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Struggling with TP-Link router

frankie

Casual Member
I’d appreciate some advice on routers.

Up to now I’ve used Netgear routers, the last two being DG834G v5. I’ve never had any problem with them apart from their tendency to suddenly go phut, which I try to avoid by replacing them every 4 years or so. As the 834Gs are no longer made I asked around for a “robust and idiot proof” router to replace it and the TP-Link TD-W8960N was recommended to me.

No problems in setting up the LAN but getting the wireless connection to my laptop stay connected seems impossible. I’ve tried TPL’s techinical webchat who suggested updating the firmware, done that, no difference. I can get the router and laptop to “see” each other but then the connection drops – the wireless light on the router just goes out. When I check via the router login, the “enable wireless” check box keeps unticking itself.

I’m by no means a techie but I’m not a complete idiot either. Is there something blindingly simple that I’m doing/not doing to get the wireless connection to stay connected. Or is this a duff router? Or should I look for something completely different to replace the old Netgear? (Like what?)

Sorry for the ramble but it’s been driving me demented!
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
To be honest that sounds like a faulty router and TP Link are known for having some flaky firmware. A quick check shows that there's only one firmware version available and it was published in December 2015, so it sounds like a new bit of kit as you'd usually expected to see a couple of more recent firmware updates being published to fix launch bugs.

Suffice to say, there's always something to be said for getting a slightly older router with bugs already fixed. Anyway I guess that means you can either keep pushing TPL to fix it in the next firmware release or take it back and buy something different. But before that you should try this:

1. Enable the WiFi setting, then go to another web-admin page on the router and go back again after that to check that the WiFi setting is still enabled. Now find the option to save your router configuration and back a backup of it to your computer.

2. Reset the router to defaults and then see if the WiFi setting stays on this time. If it flicks off again then reset the router to defaults and second time, but after that restore it from your backup and see if the setting stays active.
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Usually, you have to click "Save" and then reboot after changing options.

I dont know this particular router though.

The only time I have had an issue with wifi on TPL kit WAS with it and Netgear kit not working together; is this a laptop with built-in wifi, or a Netgear dongle??

Also, ZONEALARM can cause issues when setting up new wifi connections, so if you use ZA, delete everything wifi connection related, reboot, switch off ZA and re-install.

Yeah, my DGN2000 melted.
 

frankie

Casual Member
Thanks both

Laptop has built in wifi, don't use Zone Alarm, followed the instructions ('cos I'm a gurl!).

I decided that having lost a day of my life trying to get it to work, the router is now on its way back to Amazon. TPL support did concede it was probably faulty so I'm back on the 834G until I regain the mental energy to look again for a replacement.

Sometimes I just hate technology :shrug:
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Try another TPL, but go for one of the older models with a more mature firmware.

Also, TPL's older kit uses a better chipset as far as ADSL line speed is involved, despite the very high model number, yours was a very cheap budget offering (my old 8990N was over £70 five years ago)
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
If you are using WPA encryption and something connecting is sending corrupt data it can trigger the access point to shut down for 30 seconds.

Try changing encryption temporarily to WEP and see of the problem continues?

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
^^ Temporarily is the key word, because hackers love WEP

PS - Even those of us who work with technology go through those periods of hate ;) .
 

frankie

Casual Member
Also, TPL's older kit uses a better chipset as far as ADSL line speed is involved. . .
Line speed in this rural part of Wales is pretty dismal - everything is on overhead wires - so reliability of connection is more important than speed.

I don't have a problem in using older kit not least because most of the newer stuff assumes a requirement for high speeds and multi wireless devices and has features I don't want or need (USB ports etc).

If you are using WPA encryption and something connecting is sending corrupt data it can trigger the access point to shut down for 30 seconds.
I’ve always used WPA encryption; the only wireless connection is to my laptop which works fine with the Netgear both before and after the TPL box.

PS - Even those of us who work with technology go through those periods of hate ;) .
It was when, in the middle of all this, my cordless home phone started beeping pathetically because it need new batteries that I just about lost the will to live :laugh:
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
I’ve always used WPA encryption; the only wireless connection is to my laptop which works fine with the Netgear both before and after the TPL box.
Just because it worked before doesn't mean it will work again, especially when changing to different hardware.
I'd try that test as it will instantly identify if there is a communications problem causing the AP to shut down.

If so - you have something solid to go back to TP Link with and tell them that it only happens in WPA mode etc. (Entirely likely that they have awful firmware or bad WPA implementation).

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

frankie

Casual Member
I did have a long webchat with TPL and this wasn't something they suggested (not in their script?). They did concede the box was probably faulty so it's already gone back to Amazon. I will bear this in mind if I have problems with the next new router, whatever it is.
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
I'd be amazed if they even know the WPA spec and how it handles corrupt frames or key guess attempts.
(Tip: You probably know more than their tech support does.)

Edit: Also bad PR to be suggesting to customers that they run an insecure protocol (even if temporarily).

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
I must admit, their tech support isnt wonderful; when I had issues with a TPL router and a Netgear USB dongle not talking to each other, they were less than useful.
 

frankie

Casual Member
An update . . .

It appears that plain vanilla modem routers are now a thing of the past and that go-faster-with-sprinkles-and-nuts is the new normal, with prices to match. I've now gone for a Netgear D6200 which is waaay over spec for my needs and the speeds I can get round here. Still, it worked straight out of the box and I'm keeping everything crossed that it stays that way.

Thanks all for your input on this :smilet:
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
An update . . .

It appears that plain vanilla modem routers are now a thing of the past and that go-faster-with-sprinkles-and-nuts is the new normal, with prices to match. I've now gone for a Netgear D6200 which is waaay over spec for my needs and the speeds I can get round here. Still, it worked straight out of the box and I'm keeping everything crossed that it stays that way.

Thanks all for your input on this :smilet:
The problem with all these fancy new devices is they get hot; look at the reviews for a lot of the newer VDSL routers and a substantial number of reviews on Amazon complain they run far too hot.

Not sure if any are melting - the way my last Netgear DGN2000 did. I ordered the Archer VR200 because it was the ONLY TPL VDSL router that hadnt got overheating complaints.
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
What model have you got??

I have never had any issues with a TPL box, other than an old ISP buggering up the auto settings after a line outage, forcing me to switch the Auto settings off and configure it manually.

The only other issue I've had was the last IOS update breaking WiFI security and jamming the Wifi for all connected devices.

Since I dont know how to roll back IOS, I downgraded the TPL firmware to fix the issue. (The TPL worked perfectly with older IOS versions, but after the last update, the only way Wifi worked for ANYONE, was to switch the Ipad "Air" off).
 
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