Question Extremely frequent WiFi disconnections on Dell Precision M6800 laptop ?


Aug 17, 2011

I have dell precision m6800; with dual band wireless-AC 7260. I have been using it for nearly 2+ years but since day 1 my internet gets disconnected on it's own. I have to stop the wifi from task manager and start the wifi again and connect it to my available network; some times i have to disconnect/connect several times.

At first i thought i am sitting further from the wifi or my wifi router is over whelmed or this could be windows 10 playing tricks with me or maybe driver isn't compatible with window 10, but now i am starting to think may be my wifi device/card is not in 100% working condition.

First kindly guide what could be the possible reason for this constant disconnectivity?
Secondly if this is my WIFI device/card i am thinking of buying a new device. Kindly guide should I go for the wifi card which will be plugged in motherboard? or for some latest wifi adapter of tp link or d-link AC-1300 or so or could go for wifi 6 adapter? would my system even be able to fully use the latest wifi 6 speed? (yes i will by wifi 6 router later =D ).

If i have to go for the built in one... which one is the best among the provided list of by dell ? attached the spec link of m6800 includes available wifi list for m6800 or could i go for some other not mentioned, latest in-built card? if yes kindly do guide on this as well.

Thanks in advance guys and really appreciate your help.
The fastest way to rule out drivers software etc is to boot from a usb linux boot image. These run 100% from the usb and do not install so they will not damage your machine. Problem with this type of test is the linux stuff is not real usable for most people other than for basic testing. They generally install a web browser so you can run speedtest and run internet but when you might have to wait for hours for it to fail or it is somehow trigger by actual usage it doesn't work as well.

As far as replacing the card that is a fairly old machine. It uses the older half pcie cards. The newer stuff uses m.2 cards.

I would replace it with another card that uses the intel 7260. WIFI6 will likely not be any faster or better because of technical restrictions and over crowding on the 5g radio band. What you would want to do is run wifi6e which can run on the 6g radio band. If your machine was newer it is not ever a choice because the wifi6e cards cost the same as the wifi6. The major issue for you is all these newer devices will not connect in your machine because they use m.2 connectors. They make adapter boards but the cards are not really designed to use those.

You should be able to find a compatible card by searching intel 7260 half pcie it does not need to be a dell brand. Years ago companies used to force you to use only their parts with bios based restrictions but you seldom see that any more and if you so it is in their devices sold to corporations where a company wants 1000 laptops that are identical.