ThinkPenguin WiFi adapter disruption

4 replies [Last post]

I am a member!

Joined: 09/20/2012

Hello everybody!
I have been using the ThinkPenguin WiFi adapter for a couple of years now. Ever since I started using it, there are unpredictable disruption in WiFi connectivity. Although the symbols in the message bar say that I'm connected, web browsers and e-mail programs stop connecting. Only after I've plugged it out and in again and after the wifi connection has been re-established am I able to use internet again.
What could be the cause and how can I fix this nuisance?
Thanks in advance for any help and advice.

Joined: 01/03/2015

Better to view this as a security feature rather than a sign of failure. My own ThinkPenguin dongle experiences broken connections now & then, more so when I've got multiple nMap scans going on. No data is ever lost; and the scans pick up right where they left off when the connection is re-made. Unplugging & then reconnecting the dongle re-makes the connection OK ... if it doesn't, use a different USB port to wake it up.

I also have a Think Penguin extended-coverage device, which has the accessory antenna for boosting coverage. If I'm using them while I'm running the nMap scans, the connection breaks more frequently, confirming the cause: too many competing WiFi installations. Disconnecting the antenna helps a lot; the coverage drops dramatically, but connects to my own router reliably.

That said, my connection indicator never lies to me: if the fan is blank, there's no connection; if there are multiple "waves" it's connected.

I'm using Trisquel flidas on a ThinkPad T420 and the "Indicator Applet Complete 1.12.1" See


I am a member!

Joined: 09/20/2012

Thanks for your reply! For my understanding, what are nMaps? Why do you consider this nuisance as a security feature?

Also with me, not data is lost but sometimes it's really inconvenient when the wifi breaks in the middle of an online booking or the like.

For the record: I'm using Trisquel Flidas on a ThinkPad L540 and the "Indicator Applet Complete 1.12.1", too. My connection indicator, however, is of dishonest character and has always shown the questionable habit of lying a lot, and in my face! (Eg, when the connection breaks down, the indicator applet still shows a good connection. That's also why I suspect it might be a software issue.)

Hoping for further help here!

Joined: 09/08/2014

> might be a software issue

If your usb wifi card is an ar9271 then I can tell I have
several usb ar9271 wifi cards. One nano size. One
having a 4inch antenna. One having a longer antenna.
At distances about 10yards from the router they
are all equally fast and seldom disconnect.
That is on a debian 10 main distribution and the software package in
question is firmware-ath9k-htc 1.4.0-97-g75b3e59+dfsg-3.

I also have trisquel 8 64bit installed on a hdd. But I do not
use it. I mainly update trisquel. I have not experienced
problems about ar9271 running on trisquel.
I suggest, it is something about your software or
hardware. Can you test your wifi card on other routers
and computers?

Joined: 01/03/2015

To find out more about nmap, type "man nmap" in a terminal; to find out even more, type "info nmap".
To improve your understanding of syntax, etc., explore others' experience with online nmap searches.

This webpage illustrates my use of nmap to find out which attackers to my website were operating
from servers with open ports 3389, the Windows Remote Access Port, commonly also left open by naive
users of the so-called Cloud, which is a marketing scheme to put unused server hard-drive capacity
to work generating income for Internet Service Providers:

About your Indicator Applet: It could be that your connection to the router is OK, but that the
router is getting overwhelmed by external traffic.

I would also be suspicious of the USB port into which your ThinkPenguin WiFi dongle is plugged.
Try a different USB port. I had a scan script running for almost two weeks, during which the
WiFi connection was broken several times; the script kept right on from the point of interruption
when the connection was re-made. I've sometimes had to try another USB port when the connection
didn't wake up right away on reconnecting.

ThinkPenguin does provide a firmware update for their WiFi dongle; don't hesitate to ask. My (free)
update came with clear instructions, which made its application easy and quick.