bizarre wireless internet problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by OutThere, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Something very strange is going on with the wireless internet connection in my house. All the basic diagnostics have been done, the router has been replaced and all the normal steps have been taken to make sure this is not something wrong with one computer or device:

    The wifi very reliably cuts out every 10 minutes from around 10am to 8pm. I can be using the internet and watch the clock as pages stop loading, Pandora stops playing or games go 'connection interrupted' at 1:05, 1:16, 1:26, 1:36, 1:47...all afternoon. After 8pm the connection will be perfect for streaming video/online games/downloading files all night long. All indications show that the signal strength is strong, but the connection is unusable both for intranet and internet purposes. Turning the computer's wireless card off and immediately back on cures the problem instantly.

    I'd imagine it's an interference issue, but I can't for the life of me figure out what is causing it, so I figured I'd come here for ideas. We've tried every wifi channel. Our house is on a double lot in an old neighborhood, so the neighbors are pretty far away to be causing this kind of interference. The very strong signal right next to the router cures the problem...but the wireless must serve computers throughout the house.

    I've considered:
    - Wireless phone (we don't have one)
    - Xbox 360 (unplugged)
    - Microwave (don't have one)
    - Other wifi devices (none)
    - Baby monitor (don't have one and neighbors don't have little kids)

    The real question: what kind of device would so reliably cause interference every 10 minutes, but only during the daytime? Really weird.

    The electrician is coming soon to run ethernet around the house, but I'd love to be free from the wires sometimes...
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    A DHCP lease renewing every 10 minutes (or failing to) would do something like that, but I assume you've already checked that and if being extra-close cures it that's obviously not the problem.

    One I've personally seen in several houses: Central heating/cooling system. Had a similar intermittent wireless dropout that I couldn't figure out until I realized that the heater was directly between the router and computer, and it only cut out when I could hear it kick in. Presumably in my case it was the blower in the system.

    If the house has such a system, and it's either on a timer or 10am is when it starts to get hot enough for the A/C to kick in, that might explain it. Alternately, if you have a solar hot water system with a pump that comes on about every 10 minutes, that could do it.

    Just thoughts about things that might run during the day on an intermittent basis.
  3. OutThere thread starter macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Hmm good ideas we have an air conditioning system that only runs during the day that could be causing the problems. I'll experiment. Thanks!

    (and yes I've played with the DHCP leases to no dice)

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