How to Troubleshoot a Linksys Wireless Router

by Joe Murray

You can usually tell when your Linksys Wi-Fi router stops performing properly by the decrease in wireless signal strength. There are several ways to deal with a weak or missing signal. Before beginning, if you get any signal at all from your router, try running a few speed tests over a period of several hours. Although not terribly accurate, speed tests can give you a general idea of ping speed -- the time your router takes to get to and from an Internet server -- and upload and download speeds for benchmark purposes. Check your wired connections for attachment and continuity before starting the troubleshooting procedure.

Unplug the Linksys power cord and disconnect the Cat-5 Ethernet cable running from the modem into the yellow slot on the back of the Linksys. Plug the connector coming from the modem directly into your laptop LAN socket and turn on your laptop. Check the signal strength, ping and speed. If your indicators are the same as the Wi-Fi indicators you had earlier, the problem is not with your router.

Cycle the router by disconnecting the power plug and the input from the modem. Rest the router with the power off for five to ten minutes. Reconnect the Cat-5 Ethernet cable from the modem and then reconnect the power cord. Wait until all but one LED on the front of the router glows solid. One LED should still be flashing. Log on the Internet through the Wi-Fi portal and check ping and speed. If the problem persists, re-cycle the router.

Re-cycle the router and the modem by disconnecting the power from both units, unplugging all the connectors and, if you are using a battery backup cable modem, remove the battery. Leave the power off for five to ten minutes. Reconnect the router and modem in this order: router to modem Cat-5 Ethernet, router power, modem power, and finally cable or DSL line to the modem. Wait for the lights to settle into the previous pattern and test for ping and speed. If the problem persists, reset the router.

Reset the router to factory default settings by using a paper clip or pen to depress and hold the reset button on the rear of the router body for at least ten seconds. This returns all router settings to the time you first opened the Linksys box. After resetting the router, cycle the modem again.

Move the router to another location if the problem persists. Make sure it is not near microwave ovens, cordless telephones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors or any other radio frequency source that can cause interference to the router Wi-Fi signal. Make sure the router is located as near as possible to the center of your network and is as high off the floor as possible. If problems persist, contact Linksys customer support.

Tip

  • Check to see that your router is operating on either channel 1, 4, 6, 8 or 11 if you are on an 802.11b or 802.11g network. Do this by opening a browser and typing “192.168.1.1” without the quotes to open your router’s setup page. Look for Channel. Check to see that the router firmware is current by clicking on the “Update Firmware” button in the Administration section of your router online setup pages.

Warning

  • Always make a note of any settings that you change. Do not interrupt a firmware upgrade under any circumstances.

About the Author

Joe Murray began writing professionally in 1980. As a technical writer, he authored white papers and articles for Hewlett Packard and Intel. Since retiring, Murray has written several home-exchange travel articles for KnowYourTrade.com and CHECtravel,com among other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Santa Clara University.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images