Improving Wireless stability and connectivity in Debian Squeeze with Atheros AR9287

May 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd, Technology

Well ever since moving to my new apartment here the landlords wifi has just been atrocious.  I mean I lived down in Colombia, I’ve piggy-backed off wifi signals in Croatia, i’ve backpacked around the world jerry rigging blackberries as tethers in developing countries in the middle of no where and this wifi here is BY FAR the worst I have ever experienced.  So today, enough was enough and I went on a hunt to improve it.. Here are the 5 things that I did to improve it.

  • Remove the power saving feature: iwconfig wlan0 power off
  • Disable some fancy encryption module: sudo modprobe -v ath9k nohwcrypt=1
  • Go into your router and have it broadcast in wireless G only.  The N spectrum is notoriously horrible in apartment buildings or where there is a lot of competition.  Besides if you need more than 54 Mbits of transfer then you should really be plugged in with cat5e and not going over the airwaves.
  • Get WICD installed.  More often than not if the network manager can’t connect WICD will be able to and rarely vice versa.  You should note that you need to right click on the traditional network manager and uncheck ‘enable wireless’ or WICD won’t be able to connect on it’s own.  Overall I find WICD to be just that, fucking wicked when it comes to wifi and 9 times out of 10 it will work where gnomes network manager won’t
  • Specify your own DNS.  always use Google DNS when possible.  You should be able to edit the connections properties in wicked and specify 8.8.8.8 for the primary DNS and 8.8.4.4 for the secondary

Hope that helps.  I’m using an Acer Aspire 5253 e-350 btw and as of writing this post I haven’t been dropped from my connection once which

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