If you were one of the early adopters of broadband be that ADSL (phone line) or cable (Virgin) and you still have your original router then there may be trouble ahead.
The wireless modules in all routers generate heat and this will, in time, cause the wireless module to fail.
As we are using more and more bandwidth for applications such as iPlayer, iTunes, Skype, Facebook, on demand TV, so the wireless module is having to work overtime and its realistic lifespan is shortening.
Unfortunately a failing wireless module in a router is very hard to diagnose. The symptoms can present themselves in many different ways depending on the user’s behaviour, the types of devices used and the actual wireless chipsets used in both the device & the router.
The best indicator that the wireless element of a router is starting to fail is the seemingly erratic connectivity behaviour. Some people will refer to such wireless connectivity problems as ‘flaky’. We have seen households where only one device is affected and everything else connects. However as soon as the router is replaced, magically, the problem is solved.
Due to the number of computer and network issues that we deal with, we are in a better position than most, to see trends.
It’s a fact, particularly with BT HomeHubs, that we are seeing more and more wireless problems.
We suspect that this is because all of the HomeHubs in a geographic area are of a similar age and therefore are starting to develop issues with the potential to fail as a ‘group’.
It is with regret that most internet service providers are very reluctant to admit that their equipment might be faulty and claim that the fault must be with your device, be that a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.
We are more than happy to test your device to see if it, rather than the router, has the problem and indeed we would test it with multiple wireless networks using different speeds and encryption standards.
If the wireless unit in your laptop or desktop has failed, then this is a far simpler fix than getting your broadband supplier to even consider that the router might have a fault.
If we or another reputable IT company have tested your device and have conclusively proven that there is no fault with your hardware, then the fault must be with your router and you should ask your internet service provider for a replacement router.
Don’t fall into the trap of replacing the faulty ISP router yourself as most providers, including BT, will not support anything that they have not supplied.
It took one of our customers threatening to leave before BT would take the correct action and replace the HomeHub:
Hello Keith, I just thought I'd update you on the progress of my computer since you were all so good in helping me out! I contacted BT for the 4th time and told them in no uncertain terms (as you advised) that if nothing was done about my problems with keeping an internet connection - I was going to move to Sky or Virgin, as both have been hassling me to join them. Hey Presto, I now have a new one and it is working perfectly. Why couldn't they have done that at the outset? Anyway, I'm absolutely delighted as you would expect, but I cannot thank you all enough for the assistance you gave me and the patience you had in dealing with me. Many thanks. A
So stick to your guns and persevere!