Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


WiFi constantly dropping / becoming limited

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8

    WiFi constantly dropping / becoming limited


    TL;DR: WiFi no work. Keep disconnect. Driver uninstall. Reinstall. Now WiFi keep become limited. What do?




    Let me first tell a little bit of history about my laptop (Dell Inspiron 15R).

    I got it a month and a half ago, and lived in a dorm room with only one LAN port. I used the LAN port and downloaded a Virtual WiFi Router program to share the connection with my roommates. There were no problems at all.

    Then I came back home two weeks ago and connected using WiFi (the modem is in my brother's room, and we have no cable long enough to connect to it). That's when problems start occurring. The WiFi would drop every three or four; this was not so serious. But in recent days, it would begin dropping every hour, give or take another 10 minutes. This problem becomes more common when I'm playing League of Legends, where it would drop every 20 minutes or so. What I don't understand is that it drops the connection for seemingly no reason. When I check the WiFi list, the connection is still there, it's just that I'm not connected and have to reconnect manually. Another weird issue is that it takes me about a minute or two to reconnect; usually it's instant. In addition, it will attempt to connect for a long time (just says there "Checking network requirements..."), then it will say the connection attempt has failed, BUT it actually succeeded in connecting.

    I've Googled and found out that others are experiencing the problem too, and managed to fix it by changing the power management settings (making it so that Windows will not shut down the WiFi to save power). This did not work. Yet another suggested uninstalling the driver and restarting the laptop, and I did just that. Windows reinstalled the driver while rebooting. Now, the connection stopped dropping (which is good), but is now constantly becoming limited (which is bad). I would browse the internet normally and realize none of the pages are loading, then check the network symbol which seems fine until 30 seconds later when it shows that it has become limited. Now, it took me about 10 minutes to type this and the WiFi has been behaving, but the moment I start League, it starts going crazy every 5 minutes.

    In light of this problem, my brother told me to use his room when I'm gaming as we had an extra cable. The connection doesn't drop while using the cable, but another issue cropped up. Every 30 seconds to a minute, something happens. I'm not sure what, but when using Google Chrome, it will suddenly become unselected. When playing League, it will suddenly tab out to the desktop, without any notification or any background program running. This stopped happening when I returned to my room and used the WiFi again (and back to constantly limited connection). This might not be a network problem, but I'm throwing this out here just in case anybody knows how to fix it.

    So now, I have no idea how any of this happened. I might suspect that this is a router problem as I had no problems whatsoever in my dorm, yet I am also positively convinced that my laptop is haunted. If anybody can help and/or needs additional information, just ask for it. Even if the problem cannot be fixed, I would at least want to know the cause, because if it's the laptop, I'd have to get it fixed before returning to college.

    EDIT: The connection just went limited again and I used the Network Troubleshooter. The issue given was "The default gateway is not available" and it was rectified by resetting the WiFi adapter.
    Last edited by Opticity; 22 May 2013 at 03:56.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Maryland USA
    Posts : 758
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot


    If you can send a screen cap of your ipconfig we can get an idea about how you are connecting to your network.

    from the command prompt type IPCONFIG then screencap that, you may have to expand the windows to display everyting..

    Then when you post select add image in the message icons..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    Here you go.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Maryland USA
    Posts : 758
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot


    You have a valid ip address to the router..

    How many antenna bars do you have when your connection is good and when it drops?

    Does the router have things stacked on top of it, or is it sitting on top of another electronic device?

    When your connection drops, put your hand on the router and see if its hot to the touch.

    You say it works fine at your dorm but often fails when you connect to his router, this makes it highly unlikely that the problem is with your machine.

    What brand is his router, and does he suffer drop-outs as well?

    Unplug the power cable to the router, wait 15 seconds, and reconnect it

    wait about 2 minutes then try your wireless connection, let us know how that goes..

    BTW I dont see the virtual wifi in your config, have you uninstalled it?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    The signal strength varies somewhat, it goes between 3 bars and 5 bars, though it averages at 4 bars. I've never really paid attention to the signal strength when it disconnects though.

    The router is sitting on top of my desktop CPU which I'm not using currently. Yeah, it's in my brother's room, there's nowhere else to put it.

    I'll have to test this tomorrow, brother's sleeping now.

    In the dorm though, I haven't been using WiFi, only the ethernet cable. Oh, and my roommate who was using my shared WiFi did sometimes ask me if I had switched the WiFi off (I did not), and as it turns out his connection dropped. He's using a Windows 8 laptop as well.

    The brand of the router... I'll check tomorrow. And since my brother's using the cable to connect to the router, he doesn't have any problems. He did say the WiFi is very wonky though.

    Unplugging and stuff, trying tomorrow.

    And yeah, I've uninstalled the virtual WiFi (it's Virtual WiFi Router at first, but after a week or two it refuses to run at all, and I had to use Connectify - that's uninstalled too).

    A little more extra detail: The router is never switched off, even at night. My brother torrents animes while he's sleeping. It doesn't get any rest at all. Wonder if that's part of the problem...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Maryland USA
    Posts : 758
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot


    It looks like it might be your brothers wireless router, lets set your wifi to a default setting to make sure it hasnt been altered.

    go to device manager and find your wireless net card under NETWORK ADAPTERS, right click your adapter and uninstall it

    on the top click on the action tab and select scan for hardware changes

    connect to the wifi re-enter your password and browse the web... If all is ok, then your roommate should do the same.

    If still glitchy, he should change his router..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    Sorry for not replying for a week; I moved back to my college as a new trimester started. Anyway, the old problem is gone, but now I have a new problem (sorry again). I share the room with a roommate, and the WiFi works perfectly for him but not for me. My internet is very unstable; it goes from 500kb/s to 7.7mb/s to 0kb/s (which is most of the time). When I check my WiFi's connection graph using Task Manager, it is filled with a lot of spikes in connection speed, but also a lot of downtime (0kb/s) in between spikes. The connection doesn't drop or become limited, but the effect is the same; when the connection hits rock bottom speed, I can't load anything at all. My roommate's graph, meanwhile, is stable at about 5mb/s all of the time. My phone has no problem with the WiFi connection as well. For some reason, it's only my laptop that's having problems...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Lebanon
    Posts : 8
    Windows 8


    i had the same problem a week ago, all i did was go to my router gateway, then into the wireless network settings and change the wifi channel frequency from 13 to 1 and untick the autoscan of channel selection, it now works like a charm, no more disconnection or limited internet and the signal bar is always upto 6 or 5 bars ! give it a try.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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