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Ozzie14's profile

13 Messages

Thursday, August 17th, 2023 9:15 PM

Unresolved wifi dropouts on desktop computers.

Has anyone seen a resolution for wifi dropouts on AT&T fiber-fed wifi?  I have read through a number of forum threads on this problem, which seems to go back at least 4 years, yet I cannot find a solution.  My situation:

- Got AT&T installed several months ago.  Most devices seem to work fine, except for my two desktops that use USB wife receivers (two different types).  They have dropouts that resolve within a minute or so, happening a couple times an hour.  Very annoying when watching videos especially.  I never had any such dropouts when previously connected via cable modem/router.

- Have done all the standard troubleshooting steps.  First call in made some changes to settings. No change.

- I was referred to “expert help chat.” This guy had me change to separate 2.4 and 5GHz wifi names.  That didn’t work.

- Hour on the phone with ATT help again.  Said that was a stupid idea about separating 2.4 and 5 and got me back to combined wifi.  Said she checked everything and made a few changes.  Still the same result.

- Had a tech come out and swap out the router (BGW 320-500).  No change.  He said he would check further for solutions.  Never heard back.

- Called and had another tech come out.  He suddenly finds a problem with “low signal strength” and says get extenders.  My Smart Home Manager says “This area has strong wifi signal” in all areas of my house.  To debunk this (Edited per community guidelines), I moved my desktop to the room with the router to eliminate any distance issues (4-6 ft from router).  The wifi dropouts continue as usual.  (Though NOT when I connected via Ethernet. But ethernet is not a viable ongoing option.)

-  I have tried several other ideas from online searching; none successful.

One would think that AT&T would have engineers who could figure out the answer, given the ongoing mentions in the forums.  I’m about ready to just go back to cable, though the fiber speed is nice and all.  I just don’t want to have to live with this indefinitely.

Accepted Solution

ACE - Professor

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5.6K Messages

9 months ago

@Ozzie14 

Yes, you are right.  And yes, I have a Netgear Orbi RBK50 here I was forced to buy essentially because nothing I could do would get that dog to hunt.  
The WiFi landscape is somewhat muddled these days with four active standards.  A WiFi 7 router will be future proofed for some time but will be pricier, whereas a WiFi 5 router (which is what the RBK50 is) will work fine but will give performance for that level.  Personally for what I use it for, streaming is the most demanding and I get no complaints.  And I don’t worry about how many devices I’m allowed to hang off that thing.   

Accepted Solution

13 Messages

8 months ago

Well, I finally gave up on AT&T fixing the problem.  So I fixed it myself.  I figured a two-alternative approach would actually solve the problem and ensure success:

  1. Install another router/wifi system per gr8sho suggestion. My only concern with this is that the problem appears to be within the 2.4GHz system, and my desktop computers are not 5GHz capable, so the problem could possibly persist.
  2. Install a remote access point (extender) at each desktop computer site and plug in directly with Ethernet cable. This seems like the most robust solution, since the AT&T router can communicate with the access point using 5GHz and the Ethernet bypasses any need for 2.4 at the computer.

So I found there are combination router/access points out there that can be configured as either, so I grabbed a cheap one for $35, TP-Link Archer A-54.  I bought one to try option 1, and if that doesn’t solve it, I try option 2, then buy another A-54 for the other desktop.  So I shut off wifi in the config screens of the AT&T router (BGW 320-500), ran Ethernet output from AT&T to the A-54 and configured it to the same wifi names and passwords I’ve been using.  It works like a champ.  No dropouts whatsoever on the 2.4; wlan report shows no wayward activity.  Since this works, I’m not going to spend any time on option 2, though that is always an option should I need it.

Community Support

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232.4K Messages

10 months ago

Hello @Ozzie14,

 

We understand the hassle that this could have caused. We'd be glad to help you get this sorted out as soon as possible. Let's quickly find a way to fix this!

 

Since you have tried all the standard troubleshooting methods. Let's quickly go ahead and, check the causes of the Wi-Fi drop out only on the particular desktops.

Causes of devices not connecting

So, what are some of the causes that can prevent one device from working while all others have no issue? We'll go over a few common ones below.


Why is a single device having trouble, or not connecting to the internet:

  • Too many electronics around your TV or smart device? The more devices you have, the more interference that affects Wi-Fi
  • A process running on your device that may be causing this

Too Many electronics around your device

Without going into the crazy science, devices can emit interference that can affect your Wi-Fi. For example, speakers near your device can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal because of the speaker inside. Other electronics, even though they do not have speakers, can do the same. The more devices near your Wi-Fi device, the more interference that can impact your connection and cause sluggishness or drops. Moving devices away from your modem and device having trouble may improve your experience

A Process on Your Device

In some instances, there may be a program running that may affect your connection. For example, if your device is connected but disconnects at a certain period of time but other devices remain on, it points to the device in question. Sometimes running your device in safe mode can help determine this. In some instances resetting the device and modem can resolve this. If not, you may need to troubleshoot the PC itself. AT&T is unable to assist with software/hardware-caused disconnects. 

 

As mentioned above, there are a variety of reasons why a single device is not connecting to the internet. One of the above could be the issue or a combination of them all. Normally resetting the modem and your device's internet connection can help. If they don’t and only one device is the issue, try the steps above.

 

Let us know if this helps!

 

David, Community Forum Specialist

ACE - Professor

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5.6K Messages

10 months ago

I'd consider an alternative WiFi solution...

13 Messages

10 months ago

gr8sho, what do you mean by "alternate wifi solution"?  I have two computers with the same problem that have different wifi receivers, but they both behave the same - and they both did not do so with a different router.  What are you suggesting, switch back to cable from AT&T?

13 Messages

10 months ago

David, I have excluded your "too many electronics" - when I moved my computer to the room with the wifi I didn't take any other stuff with me.  It still behaves the same.  Could it be a process on my computer?  Yes, and it probably is; however, it happens with both desktop systems, in exactly the same way, and it happened with a lot of other people, judging by previous forum posts over four years.  If it is a problem in my computers, it is also a problem in how the AT&T router interacts with it, since my cable modem/router worked fine with both computers and the AT&T router does not.  Seems like some engineer should have figured out why and made a fix available to customers.  I can fix it by ditching AT&T and going back to cable - I wonder how many people have done so after going around and around about this.  I'm sure not going to spend hundreds of dollars for a computer/wi-fi expert to come and figure out why it's happening, however I might spend a few bucks for a wifi receiver that has been proven to fix the problem. 

Community Support

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232.4K Messages

10 months ago

Hi @Ozzie14,

 

As you mentioned the other devices are working fine, but the only trouble you are facing with the two desktops. From our understanding, we see that the issue is with the USB Wi-Fi adapter.

 

If our equipment was the issue, all devices would be affected. We'd suggest you to reach out the manufacturer to see if they have any recommendations. 

 

As you mentioned, you used Smart Home Manager in the past, One thing you can try is testing a new Wi-Fi channel as this has helped previously. 

 

We hope this helps. For any additional assistance, please revert to us.

 

We'd be happy to help!

 

David Community Forum Specialist.

 

ACE - Professor

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5.6K Messages

10 months ago

Buy a WiFi system.  There are lots to choose from, but do your research. I have an Orbi  RBK50 in AP mode sitting next to my BGW210.  The gateway's WiFi radios are turned off. 

New Member

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18 Messages

9 months ago

From my experience, it's probably not the wifi but an AT&T problem.  I have the internet disconnecting and reconnecting all day long (both wifi and ethernet) and it happened once before when a newer modem was put in following a lightning strike.  It took months to be fixed and was only resolved by replacing the modem with an older model.  Since another lightning storm ruined that modem, the replacement is a newer model and again doesn't work.  I spent lengthy amounts of time with the phone tech and they assured me it would be fine, but once again it has not been fixed.  

btw, @gr8sho , you complained that I commented on an old post. It was what came up in a google search and it was still open at that time. Calling the 800 number was unkind advice since it has not helped and there is a history of them failing to understand and fix the problem. It took months to get help last time this exact problem happened and they also left a huge hole unfilled.

ACE - Professor

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5.6K Messages

9 months ago

WiFi on these gateways just isn’t good.  Trying to spare you from going down a bad rabbit hole.  
If you follow the suggestion, you will find Att Internet to be reliable, barring unforeseen firmware issues that pop up time to time.  

Also, not all user issues are the same. Best to get yours focused on specifically to the extent we can help.  Cheers. 

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