Troubleshoot intermittent wifi


I’ve been using IPFire for a number of years. Recently I moved my office to a different floor of the house and since the IPFire box was in the basement my wifi signal was poor. I decided to install an antenna in the attic and at the same time decided to upgrade the IPFire wifi card to a Compex WLE600VX 802.11ac. Once installed everything seemed to work fine. My upstairs laptop has good signal now. However, my wife who’s office is on the bottom floor started seeing her wifi connection drop. She would loose connection to the router completely. Sometimes she would be fine for days and some other days the connection would drop every 5-10 minutes. Now that I’m working from home I notice that my work laptop has been losing connection as well, however not as frequently as hers. Both of these laptops run Windows, while my home laptop which is Linux seems to be OK. I haven’t noticed any drops in connections. This was never the case until I upgraded the wifi card.

I’ve been looking through the logs, but can’t find anything regarding wifi connection dropping. Anyone know where to look for the errors/warnings that relate to this? I chose the Compex card since I heard good things regarding IPFire compatibility and I like that I can have 3 antennas hooked up to it.



I would recommend you two things:

  1. Test another wifi channel (IPFire web interface > IPFire > WLanAP and then change “Channel”).
  2. Check the system logs, using dmesg command from a terminal.

It could help troubleshooting this issue.

I looked through /var/log/messages which was the only place that had hostapd related stuff and the best I could figure out this is what causes problems:

WPA: event 3 notification
IEEE 802.1X: unauthorizing port
IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated
MLME: MLME-DEAUTHENTICATE.indication(e4:70:b8:69:47:59, 4)
MLME: MLME-DELETEKEYS.request(e4:70:b8:69:47:59)

I’ve changed to 802.11ac from 802.11gn and picked a channel, it was set for auto channel. Let’s see if that fixes things.

To be sure : have you changed the HT Caps and VHT Caps field ?
As I don’t have 5GHz hardware, I cannot test but I assume that you need to fill both fields with the capabilities listed here: I also assume that VHT Caps is for 5 GHz mode (802.11ac), so you need to input 256-QAM only in the VHT Caps field.

Thanks for checking in. I’ve been waiting to post here when I have some resolution. As you can imagine it’s difficult to troubleshoot the wifi, since there is an all out panic in the household when I turn on/off the wifi. Most of my other devices work OK, like Roku which streams TV/Videos without issues.

I tried switching to 802.11ac, but that just didn’t work at all. I switched it back to 802.11gn and picked channel 6, since that seems to be seldom used in my neighborhood. It appears that 90% of networks near me use channel 11.

Thank you for the tips on VHT Caps. I wasn’t aware that I needed to have that defined as well. I found this post that seems to be useful: