WiFi printer drops offline about once a day

BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator
edited September 2023 in Internet 2023 Archive

Just when we want to print it is sitting there doing nothing, It's WLAN status shows "Connection Fail" and the Spectrum app on my phone shows the printer as "Disconnected." Powering down and restarting the printer reestablishes the connection and the queued jobs print. All remains well for a few hours, then it drops again. Without monitoring constantly, this seems to be a once-a-day event.

Is there anything in the SAC2VIK router that can cause such behavior?

FWIW, the printer is a Brother MFC-J430W, with the port defined as a TCP/IP port with a local IP address of I've tried it with and without SNMP, which makes no difference.


  • Renee_T
    Renee_T Posts: 615 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator

    Hello @BobEaston

    Welcome to our community! I'm not aware of any features in the router that would disconnect the printer specifically. Do you notice other devices disconnecting around the same time? Also, do you know if your printer is capable of using both a 5G and 2G connection?

  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator

    Thanks @Renee_T

    The printer is the only device going offline. I don't know about 2G vs 5G. The only thing the mfg specs say about wireless is: IEEE 802.11b/g/n (Infrastructure/Ad-hoc Mode).

    For the moment, I'm trying one more thing, an IP Reservation. We'll see....

    Thanks again for your concern.

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor

    It sounds like something is starting to go kaput with the networking chip set on the old hulk, especially if the next thing you know is that it won't hang on to an IP address and then, by and by, won't even acquire one in the first place.

  • catchtwentytwo
    catchtwentytwo Posts: 129 Contributor
    edited January 2023

    Brother has a Network Connection Repair Tool and a Wireless Setup Helper software for your MFC-J430W on the Brother website: https://support.brother.com/g/b/downloadlist.aspx?c=us&lang=en&prod=mfcj430w_all&os=10013 that might be worth a try. And a Firmware Update Tool.

    If you have the Brother Control Center Software installed on one of your computers those tools might have been installed when you bought the printer. If not it can be downloaded from Brother. If you already have it installed use the ControlCenter4 Update.

  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator

    Thanks @catchtwentytwo

    Been there. Done that. No joy. Additionally, when the printer is in it's "Connection Fail" state, the Network Repair Tool can't find or fix it. Other than that, it's pretty good at fixing a network connection that already works. :)

    THANKS for trying. I really do appreciate it.

  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator


    A couple of days ago you asked about 2g or 5g. I've learned that the printer expects 2.4 connectivity, as do a couple of other devices on our network. What is the significance of your question? Does the router sometimes ignore 2.4?

    FWIW, I set up an IP reservation in the router and the printer maintained connection for a couple of days. I thought maybe that was a solution, until just a while ago when it dropped again. When the printer becomes disconnected, the setup wizard within the printer can't detect the router's SSID. Yet, a power down / restart cycle gets it easily connected again. Still stumped.

  • Randy_S
    Randy_S Posts: 514 Spectrum Employee

    Hi @BobEaston!

    I just looked up your equipment using your login credentials and looked into your Wi-Fi router and see that the printer does great when on the 2.4. The only thing about our advanced home Wi-Fi routers is they automatically assign, or even switch connections, between 2.4 or 5ghz depending on the strength of the radio signal to the device. So if something interferes with the 2.4 ghz, or the system determines it needs to be switched for a better connection, it will try to move it over to the 5 ghz. If that happens, it would disconnect or be in limbo because your printer says, nope! Not doing that. 5ghz starts to degrade in speed around 15 to 20 feet (still can be pretty fast) but 2.4 ghz is the one you would normally found all the way out into the yard (barring interference).

    I have two old smart lightbulbs that drive me a little crazy for the same reason. They won't switch bands.

    So there are two options. One you can make sure the printer is out of range of the 5g. The 5g has a much shorter range than the 2.4 ghz. Or you could get a third party Wi-Fi router that would give you more control on what devices to add to the different bands. That would be an initial cost for you but if you did do that you could take our Wi-Fi service back and return the router and save $5 a month. We wouldn't be able to troubleshoot the new Wi-Fi router (can't get into third party equipment). But I know plenty of people who use their own routers. The only other thing to consider is that if you did go to a third party router, you would lose our Security Shield service. So if you get one, make sure it has its own service like that included or available.

    And, on a side note, it wouldn't matter about assigning an IP address (unless the device requires that) as it is the device's response to the connection that the router would be looking for to assign it to a Wi-Fi band, not necessarily the IP address. It would maintain the IP address when moving across bands.

    That turned out to be a little long winded :). Hope it is clear but of course ask any questions if they pop up. Plus, anyone else with ideas, please speak up.


  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator

    THANKS Randy_S

    A lot of that makes sense, except for the following....

    The printer sits less than a foot away from the router, and never wanders off into the backyard. :) So, it is not causing the band change.

    When the router switches bands, does it change bands for all connected devices? If yes, that easily explains why the printer drops.

    So, that leads to: why does the router switch bands? Most of the devices on this LAN are stationary and shouldn't cause significant variations in signal strength. Except... for a couple of phones. Maybe one of them is wandering enough to trigger the band switch.

    You just brought me a lot closer to understanding what's happening, not enough to rush out and buy another router, but closer. Thanks!

  • William_M
    William_M Posts: 942 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator

    It looks like that printer model is from 2011 so probably only has 2.4Ghz. Printers have low bandwidth requirements so this normally shouldn't be an issue. Our router broadcasts both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Devices with both will connect to the strongest, 2.4Ghz devices will just use that. Band switching shouldn't affect your connection unless you are using a dual band device around the max 5G range.

    While 2.4Ghz is prone to radio interference, it normally won't disconnect you completely unless the interference is very strong. I'd recommend moving the printer just slightly further away and making sure there are no electronics or reflective surfaces close to either, and especially anything that also broadcasts a radio signal like a cordless phone.

    If the issue persists I'm afraid it could mean a hardware issue with the printer, but it is possible it's a problem with our router. If your other devices have 5Ghz, they might not notice any issues if it's just the 2.4Ghz radio going bad. I don't normally recommend purchasing your own router unless you are comfortable managing it on your own, but you can try replacing the Spectrum router at one of our stores to rule out an issue with it. You might also be able to connect the printer to a computer with a USB cable and then share it over the network that way. If you contact the manufacturer they may have other suggestions.

  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator

    Thanks @William_M You offer more information, but haven't answered my recent question to @Randy_S.

    When the router switches bands, does it change bands for all connected devices?

    Two additional points:

    1) If this is a signal strength issue, moving the printer farther away makes absolutely no sense.

    2) This problem started when we moved from an area covered by Optimum Online to this Spectrum service. Never had a single problem with Optimum's equipment.

  • William_M
    William_M Posts: 942 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator
    edited January 2023

    The router always broadcasts both. Devices individually switch depending on which is providing the strongest signal at their current location. 2.4Ghz only devices will only see the 2.4Ghz band and will experience no switching.

    While closer is generally better, it is possible to be too close. I recommend a minimum of one foot away, 1-2 wavelengths. When you moved you may have placed the printer slightly closer to the router, or there is something nearby now there was not before like a mirror or cordless phone.

    Everything breaks eventually and it can happen at any time. That does include our equipment like the router but yours as well. Things get bumped around a lot when moving. Since your other devices are working correctly it makes a problem with your printer more likely, but it definitely is worth trying to replace the Spectrum router first as that is free.

  • BobEaston
    BobEaston Posts: 7 Spectator

    Thanks @William_M for answering my question about band switching. If I interpret it correctly, the router will switch bands only for the device that is having signal strength problems and not all others.

    I'll try the printer in another location, but have my doubts.

    BTW, a single wavelength at 2.4 GHz is 4.92 inches.

  • William_M
    William_M Posts: 942 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator
    edited January 2023

    The router is always broadcasting both bands under the same network name. Dual band devices (Ones that can use both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz) will have 2.4Ghz connections blocked for 60 seconds to make sure 5Ghz is preferred when in range. If you move far enough from the router that the 5Ghz signal gets weak, it will accept a 2.4Ghz connection after 60 seconds. 2.4Ghz only devices will only see and connect to the 2.4Ghz band and will experience no switching. This is called band steering. Any connection issues caused by this would likely only be 60 seconds in duration. (Sorry, edited to better explain how it works.)

    Two wavelengths is just under 10 inches so I recommend at least one foot away to make sure you have the best connection possible, but I agree this is least likely to be the problem as it probably wouldn't cause intermittent issues like yours.

    Reflective surfaces and interference are more likely to cause issues intermittently, but I think a failing router or printer are the most likely culprit. Moving the printer further away and making sure there isn't anything that can interfere with them close by is the easiest thing you can do to fix the issue right now which is why I am recommending it at all.

    Replacing the router is harder but free if you get another one from us. I definitely don't want your printer to be the problem!

  • Rgnight
    Rgnight Posts: 1 Newcomer

    I have this exact same problem. Just got the new router and now my wifi printer Brother HL-L2340D becomes randomly disconnected from the router. Neither device has moved from previous position never had an issue with old router. It is extremely frustrating.

  • Big_G1
    Big_G1 Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Exact same problem here. Since installing the new separate modem and router in place of the old combo unit, my printer (Epson ET-4550) disappears from my network once or twice daily and must be reconnected manually. This never happened with the old router hardware and started immediately with the new router hardware. The printer will still auto-reconnect after powering down but must be manually reconnected onto the network each time it mysteriously disappears. It can be done fairly quickly, but it is still frustrating.

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor

    Try connecting it to the router via Ethernet. Also, just for kicks, make sure UPnP hasn't been disabled on the router. Otherwise, being as how the ET-4550 also supports Wi-Fi Direct, try that and if it won't maintain connectivity with client devices that way, i'd begin to wonder if it's TCP/IP stacking isn't starting to crap out siliconically.

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