The Home Wi-Fi Reboot: Don't Neglect It

Are you a web worker who depends heavily on a home Wi-Fi network? There are more and more of us, and I’ve written before about the importance of doing regular checkups on your wireless network to make sure you’re getting the best performance. Recently, my home Wi-Fi network was giving me some trouble, and I went down the steps in the trusty troubleshooting checklist and was able to get rid of the problem.

Here’s the common problem I had, and how I fixed it.

I frequently like to write and work on a laptop, so that I can move from room to room. A home Wi-Fi network is great for this, and I can even get a good signal outside my home most of the time.

However, recently I found my Wi-Fi signal getting dropped at regular intervals, which is really very annoying. In instances where that happens, you just use a sniffer utility to reestablish the connection, but it’s annoying to have to do so. I have a secure Wi-Fi network, and though I wasn’t exactly sure what the problem was, I knew it wasn’t interference from neighboring networks.

One important thing I learned a long time ago is that a Wi-Fi network needs a cycled reboot of all essential components on a regular basis. This means turn off the computer that your router is attached to, turn off your broadband, physically disconnect the modem and router connections, turn off and physically disconnect your access points, turn off portable devices hanging on the network, and then reconnect and start everything back up again.

I actually learned the value of that on a support call years ago when I got my first Wi-Fi network installed. It makes perfect sense. How many times have you solved a computing problem by rebooting, or shutting down an application and going back in?

After a cycled reboot, I was pretty sure that my dropped Wi-Fi problem was solved, but as an added step, I changed the channels on my router and access points. I learned about the importance of this through some reader comments to this post here on WWD.  I recommend taking a look at them and following the links provided if you’re having any Wi-Fi problems at home. Here is a good tutorial on channels and changes from Wi-Fi Planet.

After this second step, I never have had another problem with signal drops. Truth be told, I’m not exactly sure what my problem was, but I’m pretty sure I was running into some kind of interference. Many electronic devices in a home can create radio interference, so if you’ve been experiencing signal drops, try the steps described here.

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