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    Tech Question: Is My Apartment’s Internet Service Provider Causing Connection Issues?

    A friend of mine recently asked me if I knew why he consistently being asked to reconnect to his WiFi network each time he woke his computer up from sleep mode. He was also getting kicked off his own network and needed to re-sign in multiple times each day. Talk about frustrating!

    While I was visiting his apartment, I asked if I could take a look at his modem and router. It turns out he had an “all in one device.” A Kevin Talks Tech inspection revealed an ethernet port running from the modem/router into the ethernet/CAT5 jack on his wall. When I asked who his ISP was, he told me he was getting internet through Comcast but the apartment also had an agreement with another internet service provider. Since the Comcast signal was coming through coaxial cable line, it seemed to me that the ethernet cable was serving no purpose going into the wall. I speculated that it could actually be the cause of the problem as the modem/router takes in both signals, confusing other devices that its broadcasting out to.

    He removed the ethernet cord going into the wall, and low and behold a few days later, the problems disappeared.

    While I didn’t check at the time, I now wonder if he had the ethernet cord hooked into the input or one of the output jacks on the router. Part of me wonders if he was pulling a signal in from the wall connection whereas running an ethernet line out from the router may have had no effect at all. Either way, the problem subsided.

    If you are experiencing issues with dropped connections or constantly needing to reconnect your WiFi, check and make sure your primary internet connection is not competing with another wired connection if you are running an ethernet cord into the wall (especially an apartment). The best way to do this is to use as few cables as possible on the modem and routers to test the configuration. Ideally, your coaxial connection going from the wall into the modem… and your ethernet cord running from the modem into the input connection on the router. If you’ve got an all-in-one device, the only cord you should be running would be the coaxial connection from the wall into the modem/router.

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