Fix 7230-4 dropped connections permanently
I had the same problem with the Belkin 7230-4 Wireless Router for a while, until I did a bit of reading and realized it wasn't the router itself that was messed up, just the way it was configured.
My configuration is:
- Desktop with an ethernet cable running to port 1 on the router
- Laptop connected wirelessly (so I can check email while I'm on the can).
- Cable Modem connected to router through ethernet
First, keep in mind that 192.168.2.1 is reserved for the router, so the desktop will automatically connect to 192.168.2.2
Also, I don't use static IP, because my internet provider doesn't allow it, so I have it set for Dynamic connections in this example...
With the basic install disc that Belkin provides, the remaining ports will be opened - 192.168.2.3 to 100
The next thing you want to do is do away with the WEP protocol, and setup for WPA. I prefer to use the password/passcode method of authentication because it's easier to remember (for example - a friend brings his laptop over and wants to connect - instead of getting a huge hexidecimal key to remember, just type in the password). WPA passcode makes this step easy.
Next, check to see that all computers are accessing the internet. If they can't see each other over your network, worry about that later.
Next (I highly
suggest this step because it is most likely the cause of your dropped signals), download NetStumbler and install it on your laptop.
Once it's installed, fire up the program and take a quick stroll around where you have your network setup (house, apartment building, dorm, whatever). NetStumbler will scan for any other wireless routers in the area and tell you exactly what channels/SSID's they are using, plus the Signal-to-Noise ratio, and Signal Strength (and some other things).This is where the problem gets resolved.
There's a good chance you'll notice a bunch of different wireless routers in your area. Most people install them using the simplest method possible, and with that they tend to default to Channels/SSID's of Channel 1, Channel 6, Channel 11
Your absolute best bet is to set your SSID to a channel that noone else is using, therefore making your router's signal "unique" from everyone else.
By default, the Belkin 7230-4 (v.4 and up I believe) default to Channel 6. (Linksys - CH11, DLINK - CH1)
The point now is to pick a channel that has as little interference from others as possible - in my case, I set to Channel 3. I also enabled the Extend Range radio button to see if my signal would stay strong with low Signal loss across the street and further.
Save all of your new settings, and let the router restart. Restart your laptop and tower also (if you have them - mostly the laptop) and reconnect to your router.
Give it another quick survey and you'll notice that your router is now not being bombarded by the signals of every other person's router in your area. Your connection won't drop off suddenly either.
It's a decent router, but somewhat of a pain to set up if you live in a urban area. The signal from it isn't insanely strong, so it can be forced offline by interference quite often.