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I'm facing a connection problem on a small network:

  • 10 clients connected to a Netgear WNR612v2 WiFi router with DHCP disabled;
  • 4 clients connected to a Linksys WRT160NL router with DHCP active and WiFi disabled;
  • the Netgear router is connected to the Linksys by a LAN cable and Netgear has a static IP within the subnet of Lynksys, but outside the DHCP range;
  • one more client has a static IP, within the subnet but outside the DHCP range.

The Linksys router has a WAN port for the Internet connection.

The problem:
Occasionally, one of the clients that are connected by WiFi stops communicating with the network. Even if the OS (Windows 7 or iOS) considers the client as connected, it is not. If I try to ping anything on the LAN, I have a 100% packet loss. Sometimes, just on Windows, the IP address of the client happens to be changed into something meaningless, but otherwise it is absolutely normal. If I disconnect the affected client and reconnect it again, then it works.

More than this, sometimes the network speed is heavily affected, just randomly, even if only one client is connected. The ISP confirmed that our Internet connection is working without problems.

I can't replicate the issue on purpose, and the problem affects almost all the clients, sometimes 5 or 6 times per day.

The problem started to occur a couple of weeks ago, and in first place I thought it was the WiFi router to cause it, so I changed it (it was an old AirPort). It must be something else...

Please help me to troubleshoot this annoying little problem that is causing us a lot of troubles.

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Do you have people with Android phones in the office? Have a look at this net.princeton.edu/android/… –  NickW Mar 5 '13 at 11:14
    
No, we don't. The only Android here is mine, and it's never connected to the WLAN. –  Alessandro Mar 5 '13 at 11:42
    
Are the router(s) firmware up to date? –  NickW Mar 5 '13 at 11:46
    
I will update them later, it seems that the Linksys has a new firmware available; the Netgear is up to date. Btw, we didn't have problems until two weeks ago, and nothing changed in the meanwhile... The only difference is that three of my colleagues now use a shared SMB repository for common files. Moving big files could result in a slowdown, but we have problems with speed also when they don't use the repository... –  Alessandro Mar 5 '13 at 14:26
    
Update: I updated the Linksys firmware, now both routers have their own latest firmware. After a hour of hopes, the client that had most problems went offline just now. I changed the network settings of that client to use a static IP outside the DHCP range. If it fixes the problems for that client, I fear that this means that the Linksys is broken. –  Alessandro Mar 6 '13 at 10:12

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