Wifi Issue: Dropping Wifi, Skype still works, entire family is frustrated


Oct 7, 2014
Hello Everyone,

I have an issue that has plagued our family since the day we moved into this house. Last night, while attempting to live stream for the first time, I was completely embarrassed when my WIFI dropped after 40 minutes and my friend and I chatted away like idiots while all my viewers left.

I am turning to this community because I feel if there is anyone who can help, it is you guys.

The Setup

Upstairs we have a wireless router installed by our ISP (Shaw Cable). It provides WIFI to 12+ wireless devices split over two networks (5G and regular). Every device in the house has great connection speeds and consistently tops out at 100mbps.

The Problem

Since day one, the problem has been that completely randomly, the WIFI will drop (mostly on my Mac), causing the network I am connected to, to fail for everyone. The 5G network and all devices connected to it, remain working unaffected. The solution is to wait until the router resets itself, or hard reset the router.

During this time, no internet traffic is possible.


Strangely, when I am logged into Windows, I have never experienced this issue. That isn't to say it hasn't happened, but to my knowledge the problem has only been when I am using my Mac.

Skype will continue to work. As Skype doesn't use DNS, when I am connected in a conversation, all WIFI will stop working (can't connect using a browser or any other means), but we can continue chatting. The WIFI will eventually come back, after about 10 minutes.

I have attempted in the router to set the IP for my computer, but it doesn't seem to solve the issue.

Please Help

Until now our family has put up with this random annoyance. We simply call, "WIFI is down!" and someone will reset the router. Unfortunately, now that I am trying to delve into the world of live streaming, this has, and will continue to be a huge issue. I am certain it has something to do with a DNS issue on my Hack, or on the network in general. However, I don't have enough knowledge on the subject to be able to fix it.

For those of you that understand networking, please Tom's People, you are our only hope.



It's hard to know without extensive testing. One thing I would test off the bat is, the next time it goes down, plug the computer that had a dropped WiFi connection directly into the router and turn off WiFi on that device. If it still doesn't work, you have a problem elsewhere. Even if it does work though, that's not a guarantee that it's a WiFi problem.

Here are my thoughts:
1. The router is over heating (this can happen especially easily if it's in a location with poor air circulation such as under a desk or in a closet). Solutions: move to a cooler place/point a fan at it, reduce load (disconnect unused devices), replace with a router that has better cooling.

2. It's crashing, for one reason or another. Solutions: update firmware, update all WiFi devices, factory reset. It's likely there's nothing you can do short of replacing with another model, however, as it's probably just a crummy router.

3. It has a hardware defect - get a replacement from the cable company, or ask the cable company for a modem-only and get a decent stand alone router ($60 is about the minimum I'd consider for getting a decent router).

4. It's not actually the WiFi, but some other part - replace all Ethernet cables, make sure the coaxial cable is screwed in all the way, change the DNS servers on the router (Google's, Level3's, OpenDNS, etc.), make sure your browsers are up to date, make sure all devices are malware free, change the WiFi password so any unauthorized devices get booted off (i.e. neighbor download torrents or whatnot), etc. There are a whole lot of other things you can check too that I can't think of off the top of my head.

One part of my thinks it might be a pure DNS issue, but I make a policy of not using ISP DNS servers so I have no knowledge of that.

Let me know if any of this helps.


Oct 7, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I have a few thoughts on your thoughts.

This unfortunately isn't possible. One of the downfalls of the setup we have is that my computer is in the basement, while the router is in the closet upstairs. Physically, I am only about 20 feet from the router, and I get strong 100mbps signal, but it wouldn't be possible to physically connect the two. Trust me, I have wanted to since I moved in.

My house is actually wired for internet, but the geniuses that did it, only put one in the basement, and it is under the window on the other side of the room. Annoying.

I thought about this, however because the 5G network continues to work without issue, it makes me think it isn't a heat issue.

I wouldn't disagree with you there. I have had Shaw techs out 4 times trying to solve this. The last time they brought out the latest version of the router they provide. I am unfortunately stuck with that under this service.

They have replaced it at least twice so I doubt it is an issue with the router itself. It may be, but it seems that this issue occurs when my computer is connected and working...of course that may be confirmation bias on my part.

I have actually replaced the cables. Just today I changed my DNS on my Mac to Google ( and I will monitor to see if that works. If not, I will try it on the router level. My Mac and browsers are running the latest Sierra update, I am Malware free, and the WIFI is secure (I can see and account for all connected devices on the router).

Do you have a preferred DNS? I am not opposed to using another DNS if it doesn't affect my speed and/or safety, and solves this issue.

Thanks for your time.