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Thread: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

  1. #1
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    looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    My wife just got a System76 Gazelle Professional and the wireless acts strangely - and I think it is just incompatible with our "routers"

    If the laptop is plugged in (power) it will connect and work well. As soon as it is unpluged (power) and running on batteries the ping speed (to google.com) goes from about 58-60ms to like 250-300ms and starts dropping packets.

    The same test at our fire hall causes the ping time to increase from about 59ms to 150ms, but no packets get dropped.

    so. . . What is a compatible router? The laptop has a Centrino Wireless-N 1030 in it.

    More details you can skip if you want;
    The home network works fine with my iMac, and an Acer Aspire One running MINT. Booting this laptop with MINT (live disk) yields the same issue.

    The 2 wireless devices I have, and tried are a Siemens Gigaset SE567 (crap) and an Apple Airport Express (Apple ) The fire hall has a D-Link DIR-### (517 I think)

    The issue of dropped packets and slow ping speed is ONLY when the power cord is disconnected. (so when the wireless card is in some sort of power save mode)

    Again my question is What do you recommend for a router? (I already tried a small handful of fixes, but I think it is a hardware incompatibility as it works fine at the fire hall)

  2. #2
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    Quote Originally Posted by nobodyfamous View Post
    If the laptop is plugged in (power) it will connect and work well. As soon as it is unpluged (power) and running on batteries the ping speed (to google.com) goes from about 58-60ms to like 250-300ms and starts dropping packets.
    This suggests the computer works fine with your router and is not incompatible (highly unlikely that it is incompatible anyhow, regardless of all this). When plugged in, no problem. The problem occurs when the laptop is on batteries. I'd be looking there rather than at a new router. If it was incompatible with the router it wouldn't work at all, plugged or unplugged. Perhaps the battery is going (is it fully charged?) and not able to power up the wireless card adequately. Just a guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by nobodyfamous View Post

    so. . . What is a compatible router?
    Pretty much any router. Never heard of one that isn't. The router is simply giving you a signal to connect, nothing to do with your operating system ...
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; December 28th, 2012 at 02:31 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky Ball View Post
    Perhaps the battery is going (is it fully charged?) and not able to power up the wireless card adequately. Just a guess.

    Pretty much any router. Never heard of one that isn't. The router is simply giving you a signal to connect, nothing to do with your operating system ...
    This Laptop is brand new, and the battery is good.

    I thought that was the case with WiFi and routers, but I spoke with the support guy at System76 and he said that apple stuff just doesn't work well with Ubuntu, which says drivers to me.

    Either way, I am looking at one of these Asus RT-N66U's but was wondering about the use of the USB ports to "host" an external drive to use for backups from Ubuntu. Will it work?

  4. #4
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    USB external drive plugged into your computer you mean? Yes, it will work.

  5. #5
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    no, I mean the external usb drive plugged into the router, it will share the drive as a NAS - upon further reading it looks like it uses SAMBA, and says it works with Linux, OS X, and crappy. . . I mean Windows.

  6. #6
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    I purchased the ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router on Dec 12th, but sent it back. The reason was that the wireless speeds were no faster then my Linksys.(about 22Mbps). The wire was about 40Mbps which is what my Internet speed is. I too was thinking about the USB for network drives. I just order a New-Media sharing device black - POGOP21 for $20 to share my Hard drives on my network and also maybe use there service for cloud storage. I just order this yesterday so I don't know how it will work out.

    I don't believe your problem with your wifi is a router problem. Is there any way you can try a different wifi card in the laptop? Trouble shooting is just a process of elimination. It would be nice to eliminate the wifi card first. Just my thoughts.
    My hometown on the Mississippi River.
    Using a Asus 3632QM laptop with 8gig RAM, 750gig Hybrid.
    Machine Registered 366271, 366273, 366275.
    Registered Ubuntu user number 18630. Registered Linux user number 458093.

  7. #7
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    I can not swap out the card in the laptop - I may have to send it back. I don't want to, such a waste of money.

    Can anyone else do this same test with their laptop. . . open terminal, run "ping google.com" let it go for about ten rounds and then stop it ^c

    Unplug the power cable, so the WiFi card runs in it's power save mode and repeat the ping test. What do you get?

  8. #8
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    There is an issue with some newer Intel wireless cards and N speed. If you search the networking and wireless forum, I suspect you can find threads. If not, in the networking forum search under username 'chili555'. I've seen a few threads he was active in. The fix is to disable 'n' support on problematic Intel wifi cards. Not a great solution for those wanting faster wifi but as of now the only game in town.

    Here are the results of the test you requested. This is on a Thinkpad X61 with Intel 4965 AGN PCI card.

    Plugged in - Min. 46 Max 72

    Battery - Min. 45 Max 55
    Last edited by kurt18947; December 28th, 2012 at 03:49 PM. Reason: test result

  9. #9
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    Not a great solution for those wanting faster wifi but as of now the only game in town.
    But a perfect solution if your router isn't capable of wireless N, which many still commonly used aren't.

    Definitely try that, find out how to disable wireless N on the card.

  10. #10
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    Re: looking for a new wireless router (maybe)

    I can't find the thread again, but I did try disabling the N capabilities, but the problem persisted, so that was not it. I also tried some random blacklist of an acer thing, that also did not work. I just found another "solved" thread that deals with the encryption (moves from hardware to software)

    The fire hall has an un-encypted network, so that may be the difference - I will do a few more tests.

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