a safer location. ;) – NotMe Apr 5 '11 at 18:52
Channel is set to Auto. Should it not be so? – Thomas Stringer Apr 5 '11 at 20:01
Just try changing it to something else and see what happens. If that doesn't fix it, try changing it to something else and see what happens. If that doesn't fix it, get rid of the microwave oven. – Ernie Apr 5 '11 at 20:24

Maybe you have a neighbor with some knowledge of WiFi. Deauth attacks cause AP clients to disconnect, so an attacker can capture traffic wich would enable him to crack your WEP/WPA key and enable access to your network. I would suggest you disable any security you have on your network, and disconnect all your devices. Then see if anyone is connected on your router web interface, commonly found under Connected clients (not sure about your router).

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Hmmm... Sounds a little conspiratorial to me. My first instinct when confronted with this problem wouldn't be "OMG! Hackers!". – joeqwerty Apr 6 '11 at 0:18

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