Sporadic wireless

For months, our wireless router has been acting up. It’s a Linksys WRT54G by Cisco, possibly the most popular home Wi-Fi router on the planet. Ours is a Version 6.0.

This router would occasionally go wonky, by which I mean that it would maintain Wi-Fi connections with our laptops and my iPod touch but would not relay traffic between the devices and the Internet. The home network DHCP worked fine and all devices had valid IP addresses, but they simply could not connect to the Net.

I wasn’t eager to buy a new router – we just had to buy a new stove because our old one became too costly to repair. I found this thread in the Cisco forums. It describes the same issue. Although no one directly solved the problem, I did find hints there and elsewhere online. After fiddling with a few settings, it looks like I fixed the problem.

For posterity on the Web and to help teeming crowds with the same problem, here’s what I did. I’m not sure if any one step or a combination of them worked, I just know that I now have stable Wi-Fi. I opened the router management pages with my Ethernet-connected iMac and:

  • I went to “Setup” > “MAC Address Clone” and I cloned my iMac’s MAC address. The MAC address the router had been using had belonged to my old Mac G4.
  • I went to “Wireless” > ” Advanced Wireless Settings” where I set Basic Rate to “All” and enabled Frame Burst.
  • Having done that, I saved my configuration and reset the router. I updated the firmware, then restored my settings. The router has worked perfectly for four days.

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