I am currently in a coffee shop I frequent regularly and I am finally fed up with my issue.

Some how I am the only one in the entire building that cannot use their WiFi. I see OSX and Windows machines browsing just fine, but I cannot seem to get past pinging the router (barely)...

Relevant ifconfig:

ericfoss@charlie:~$ ifconfig 
eth0      ... 

lo        ...

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1f:3a:70:61:22  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::21f:3aff:fe70:6122/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:210 errors:0 dropped:20 overruns:0 frame:11805
          TX packets:252 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:43137 (43.1 KB)  TX bytes:28431 (28.4 KB)
          Interrupt:17 Base address:0xc000 


Ping test:

ericfoss@charlie:~$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=225 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=197 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=201 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=205 ms
--- ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 4 received, 60% packet loss, time 9048ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 197.935/207.815/225.852/10.782 ms

Dig attempt:

ericfoss@charlie:~$ dig www.msn.com

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-4.3ubuntu0.2-Ubuntu <<>> www.msn.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached
  • Is this a regular issue? Often wifi routers have a finite number of connections. So the server may just be full. Especially if a lot of regular customers' phones have automatically connected in their pockets. – Julian Stirling Mar 3 '15 at 2:36
  • Every time I show up I have this issue. I'm connected, but essentially zero service. – Eric Fossum Mar 3 '15 at 2:55
  • 1
    My two cents: there's multitude of issues that can happen; bad drivers, poor connection in a brick building, the internal wifi card sucks, router settings, etc. I had issue with the internal card not being able to connect in couple particular buildings in my university. With a usb wifi card (namely RTL 8192 SE), I have pretty stable connection everywhere. Consider getting yourself one – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Mar 4 '15 at 15:20
  • Hmmm... I have a USB WiFi at home. Maybe I'll try that a little later. – Eric Fossum Mar 9 '15 at 22:30
  • Eric, what WiFi hardware are you running? (lsusb or lspci depending on your HW... – Fabby Mar 10 '15 at 22:09

So the issue was the internal WiFi. I cannot tell you if the issue was a driver or the 7+ year old internal card, but a cheapo USB dongle fixed the issue.

If someone is looking for a cheap and easy test, try this one out.

Also, please comment on other good Linux Wifi dongles!!!

  • I got a Tenda W522u, it's about 2x what you paid, but it supports 5GHZ, which is not heavily used around here so less interference. – Organic Marble Mar 12 '15 at 3:35
  • I use Rtl8192se, before couldn't connect to wifi in a brick building on my college campus. Now with the dongle - works anywhere – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Mar 12 '15 at 4:43

I'm not very well versed in networking but would be concerned with the following info: RX packets:210 errors:0 dropped:20 10 packets transmitted, 4 received, 60% packet loss

  • Yep, that's the issue. Now how do I solve it... – Eric Fossum Mar 3 '15 at 2:56

Are you sure that you are signed into their wifi system? Usually they give you some sort of code, usually printed on a receipt. Once you connect to the router you are sent to a webpage that prompts you to enter the code before you can connect to the internet. The dropped packets may be caused by the router not accepting a lot of pings to stop attacks.

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