Router Setup and Troubleshooting Tips

Router Setup and Troubleshooting Tips:

Before jumping into the full list, reboot your router and your PC/laptop, as they periodically need refreshing to work properly.

  • Test your routers channel and frequency settings to get the best signal strength. Switching your wireless channel can eliminate frequency interference. Installing an Android app on your phone such as "WiFiAnalyzer" (Open Source), may help you determine the best channel to use. Select a channel with the least networks and the higher signal strength. After you have determined your optimal channel, turn off auto channel selection and lock your router to that channel.

  • Try to centrally locate your router, elevated off the floor, and away from large metal objects for the best WiFi signal. During troubleshooting it would be better to have it directly connected to the wall plug, no splitter and/or filter between.

  • Consider using the UPnP router option for the least connectivity issues during setup. UPnP allows programs to forward their own ports on demand, although it isn’t very secure. Once your network is set up and working properly, you can disable UPnP and setup port forwarding, for a more secure network. Also, temporarily disable any firewall software you have in place until your connectivity issues are resolved.

  • Network Manager often works better with WPA2-AES security, (not WPA/WPA2 mixed), and preferably not TKIP. If you are having problems connecting, try changing your router to WPA2-AES authentication mode, (if supported). Do not hide your network connection, since some WiFi cards have difficultly connecting to hidden networks, (and it provides no extra security).

  • Set the router’s DHCP lease time to at least 24hrs, (preferably much more), to boost network stability. For ease of connection, ensure your router is set to Dynamic DHCP. That way your routers DHCP server will automatically assign a local IP address to each device connecting to the network. Check all your router settings very carefully to ensure that MAC address filtering, or IP filtering is not enabled. Also make sure you do not have conflicting devices with the same IP address (or hostname) on your network.

  • Try switching from 20/40 Channel Bandwidth, to just 20. It is also best to lock the router to either the 2.4Ghz band, or the 5Ghz band through the configuration Web interface. The 5Ghz band is preferred over 2.4Ghz, (if your network hardware supports that frequency). The 2.4Ghz frequency is often severely congested as it is also used for Bluetooth, wireless phones, and other devices. When using the 5Ghz band, if the router automatically assigns a higher channel it can sometimes cause connection difficulties. If the assigned channel is too high it can prevent a proper connection. Try changing the channel assigned by the router to a lower channel such as 40 or below.

  • If you are still experiencing network connectivity issues, consider implementing some of the following troubleshooting measures.

    • Temporarily disable network security/authentication completely to see if this allows you to connect to your wireless network.

    • Try to lessen signal interference from problematic devices such as, cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave, etc.

    • Test your connectivity (on the same hardware) with other distros live boot disks for a comparison.

    • For wired networking issues, try different network cables, (min cat5e, preferably cat6e).

    • Consider disabling IPV6 in the router settings, as it can sometimes interfere with a stable connection.

    • Try enabling Quality of Service (QoS) in your router settings to help improve poor speed issues.

    • Consider enabling a static IP address for problematic computers via MAC address association in your routers configuration settings.

    • If you suspect your router's configuration settings are causing connectivity issues, consider performing a factory reset on your router.

    • If you suspect your router has stability issues check the manufacturers website for a firmware update.

    • Some routers require regular restarts or their speed drops progressively over time (consider a restart timer on the power line in these cases).

  • If possible, try to borrow another router (or test a spare) to determine if your current router is responsible for your connectivity problems.

  • Once you’ve finished all your configuration changes, reboot the router one more time.

Hopefully these tips will help you resolve your network connectivity issues.

8 Likes
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Very nice Tutorial! I made some beautification editing and added few minimal info.
Hopefully @tbg accepted! :kissing_heart:

1 Like

is also available on F-Droid for those who don't use the Play Store. Very good tool.

Good work!

1 Like

I like to use linssid from repos. It charts channels and networks (but no fancy geo mapping or anything)
image

4 Likes

Somehow it does not work for me. It is scanning, but no networks are shown.

Hm. On one of my old network cards I had to sometimes stop and restart the program. I wasnt sure if it was a bug or my hw .. havent had issues recently, but maybe theres some roughness there.

If you dont mind ncurses/terminal there is a nice tool called wavemon
image
I also tried iwscanner in the past - didnt like it.
You can also use some less pretty commands like:
sudo iwlist wlp3s0 scan | grep \(Channel
(with whatever wireless device you have instead of wlp3s0)

4 Likes

That one works nice, thank you! :+1:

1 Like

Sure thing - I once did my head in trying to find pretty looking reports for a boss when I was trying to make a case that I should be allowed to reconfigure the network.

For wavemon - make sure to read the docs (like 's' for sorting by signal in scan tab)
man wavemon

Since we are here I will mention the big kahuna. Like - you need to learn how to use it first. Dont go sudoing and tapping things - it may end bad. But its a powerful tool:
kismet

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