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Tag Archives: wifi troubleshooting

Ever since I got my new laptop and upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04, I noticed that my WiFi has been very unsteady to the point that for anything greater than 100MB, my most reliable download method would be via torrent, unless the server I’m downloading from supports resuming downloads, which is never. That’s a shame since not everything > 100MB can be found in P2P networks. I also noticed that Ubuntu 12.04 oftentimes took ages to connect to our WiFi network upon start-up. This isn’t the case with 10.04 and Windows 8. Unfortunately, the last time I felt this frustrated with WiFi connection upon start-up was with Windows Vista.

At first I thought it is an issue with our router which is around 3-4 years old—a suspicion I got pretty confident with upon checking my ping and traceroute logs. My pings averaged at around hundreds of milliseconds, sometimes even up to 800ms, while the normal was only at around 50ms to 60ms. Traceroute, on the other hand, times out intermittently and, noticeably, on the first hop towards our router (

I got a replacement for our router around a month ago and, to my disappointment, the problem persisted. My ping and traceroute returned to normal but the WiFi remained choppy while connected and initial connection upon start-up still took ages. I’ve been searching for a solution for this problem but every solution I come across seem to be very hardware specific (check those network cards, geeks) and involved building some low-level modules. For what it’s worth, it seems that this problem boils down to a conflict among the wireless drivers that come with 12.04.

Then somewhere, in my searches, I encountered a post in Ubuntu Forums which looked like a general solution to the problem I am having. This, as the command suggests, installs a backport of wireless drivers into your machine:

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-cw-3.3-precise-generic

Now, my Ubuntu 12.04 instantly connects to our WiFi upon start-up, just like my old 10.04 installation.

The WiFi still cuts though, something which I’ve pinpointed to be a fault of the router (or, maybe, how I’m positioned with respect to the router): I noticed that my XPeria Z, stationed on the same desk, also gets disconnected. For what it’s worth, reestablishing connection is now faster since I backported my drivers.