I basically need to know one thing: if someone downloads several gigabytes every night via a shared wireless connection, is that in itself capable of messing up the wireless router to the point where it has to be set-up all over again?
The situation is this: me and my boyfriend live together and we recently had a tenant move into the spare room. All 3 of us divide the cable broadband costs between us, therefore all 3 of us have a right to use the connection. We have a Linksys wireless router ( WRT54G ) for a2MB broadband connection, where our ISP imposes no limitations on our download quota. My boyfriend does not have wireless so he just uses a cable going direct from the router into his PC. Myself and the tenant share the wireless connection.
I've noticed however that ever since he moved in, we seem to have constant connection problems with the router. Firstly, I had to endure slow web browsing because he was constantly using 'Bit Torrent' programs to download huge files. Then our connection died a couple of times and it was blamed on our ISP or the router being unplugged accidentally. But now it's happening every couple of days. Frustratingly, each time it happens, the only thing that fixes it is to reset the router and re-configure it again using the Linksys CD, creating a new SSID and passwords. Then it works fine again for another couple of days and then it's back to 'Limited or no connection' messages and then finally it goes dead. When all this happens, the actual internet connection still works fine when the main ISP cable is removed from the router and plugged directly into a PC, so the problem is definitely happening within the router, not from our ISP.
After resetting the router 3 days ago I was exasperated to see the connection dying again last night - but it happened to be the one night where our new tenant had been at his PC all evening. A bit suspicious, I went into my Linksys admin control panel, and I could see (to my anger) that our new tenant was now using TWO computers to download files (his laptop and his PC) - I can see in the log which ports he's using and they are all associated with those bit torrent programs. (And it's definitely him, not an unknown wireless free-loader, because firstly both computers have his name and secondly we have a WEP key/hidden network - so hacking is unlikely).
So once again, the router is screwed and my patience is wearing thin. The thing is - before we have the inevitable 'house meeting', I'd like to be a little more clued up before I make any accusations - because he takes advantage of my wireless-ignorance. Firstly, it was already accepted that when one person downloads large files (which 95% of the time is our bandwidth-happy tenant) the other 2 users inevitably suffer from a slower browsing speed. But having to actually reset the router now because of this is way too much.
I want to be able to 'prove' that his excessive downloading is jamming the router and this means we have to reset it each time. I have to show that his greed is spoiling the connection for everyone else and he needs to cut it out - but I want to have my facts straight first.
So is this possible? Can excessive downloading mess up the wireless router?
Thanks in advance,
A weary Theresa