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Local Dormentory Network Help

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#1
Hi all,

I hope you are having a great day. So I came back from my Christmas vacation and my roomate told me he had troubles with the WiFi in our room in the campus. I am not very familiar with creating networks, but the ball is my yard. He's not very tech savvy. I will try to give details and hope you can understand.

1. The provider: I don't know who that is. There is a socket on the wall and a CAT5e cable laying on the ground. It has Dynamic IP with free DHCP- no log in credentials are needed. You just plug in the cable and you have internet.

2. The router is: TP LINK- TL-WR1043ND . Firmware: DD-WRT v24 PreSP2 (beta) Build: 21061

So what happened. I came home and there was no WiFi. I tried hard reset and then filled in the simplest settings I know: name of the network and a passowrd. There was internet for a while and then started to drop, stop, etc. I tried again, but I couldn't run the internet through the stock firmware and I decided to flash it to DD-WRT. First time I try this. It flashed successfully. I could access the settings. I scanned with the phone to see which channels are busy and which ones are not so much. Because its a campus and everyone has a WiFi in their room. I chose: 20mhz for the waves and channel 9, as it seemed less crowded. The DHCP is enabled (whatever that does) and I haven't touched anything else. The MAC address is cloned.

We have internet now. Its more consistent than before. It was "stuck" for a minute or so this morning and it fixed itself. What I wonder is do I need the setting: Clone MAC address enabled or disabled? Is it going to make the connection better?
 

Frick

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#2
DHCP is the thing that assigns IP numbers to the connected devices. You should not have to clone the MAC address.
 
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#3
It depends. If your campus does not explicitly allow use of Wireless then you must have given your MAC to them at some point to be able to identify you on the network and not to let people from the outside come in and plug in the cable to use the campus internet. At least where i live we have 4 Sockets in the room for the 4 people and it is said that WiFi is prohibited although everyone uses it, you just need to have your mac cloned so your router appears like your pc to the external network if you don't want to have a cable to the PC. I had a lot of issues last year with wireless as signal dropped to being unusable or when it got a new IP from the master server and needed a restart; and went wired for the current year. Every channel gets crowded, and also bandwidth is chewn up by various mobile devices if you aren't protected well enough. We are like 600 people in the building and in rush hours the internet is barely crawling, it won't depend on your setting that much, it depends more on how the whole network is managed or how much usage it gets as anyone running Steam update or any torrents brings our network to a halt because we don't have a good enough bandwidth management. It's already the 3rd Network admin since I've gotten here and none of them managed to please us ... Batter have a Mobile Broadband stick at your disposal when the internet fails, and you just create a virtual network from your PC.
 

Aquinus

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#4
You could always move off campus and pay for your own internet. When I was still in college, that's what I did, but it typically requires having a half decent paying job while you're going through school. On a bright note, your room, board, and living expenses aren't being put on loans when you do it this way, if you can afford to.
 
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#5
DHCP is the thing that assigns IP numbers to the connected devices. You should not have to clone the MAC address.
I will turn it off and see what happens. It could be the router itself- its realtively new. I bought it in September last year. When we try to download simultaneously it starts to make some quirky stuff. Like I don't have internet and he does. Anyway. it somewhat holds for now :)
 

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#6
I've had that issue before. Does the network use something like Bradford to allow you on the network after a computer has authenticated for the first time? That is something I had to do at school. In order to get it to work, I would have to register a computer on the network and then clone that devices MAC on to the router. In this particular case, DHCP has to be enabled because it needs to look like only one user is connected per port so you need to NAT it up, you can't just use it as a bridge. All a hunch. We need to know more about the network you're connecting to tbh.
 
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#7
I've had that issue before. Does the network use something like Bradford to allow you on the network after a computer has authenticated for the first time? That is something I had to do at school. In order to get it to work, I would have to register a computer on the network and then clone that devices MAC on to the router. In this particular case, DHCP has to be enabled because it needs to look like only one user is connected per port so you need to NAT it up, you can't just use it as a bridge. All a hunch. We need to know more about the network you're connecting to tbh.
Well, I can upload some screenshots from the router. But details about the network, I don't know if I can get any. You get a key, you go into the room and there it is your internet cable, you plug and you go. It's included in the rent. I've never dealt with the provider in any way. And I moved fairly recently- there was this guy, who lived in this apartment for some time. I just hope the router is not broken, is there a way I can check it out? (the lights are blinking properly)
 

Frick

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#8
If there's a campus, don't you have a network guy? Or a service guy at all? It could be what aquinus is saying, I didn't think of that in my earlier post. :)

Anyway the way to check if the router is broken is to use it. Most things you say in your first post could be signs of a dying router.
 

Mussels

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#9
the router could be faulty, or the connection to your wall socket could be faulty. best to use a PC directly to the wall to narrow that down before you try fixing things that may not be broken.
 
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#10
Thank you to all of you for the time spent and effort put. I will see what is going to be. It seems though that it's not the router, because the next block of apartments has way better connection and all of my neighbours in my place are complaining about internet interruptions and inconsistency. I have lived in the adjacent building with the same router and the WiFi was rock solid. I was playing Warframe, my roomate League of Legends and the router had no lag or problems what-so-ever. There is no "network guy", but there is an agency that is taking care of all the communal services. I made a speedtest in our building is 17mb/s and the adjacent one is about 80 mb/s and we pay the same rent, so I guess it's something bigger than my router. If it's the device itself I still have warranty, I will flash it back to stock firmware and RMA.
 
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#11
Someone is a hog on your network from another room. This is what happened at us too. It didn't really matter if it was wireless or wired. Some dudes just like to profit from everything, there were ports opened to play some online games and they were torrenting through those. Until the MAC filter was implemented and ports blocked for everyone this never stopped. Now you need to write a form to open ports and you get only a certain number or so with a good enough reason. So we cant play games anymore or watch certain streams. That is why I suggested above too, get a Mobile net subscription.. sure it might not be as good as the broadband depending on where you live but its all yours when downtime strikes and its cheaper than getting a separate internet subscription in case your campus allows it(but i doubt this, only seen these in privately owned dorms not the ones that are governed by universities). That is what i use to play League of Legends now 100 ping is still not bad although there were times when the net was down in the whole building that even the 3G networks were just plain unusable.
 

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#12
if its shared bandwidth, one user could be hammering the connection with torrent downloads and causing it to lag for everyone else.
 
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#13
Is someone de-authing? Get wifi analytics for android or get the same name too for windows and see if there are no other people using your same SSID and MAC address and de-authenticating your clients and routing through them in a laptop.
 
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#14
You (and everyone else) should use only channels 1, 6 and 11 in the 2.4GHz WiFi band (channels do not overlap in the 5GHz band).

This graphic illustrates how they overlap (which causes interference, resulting in slow transfer speeds and connection drops)...


Channels 12 and 13 are available in most Europe/Middle-East/Asia countries.
Channel 14 is available only in Japan, and is limited to 802.11b usage.
 

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#15
No this better shows the channels this is updated for 802.11ac:
BdAe--mCEAA7opv.png