Massive packet loss on WiFi with WPA enabled

Overwind

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
92
From time to time, my WiFi network suffers %30-%50 packet loss when WPA is enabled. Power-cycling my router and WiFi laptops sometimes fixes this, but sometimes the only fix is to disable WPA and run un-encrypted for a few hours. Disabling WPA immediately clears up the problem and lowers packet loss to a few percent at most. Signal strength is good in both WPA and open mode. The only difference is that WPA eats packets.

This has happened in two different locations, with both D-Link and Netgear routers, and with two types of 801.11g NICs. My current equipment is a DI-524 router, Centrino laptop, and a laptop with an Airlink 101 PCMCIA NIC. No other WiFi LANs are in the area.

Any ideas on how to fix this?
 

Xilikon

[H]ard|DCer of the Year 2008
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
14,952
Overwind said:
From time to time, my WiFi network suffers %30-%50 packet loss when WPA is enabled. Power-cycling my router and WiFi laptops sometimes fixes this, but sometimes the only fix is to disable WPA and run un-encrypted for a few hours. Disabling WPA immediately clears up the problem and lowers packet loss to a few percent at most. Signal strength is good in both WPA and open mode. The only difference is that WPA eats packets.

This has happened in two different locations, with both D-Link and Netgear routers, and with two types of 801.11g NICs. My current equipment is a DI-524 router, Centrino laptop, and a laptop with an Airlink 101 PCMCIA NIC. No other WiFi LANs are in the area.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

This made me realize I should do tests with open mode since my wifi internet speed is only 500-700 kbits when I can reach 5 mbits using wired mode. I will come up with results and if WPA indeed eats packets, I would like to know a good solution. Surprisingly, uploads speeds is not affected and still hovering around 700 kbits for a max of 768 kbits.
 

Taffy Apple

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 4, 2005
Messages
376
Isn't WIFI on the whole an unreliable medium anyway? Are you talking packet loss or network throughput?

Any local sources of interference, microwaves, cordless phones?
 

0ldman

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
3,565
Packet loss is not the norm. I've got routers set up with less than 1% packet loss at -75dB.
You shouldn't lose enough packets to notice.

If you move around or have lots of interference, lots of wireless nearby, your milage may vary.

Every time it drops to a slower connection speed, you will lose some packets, most of they time just retransmit and the packet loss only shows up on the physical layer, you never see it.
 

Overwind

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
92
Turns out this is a bug with Intel's 2200BG cards. Sending large numbers of UDP packets over a 2200BG with WPA enabled will wreck the connection. :rolleyes: :mad:

Turning off my UDP-based VPN made things work but this isn't exactly the best solution.
 

DiceMann

n00b
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
46
Turns out this is a bug with Intel's 2200BG cards. Sending large numbers of UDP packets over a 2200BG with WPA enabled will wreck the connection. :rolleyes: :mad:

Turning off my UDP-based VPN made things work but this isn't exactly the best solution.

Cheap NIC cards are usually the culprit. I should know, I bought a laptop with a "free" Mini-PCI Wireless NIC card. I bitch about it everytime I get the chance.
 
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