Hey guys, I've been dealing with an issue regarding 2.4ghz wireless on my laptop. Here is all the detail to bring you up to speed (tl;dr at bottom):
Started noticing problems at college, on my Acer Aspire V5 573P-9899 with a Qualcomm Atheros AR5B22 factory card. Wireless would connect, but wouldn't stay connected, often would change to limited, forcing me to use Window's troubleshoot utility to get it back up. Also, if I were in the basement or somewhere far from an AP, I'd see the network but can't connect, says "Can't connect to this network" or tries connecting forever until you exit the network window. My phone and friends could connect, however. Despite reinstalling/updating/downgrading drivers, even reformatting, issue persisted. This is Windows 8.1 BTW.
Now I really noticed the problem on coming back for summer. At home, I always connect to our 5ghz channel (separate SSID) and it works flawlessly everywhere (even after upgrading to Win 10), but our router recently broke and we swapped out for a Comcast one, which only uses 2.4ghz. I couldn't connect at all ("Can't connect to this network," same as college basement issue), only when I was right next to the router (or tethered phone). Even then it would sometimes give ~20 Mbps down (speedtest), sometimes it would give only less than 1, even low as .05 ... if I moved maybe 15 feet away WHILE I was connected, laptop would show it's connected full bars, but I would be unable load anything (wireless icon did NOT have yellow triangle). If I disconnected and tried to reconnect, it would again say "Can't connect to this network."
Now we decided to switch out the Comcast router with our old Belkin Wireless G+ MIMO router while the ASUS dual band was out for repair. The Belkin only has 2.4ghz capability ... again, same EXACT issues with the Comcast. Additionally, I started noting that I saw other issues too: available network list was inaccurate, often drastically changing signal strength erratically. Also, on connecting to all our 2.4 ghz networks, it will NOT say the password is incorrect if I enter it wrong. ALL of my issues at home occur with or without security, no one else has any issues.
At this point, I realize that until this summer I never actually had to use a 2.4ghz network, and my laptop is simply unable to connect to those. College probably uses dual band under the same SSID, but 5ghz probably doesn't penetrate into the basement and 2.4 does, hence why I experience the same problems as with the Comcast/Belkin.
So I decide, heck it's probably my wireless card. I replace the factory Atheros AR5B22 with the Killer 1202 (because it looks like it's most stable). I also inserted an SSD so installed Windows 10 brand new. I installed all the necessary drivers for my laptop and finally the Killer suite. SAME EXACT ISSUE with the AR5B22. Everything is exactly the same. WHAT THE HELL! Also tried generic Qualcomm drivers, etc. etc. etc., no dice. I however haven't tried it on a 5ghz network yet.
So now is the point where I turn to asking the internet rather than scouring it ... what do I do next? Laptop is a few months out of warranty (didn't notice the issue prior). Could it be incompatibilities with the motherboard, i.e. Qualcomm doesn't mix? I can swap in an intel chip from my Dad's laptop.
Or could it be the antennae, one is damaged and needs replacing? I did notice the black antenna wire was plugged into the left port (says CH0) on the AR5B22, and white into right (CH1), so I plugged the black on left and white on right for the Killer as well. However, looking online it seems most cards have it opposite, with black on right and white on left? Did I, or Acer, plug antennas in wrong?
So ... what should I do?
Thank you so much for even reading that ... I hope you guys can help!
TL;DR: Laptop can't connect to 2.4ghz, only 5. Replaced wireless card with Killer 1202, same EXACT issues. What do?