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View Full Version : Wireless Router Not Doing Wireless Anymore?


Bronkster
07-30-07, 08:38 PM
My parents have a Linksys wireless router (WRT54G) that I hooked up (with no idea what I was doing) about 3 years ago. It was really used as a fancy cable splitter since they do no file sharing or anything. It has 2 desktop PCs, using cable, and another PC that I put a (compatible) wireless antenna thing in. My dad also uses a laptop. The 'wireless' part seems to have died. The cabled PCs connect fine but nether the laptop or wireless desktop detect anything anymore. (the laptop will still detect other secure and unsecured signals from the neighbors).

Do these units poop out after a few years? My dad wants me to go buy a replacement but I want to ask around first and see if there might be another problem. I've done a power reset of the router with no luck.

Being a non-tech person, I have no idea how to "secure the network" so I doubt that that's the problem. Any input is appreciated!

GHackmann
07-30-07, 09:05 PM
If you didn't lock down the wireless signal, one of your parents' neighbors could have done it as a courtesy. :D

Your router's setup page should say if the wireless is turned on or not. If it thinks it's on, and you still can't get a signal from it, then it's a pretty sure bet that it's dead. The wireless components of most (all?) wireless routers are separate from the wired routing fabric, so it's not out of the question for the wireless part to fail but the wired traffic to keep working.

You could try resetting your router to its factory defaults (hold down the reset button on the back of your router for over 30 seconds) on the off-chance that would make a difference. Be warned that doing so will clear *all* of the router's configuration, including the ISP login information and the wireless settings.

Bronkster
07-30-07, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the info! :up: When I put the thing in, the documentation was very ... lacking. I didn't have to do anything to get it working (so my parents are convinced I'm a network guru). So, I'm thinking that trying the reset button would be a good, harmless option at this point.

I have been concerned about their security but have no idea how to set that up. Are there any good online tutorials, like "Securing Networks for Dummies"?

GHackmann
07-30-07, 10:15 PM
You'll want to do two key things: changing the router's password away from the factory default, and setting up WPA encryption. The former is self-explanatory. The latter is explained here (http://www.tekstenuitleg.net/en/articles/wireless_network_security_guide/5).

You may need to upgrade your router's firmware to get support for WPA encryption. Linksys's support site will walk you through the procedure.

Note that some Web guides may recommend tampering with things like wireless MAC filters, disabling SSID broadcasts, etc. These measures are completely ineffective, and only make it harder to add new legitimate devices to your network.

While you're at it, you should probably change the SSID away from the factory default if you haven't already; while it won't do anything for your security, you'll at least be able to tell your network apart from the tens of other LINKSYS networks around you.

Bronkster
07-30-07, 11:25 PM
Awesome! I appreciate all this info! I probably won't be heading down there until next week, so that gives me time to read the stuff and pretend I know what I'm doing. I'll post results when I get 'em. Thanks again! :banana:

Drexl
07-31-07, 06:08 PM
Go to Linksys' site and download the user manual. IIRC it did not actually come packaged with the router (it's not uncommon for manuals to be only online or on CD these days).

Bronkster
08-31-07, 09:38 PM
You could try resetting your router to its factory defaults (hold down the reset button on the back of your router for over 30 seconds) on the off-chance that would make a difference. Be warned that doing so will clear *all* of the router's configuration, including the ISP login information and the wireless settings.
I was down at my parents this week and tried the reset button - it worked! My dad can now happily surf for porn on his laptop again. :whofart: ;P I've printed out some of the other stuff recommended here and will mess with it the next time I'm down there and have more time to play.

Thanks again for the responses!

sniper308
09-01-07, 10:15 PM
I was down at my parents this week and tried the reset button - it worked! My dad can now happily surf for porn on his laptop again. :whofart: ;P I've printed out some of the other stuff recommended here and will mess with it the next time I'm down there and have more time to play.

Thanks again for the responses!

As can everyone around. I'd lock it down or disable the wireless... As another poster said, someone may have locked it down or disabled it for them, as a courtesy.
An open wireless router is about the same as handing someone your car keys or your wallet.