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Sun Apr 25, 2021, 11:50 AM

One computer on home network keeps dropping off

(cross-posted to Computers)

I don't have all the technical specs, but here's the gist:

My wife's Lenovo laptop is the newest (4 months) computer in the house. We recently (2 months) upgraded our internet thru Comcast, and the service has been stable and consistent.

Starting yesterday, her laptop starting sporadically losing connection to our home network and each time is unable to reconnect for a while after. During these blips her computer auto-connects to our neighbor's wifi just fine (he gave us his password) but will not reconnect to our own, despite a much stronger home signal.

I held my phone a few inches above her laptop and was able to connect to our home network. Also, her laptop sees the network but can't connect to it, and she's using the correct password, since she's sometimes able to connect. She's rebooted several times without change. From all of this I infer that the problem is not her laptop's wifi receiver, but where does that leave us?

My younger son's laptop did this once yesterday, at the same time as my wife's, but it hasn't happened to him since then.

No other devices in the home are showing this problem, and for that matter my wife's laptop is the closest device to the modem (about 8 feet).

I'm not averse to calling Comcast about it, but I wanted to see if there's something I should try on this end first. I haven't yet rebooted the modem, since all other devices are connecting with no problems.

If I do call Comcast, should I describe the problem in some way beyond what I've stated above?


Thanks for any help.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply One computer on home network keeps dropping off (Original post)
Orrex Apr 25 OP
Casady1 Apr 25 #1
cos dem Apr 25 #2
Miguelito Loveless Apr 25 #6
Orrex Apr 25 #9
abqtommy Apr 25 #3
underpants Apr 25 #4
MerryHolidays Apr 25 #5
targetpractice Apr 26 #14
Dan Apr 25 #7
Orrex Apr 25 #10
Pobeka Apr 25 #8
Orrex Apr 25 #11
Emrys Apr 25 #12
Prairie_Seagull Apr 26 #13

Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 11:54 AM

1. Call up comcast

I suspect your router is bad. I had an issue with my router dropping off the TV. It turned out to the router.

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 11:57 AM

2. Probably not a Comcast issue.

I suspect that for whatever reason, your computer is deciding to connect to the neighbors network instead of your own. Perhaps the signal appears stronger, or you get some intermittent interference that causes it to drop off your own network.

You should be able to go into the configuration and "forget" the neighbors network. Then, if your connection to your own network suffers a momentary hiccup, it should attempt to reconnect locally instead of failing over to the neighbors.

The nature of WiFi is that momentary disruptions are expected. They probably happen to you all the time and you never notice because it just automatically reconnects to your internal network. But, if it sees a different network, it may decide to switch to that one instead.

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Response to cos dem (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:09 PM

6. Agreed. Computers tend to look for the strongest signal

and connect if allowed. It seems ythe signal may be weak. Move the laptop closer to the router and see if connection improves. If it does they may need to get a signal repeater or move laptop closer

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Response to cos dem (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 02:21 PM

9. Worth a try

We have the neighbor's password in part because he's been part of our "bubble" since the pandemic began, and we're just about his only contact with the outside world. As such we're over there quite a bit, so he lets us use his wifi while we're there.

I'll see if it helps to forget that network. I ran the WiFi Analyzer app on two different devices and found our network reading considerably stronger than his, but well give it a try.

Thanks!

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:00 PM

3. Thinking about this I doubt that it's a problem with your Lenovo machine since it readily

connects to another network. That leaves your network. I'd go over all settings, passwords
and after trying that then I'd contact Comcast but only if you have to. LOL I use Comcast
myself. Don't be shy about searching online for some help as in "why is this happening?".
I get a lot of good out of that.

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:06 PM

4. You answered it but I was going to suggest a WiFI extender

Or putting the router on a table. Other than that I got nothing.

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:08 PM

5. A few thoughts

1) When everyone is off the internet, recycle your modem and then your router, simply by disconnecting them from the power supply for a few seconds and then reconnecting them. This fixes a lot issues, and I do this every few weeks, even if everything is working well.

2) "Forget" all the networks on the Lenovo, and then rediscover them. Try connecting.

3) Use the Windows network troubleshooter. This often can reset the laptop's network adapter, clearing up issues.

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Response to MerryHolidays (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 26, 2021, 04:15 PM

14. #2 is important...

... Disconnect and "forget" all networks other than your home Wi-Fi. Then turn Wi-Fi off on the computer, maybe reboot, and then turn the computer wi-fi on again.

Seems like the computer is bouncing between networks and getting confused. (technical jargon).

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:20 PM

7. silly thought

Do you have the neighbor's network identified as the default on your wife's laptop?

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Response to Dan (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 02:22 PM

10. Not a silly thought, unless you and I both had the same silly thought

Checked that, but our home network is indeed the default.

Thanks!

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:38 PM

8. Did the lenovo get a recent wifi driver update?

Wifi drivers can do weird stuff, really weird stuff. If there was a recent update I'd start checking that out first.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 02:23 PM

11. Hmm... Possibly.

I'll look into that. Thanks!

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 10:17 PM

12. Had a similar problem with our home network.

If I'm on the right track, the remedy probably won't be the same for you, but it may give you an avenue for exploration.

Wifi routers will sometimes change channels if they detect too much inteference on a specific channel. They can be set to do this automatically so you don't notice - until a problem like mine (and maybe yours) turns up.

In our case, the laptop with dropped connection problems was old and its wireless adapter didn't support one of the channels available on our newer laptop that was one our wifi sometimes skipped to, so it behaved as you're describing.

I just set the wifi to a fixed channel both laptops could cope with - problem solved.

I was working on old Windows XP machines so I can't walk you through how to check and change the channel settings in Windows 10 (at the laptop end, you may have manufacturer-specific software taking care of that side of things anyway). The Computer Help & Support Group's usually very helpful for this sort of problem.

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Response to Orrex (Original post)

Mon Apr 26, 2021, 02:35 PM

13. I had a similar issue with comcast.

Check this: Comcast only allows a specific number of connections. With mine it is 10. This limit can easily be met if you do much gaming or have or have connected phones, smart tvs or fridges....

Maybe this could lead you in a new direction.

Also beware of monthly bandwidth limit. I think it is 1.2 tb. We pay for the unlimited. (xtra 25 bucks)

Good luck.

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