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Suddenly lost my hotspot connection

9511 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  TerryNet
Hi, and hope you can help. I care for a senior citizen a few nights a week in a home without internet service, and have been using my HP Presario CQ62 up until now to log onto an xfinitywifi hotspot through my own account. I also have an HP Pavilion I can use, but for some reason that laptop does not have as strong as signal as the Presario and the signal was not reliable. But with the Presario, I have had no problem logging on until now, and the bars in my network listing are usually 4 or 5 strong.
One night recently I lost my connection, and have not been able to log back on since. The xfinitywifi has pretty much disappeared, although it pops up every so often for a moment or two, but only with one bar and also shows being out of range on my android. Most of the other networks usually in the list were gone as well, also just popping up here and there for a moment, and only with one bar. But a new listing appeared at the same time this happened, and seems to be a strong one, with 4 to 5 bars.
One other older network besides the new one seems to remain strong and both are netgear routers. So my assumption is that this new network is somehow sending out signals that, along with the other network, are blocking me from picking up signals.

Knowing a little (and very little) about all this, my fist thought was to change my channel. However, I could not figure out how to change the channel on an internal modem/router (Realtek) in my laptop.
I tried downloading some programs to try and find out what was going on. I didn’t have much luck understanding them, but with one program called Heatmapper I got some info about the other networks. What I did find out was that the new network seems to have less of a mbps reading (whatever that is) than the other netgear that has been there, but never caused any problems.

So my guess is that this new network (and I have no idea where it is coming from) is sending out wifi signals that, along with the other older one, are blocking this house from receiving the xfinitywifi hotspot signals. I did check and the hotspot is still valid.

I did try tethering my phone signal, but it is simply too slow to be able to do anything worthwhile. I am miserable not having my internet while I‘m there through the night, and hope there is a way I can somehow stop the signals from interfering with mine, or do something to my computer that would allow me to again pick up strong signals again to log on, play my games, watch my videos, etc. I do have 2 old routers (a clear express hub and a netgear wnr1000v2 if either could help.

I can’t afford too much, so would appreciate if any solutions were economical.

Thank you so much in advance for your help.

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Sorry, forgot to add at home it works fine.
Please attach a screen shot of the Networks page (don't collapse the Radar, Connection or Signal History) of the Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector. If you don't have a satisfactory email address (e.g., from your ISP) you could try If you need help with a screen shot see TSG Posting a Screenshot. FWIW to take screen shots with Windows 8 or 7 or Vista I prefer to use the built-in Snipping Tool.

Identify the network you are trying to use.
Thank you for answering. I'm not sure I got this right, but did the best I could. Let me know if you need anything else or anything different. I posted 2 screen shots because I think the 1st was missing the radar and other things you asked for. The 2nd version was taken a little bit later, but is similar enough. I need to log onto xfinitywifi, which was working fine, always with 3-5 bars, up until a few days ago. It is the ACI that is the new kid on the block, but the netgear 19 seems quite strong as well.

Now, as you can see, the xfinity is 1 bar, as are the others excerpt netgear 19. I was lucky to get this shot, as 99% of the time xfinitywifi is no longer even showing up.


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All those detected signals are too weak for a reliable (if any) connection. And if you had control of the router I'd advise to change to channel 11.

You said that the signal seemed to get much weaker recently. Possibly your adapter's antenna has come loose or the connections corroded. If you can easily access the wireless card through a cover on the laptop's bottom check the antenna leads. If they are already secure would be a good idea to disconnect and reconnect them.

Otherwise, unless you can find a place (hanging out a window?) where the signal is stronger I don't know what you can do. The signal needs to be at least -70 dBm for some reliability.
Thanks for your answer.

I will check the connections but I doubt that is the problem as the loss of signal strength was sudden, it happened the moment ACI appeared on the scene. And since it affected not only the xfinitywifi connection but all the others you see as well (which are not mine to use) I'm figuring however they set their system up it is interfering with any signals coming to my laptop.

Can you please give me an idea of what to look for in an antenna and usb wireless adapter? There are lots of numbers and I have no clue as to what they mean, so don't know what to look for.

Would an antenna cut through the interference?

Can I use an old router to help with this?

... as the loss of signal strength was sudden
And that's the main reason I'm thinking of an antenna problem. :D

I don't know anything about the following three USB wireless adapters, but I offer them as examples because of the external antenna on each. The first one, especially, warrants your attentiion because it can be placed away from the laptop where it may get a better signal.

NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (WNA3100)

Bolse® [New Release] 300Mbps Wifi Wireless-N USB Micro Mini Adapter with High Gain Antenna - Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8; Mac OS X 10.5 Greater; 2.4G 802.11ngb 32-Bit and 64-Bit Compatible(*Does Not Support Win8.1*) (I've never heard of this brand.)

Etekcity® USB Wireless Wi-Fi Network Adapter with Dual 6 dBi Antennas - 802.11 B/G/N 300Mbps (Never heard of this brand either.)
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