Connection keeps timing out

Registration date
Monday February 15, 1999
Last seen
January 12, 2022

I'm having problems with my wireless connection, the internet works for all our other computers in my shop, but mine!! It dies out every couple of pages or so and says that my connection has timed out with the following error messages :
  • Connection timed out
  • Connection either timed out or was lost
  • Connection timeout TCP
  • Connection error timed out
  • Connection request timed out
  • Connection attempt timed out
  • Connection server timed out
  • Connection has been reset, closed by server

So to keep browsing I have to disconnect and reconnect to the internet. Then it times out after a few pages again. It's HORRIBLE!!! Every page or 2, I've got to disconnect and reconnect!!

All the while I've got 5 bars, but sometimes it says I've got 'Limited access'

I don't understand!! Somebody help me before I murder my laptop!!

19 replies

Registration date
Monday February 15, 1999
Last seen
January 12, 2022


Here are some easy ways to solve this issue.

The first one consists in increasing the timeout value :
  • Do Windows+R, then
    and go to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/SOFTWARE/Microsoft Windows/CurrentVersion/Internet Settings
  • In the Internet Settings panel, find
    and Set the value to 100*<number_of_seconds>*100. For example 1000 would give 10 seconds.
  • Save and restart.

Try to renew DHCP :
  • Do Windows+R, then
    and Ctrl+Shift+Enter to execute as administrator ;
  • Launch these different commands:
    ipconfig /flushdnsipconfig /registerdnsipconfig /releaseipconfig /renew

Check that you don't have a bad hosts file:
  • Do Windows+R then
    notepad %SYSTEM32%\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Ensure that there aren't any websites listed.

Then, check your Internet settings :
  • Windows+R then
  • Go to Connections / LAN Settings.
  • Ensure that Automatically Detect Settings, and Use Proxy Server for your LAN are unchecked.
  • Save and restart computer.

What you can also try:
  • Try another browser ;
  • Disable your different browser extensions ;
  • Restart your router ;
  • Update your router firmware ;
  • Use Google DNS
This keeps happening to me too...

I have a netgear router from AOL on this desktop which has the normal DSL connection. I have recently bought a Sweex wireless dongle to connect my dad's comp to the wireless. All installed and says I have excellent reception, however when I load firefox I only get the google homepage and occasionally one other page before it dies- 'connection times out' or 'address not found'. IE wont even connect.

Other posts have suggested a conflicted with antivirus etc but I not sure.

Thanks in advance guys :)

I work for a big for-profit online university, and we see this problem all the time. It's a big deal for us because we're for-profit, and when a person can't attend our school because their HTTPS connections keep dropping, it cuts into our profits.

I'm going to be upfront though; I am not a networking person. I do not have an understanding of TCP/IP protocol.

That being said, I'm pretty sure this is what is happening:
Most wireless connections are encrypted. That is, encrypted while your data is traveling through a radio signal between your computer, and the access point or router, where it is de-crypted, and passed along completely unencrypted through the rest of its journey.

That last part is normal. Wired network connections are NOT encrypted. This is not a problem for the most part, because nodes (the big servers your data hops across on its way to its destination) have SO MUCH traffic moving through them, an unscrupulous employee with a high level of access would have to fish out your data from the stream, and your data is probably no more interesting than the next guy's data. (Sorry.)

However, it is because of that remote possibility, that we use encrypted secure connections for bank transactions, VPNs, email, and connections to our colleges and universities websites. That way the unscrupulous employee would have to fish out your completely nonsensical data, and spend the next 2,000 years using a supercomputer to figure it out.


So here's where the dropped or timed out connection comes into play. This is kind of difficult to explain using plain language terms, so techies please bear with me:

First, you have to understand that encryption increases the amount of data you are transferring. Say that you were going to encrypt my name, Seamus. The encrypted version would not be six characters long. The encrypted version could be 60 characters long.

Ever notice how sometimes on a secure site your web browser will say "this page contains both secure and non-secure items. Do you want to display the non-secure items?" You get that message because the web page you're on does not want to encrypt the transfer of images between you and their server. One little image can easily be equal to the data of all the text on the page. Encrypting the images would make the page load on your computer EXTREMELY slowly.

When you are on a secure (aka encrypted) wireless connection, and you try to access a secure website, you are overlapping encryption. At that point, you are sending a massive amount of data between your computer and the wireless access point. Just a few dropped packets or network interference (even if you have maximum signal strength) can bring your connection to a crawl, or time it out completely.
I agree with post # 11, Online University IT. Before I got my laptop my PC had no trouble at all. My internet connections never timed out. Since I got my laptop and set up my wireless router to be encrypted I now have problems with my laptop and PC both timing out. Now my laptop is connected via a wireless connection but my PC is not and yet I have the same timing out issues on both computers.

The problem started as soon as I set up the encryption on the wireless router and I hadn't realized that until I read that post. I'm am going to try and remove the encryption and see if my internet connection is better, if so then I'll have my answer. I guess at that point I will have to avoid doing sensitive work on my laptop, such as logging into my bank account, etc.
nonsense, encrypted information is not supposed to take up any more space, it is slower to encrypt/decrypt though, and that's why the extra overhead on https traffic
Not nonsense. Encryption takes every character you input and converts it into a mathematical equation that only the recipient has the key to decipher, hence why it is slower to encrypt/decrypt, and why you would spend 2,000 years on a supercomputer trying to crack it.
Well, although a slightly different problem, I have a client with an issue along the same lines. Regardless of browser or any program that requests internet access, the site is initially seen, and then the wireless connection times out. No viruses, spyware, or anything else is on the system that may cause this. What really boggles my mind is that other computers work fine on that network, and that specific laptop works fine connecting to other networks.

I removed and reinstalled the latest drivers for the wireless adapters, cleaned all temp/cookies, released/renewed the IP, tried a dedicated IP, can ping the router without a problem, checked firewall, host file, everything I could think of...

Maybe if you figure out your issue, it'll point me in the right direction. I'll gladly post how I resolved it if I beat you to it.
I am having the same problem. My computer crashed, my IT reinstalled windows and other software, then I couldn't connect to my NETGEAR wifi at home. Signal is excellent, another laptop at home works fine. But, I still can use my laptop connect to wifi at the office . I am running XP Pro version 20002 SP3. My laptop used to work with my home wifi.
my problem is my phone, I have all the bars possible but it says I have no service and wont let me send texts or place calls it happens at least once every few days
I have the same problem with the router disconnecting from the modem for no apparent reason. I think the netgear is junk. My computer works fine when I bypass the router. Doing that defeats the purpose of the wireless. I am going to try to return the router & get my money back. I have only had it a few days.
please solve this problem

I'm also having the same issue with my SONY laptop.. not a dell, or any other cheapo computer. I payed a hefty penny so I expect the best out of it... but that's not what im getting. Im using Firefox, and just as everyone else said, it will run fine for an hour or so and then decide it wants to time out. Also as someone else said.. it may be with TWC's new internet connection somethin somethin somethin... its not that, because mine has been doing this months before I recieved that notice. So ive narrowed it all down to this... Its Either Firefox, or the Netgear modem, and im leaning more towards firefox, because I can run other programs such as instant messengers that require an internet connection, and they will work fine while firefox says its timed out.
FireFox uses MUCH more bandwidth than most browsers, it's firefox causing the problem, try updating it, or use IE8.
ROR someone suggested Internet Explorer

if you dont have a proxy server, you should set it up
if you have a proxy server running, you disable it.

The problem you described usually is due a proxy.
Second thing you can do is reset your router. not via the "reset" button but get the power of it and wait for a minute, bring the power back in and you're done.

Yeah i'm having the same issue with https sites. It is annoying because me and my sister can't reach our respective school sites because of the timing out. This happened lately and we didnt do any configuration changes. CAN SOMEBODY HELP SOLVE THIS PLEASE !
If you're certain there is no security software or firewall preventing your access (boot to safe mode /w networking & try) there are a couple other possibilities that haven't been suggested. First check that your system time has the correct time, date & time zone. Your browser will completely ignore any security certificates if the system time doesn't match. If that is correct try using openDNS to access the site. If you use a smaller local ISP it's probable they don't flush their cache as often so you may want to call them and ask them to clear it.
the time zone was my problem, I think, so far so good. I just did a complete fresh install of XP and after about a week, after 5 minutes or so in the properties I was connected 54Mbps everything looked great but would time out going to any page. I would have to unplug my adapter from usb, plug it back in and I'd have a few more minutes. I read this and checked my time zone and I was off, I knew that was not right but had no idea it would affect anything. Now I know. Thanks. So far so good, been about 10 minutes now. Thats longer than any connection so far this week.
I am sorry to disagree with the post that stated the OS "only" controls the internet connection. Although, in general, this is true, but it seems that Firefox IS doing something to cause the internet connection to disconnect and then immediately reconnect. I have tested with Safari and IE and it does not disconnect then reconnect like this. If I use Firefox, it disconnects maybe in 15 minutes or maybe in 4 hours. I cannot determine a repeatability regarding the time intervals, and am unable to determine the cause (as of yet).

I am running Windows Vista, and Firefox version - 3.0.5. Also, none of my other computers disconnect like this, so it is not the ISP, router, or such. I am connected wired on this Vista machine with the issue.

Based on my troubleshooting efforts, the issue I am experiencing is a Firefox issue.

3 of my clients are experiencing the same issue. And it only started about a week ago. Before that, no one mentioned anything. And I have not changed any firewall/port settings at all so I don't know what all of a sudden is causing this timeout issue. My cases has been only on HTTPS pages so far.
Hello, I have just found this article, I had the same problem with vista, my friend recommended turning off the firewall (which you don't need because routers, being wireless or wired, have better, built in firewalls, which also means less system resources being used!) and it worked! Windows XP SP3 turns on the firewall automatically and also changes the windows system around quite a bit, and may disable some drivers. I use XP SP3 and everything works fine, When I had Vista, My connection would always automatically end! try downgrading to XP or upgrading to seven, they both are a lot better than Vista!!!

Ok folks, here is a legitimate solution to this problem. I know because I did it and works fine now. It may set you back a few shekels, but it's worth it. First, I bought a 500 GB external HD (a very nice Samsung for $99) and copied all of my stuff off the computer onto the drive. This really allowed me to clean up about 7 years worth of mixed up crud, photos, programs, you name it. Once I had all of the stuff I wanted to keep organized onto the external HD, AND I had all of the software disks I needed to reload the internal HD, I did a complete reformat job on the whole thing. Wiped it completely. You would not believe the number of warnings you get when you try to do this.
Next, I reloaded M$ Windows XP]. This put on an old copy of Internet Explorer, but I upgraded it to 7. Now the computer works fine. A week later I loaded SP1 and a few days later, SP2. Still works pretty good. No internet problems. Next I put on Apple's Safari browser. I highly recommend it. It is very cool and works pretty good, although customizing it for my preferences is a little tricky. Almost ALL websites now work with Safari, and it minimizes my interaction with Microsoft products.
Next I needed to look at some Word docs, but had not put Office back on. I downloaded OpenOffice for FREE and all I can say is what a wonderful experience. It does everything and I also highly recommed it for the casual user. It opens everything with a Microsoft origin -- Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Just a great piece of software.
Final advice: TURN OFF Automatic Updates. When M$ pushed SP3 to my computer, everything quit working again -- my printer, my internet, and I got warnings all the time. I backed that off using restore to a previous point and turned off the Auto updates. Also IE8] caused a lot of problems, so I dumped that too. Good luck folks. The real problem here is computer constipation. A good flushing out is all you really need.
I addressed this issue by setting the affinity to cpu 0. I googled for much information about this but ultimately I found my answer by letting firefox use a single processor whenever I use it. I did this to both of my dual-core computers. It also sped up ff since only one processor would handle it.
Does reduced signal strength means less users connected to access point

actually we have a back up server with VTL(virtual tape library, sun product). From this sever mentioned through will come 267 mbps provided if we use a F.O channel(1gbps), but think is that we have use FO channel and also use 100 mbps switch, use cat6 cable for vtl and back up server. now throughput will come 0.65 gb per hour this is not sufficient for this back up..

after that we see that when I ping backup server from another server then it shows request time out within 1 or 2minutes we check it and take a details status of 1 hour and see 24 times shows request time out.

so I want to know that what shorts of problem should be arise on net work section . and how to increase the speed through this network.or what short of change should be done in our network, please kindly tell me..

Thanks & regards
Susanta Roy Chowdhury
I have been researching this problem for weeks and the most logical thing I've come across so far is that it is related to either an IP connection timing issue, (which must be resolved by modifying the registry key (, or it is related to a port blocking issue (which I have yet to resolve.)

The port blocking suggesting makes sense, because some folks report losing access to secure sites (https) and others report losing connection to regular websites (http). I personally can connect to the secure sites, such as my credit union account (https), but lose the http connection after about a minute or two. The only thing that restores the connection is a complete restart, and then it only lasts a couple minutes.

Since internet connections are routed through two different ports, depending on whether it's a secure or unsecure site, the port blocking concept has a lot of merit. I don't know how to access these controls or modify them, but I am posting this here because a) someone may know how to resolve the timing/port blocking issue, and b) these are the newest questions regarding this problem. I have found similar questions dating back to 2004, using all versions of the OS, all browsers, all computers and all kinds of routers, with and without firewalls. The problem almost assuredly has to do with an IP setting on ports, connection timing, or both. Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

I'm having the same problem.
Everytime I open the internet explorer, it opens up the homepage fine.
But the connection only last for somewhere around 2sec - 30sec and times out.
And it takes somewhere around 10sec - 5minutes to regain the few seconds of connection.
(that's how I managed to end up here T_T)
I've talk to the tech support at time warner, and after many minutes and many operators I've spoked to,
the final conclusion was to send out the technician on thursday (2days.. not bad..) and have them replace the modem and inspect the line. Obviously everything they asked me to do did not work.
Hopefully replacing the modem will fix the problem..
use a differet router. Sometimes the computer's wireless card may have problems with the type of router you are using Netgear router don't work well with some wireless cards. Try a linksys (ever try a older G router if possible)
I had a Safari automatic disconnect after 5 minutes of inactivity problem. Took my MacBook Pro to the Apple store where a "Genius" emptied my trash and deleted certain cache files (don't know which ones), solving the problem.