Internet dropping out. Mint 19.1

My internet is part of a communal one, although I do have my own router and password. My laptop (6 years old now) drops out of the internet of it’s own accord. I can be downloading something quite happily, and then the download speed will suddenly resort to 0bs, although the icon in the tray, says i am still connected at 80 +%. I have searched the web for answers, but the only way I can seem to get around it, is to totally restart the computer. Any help as to why this happens, or ways to restart the download, without having to restart the computer, would be very much appreciated. Perhaps it’s about time I invested in an update computer.

Thank you

Ken Piercey


We need more information about:

  • Laptop brand & model
  • storage medium in use
  • example downloads you aren’t ever able to download

Please append this information in a summarized manner to your OP.


the 80+% makes it sound like you are on wifi. is that correct?


Yes WiFi. I live full time on a tourist complex of bungalows,and fibre will be in next year, thank goodness.


My laptop is a 6 year old Novatech (a UK company) Inspire model, 500 gb hard drive, primarily updates and upgrades for Mint 19.1.

as a stopgap measure while trying to figure out the wifi, can you plug in with an ethernet cable to your router when you are doing these downloads?

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Issue following commands:

sudo apt install -y smartmontools
smartctl -x /dev/sda

As this a communal one the simple answer might be that when you are downloading that others are using all the bandwidth at the same time. It could just be that simple, so try at different times and see if it happens then. If so then you know that is your problem. If the same problem happens you could try: Make sure you have the ALL the latest updates and remove old kernels and then in the terminal do - sudo apt-get autoclean. This removes any accumulated rubbish. In your browser clear recent history, but not if you save passwords - don’t clean them. This will refresh this. I would normally add to disconnect the router and restart it, but you can’t to that.

I note that you have a Novatech Laptop, they’re a good company - it you have not spoken to them, then they tend to be good at helping with stuff you purchase from them - I would also talk to them - I did it with a motherboard I got from them and they were great and helped with a solution for me.

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Thanks for the advice. I have had cause to speak to them on previous occasions, but when I mention that I am running Linux, they seem to lose interest. I did enquire about a new laptop from them with a similar spec to the one I have, but again, when Linux was mentioned they lost interest. I believe it is because they do not test the Linux OS on their new machines, so cannot guarantee it,

Hi Thanks for the advice. I will certainly try it and see what happens.

Novatech were doing a Ubuntu laptop last time I looked on there, Ken it was expensive. You can get one without an OS although they don’t like it. The excuse for not being able to test it is nonsense and they know that . Any ways let us know how you get on with things.

Have had email conversations with Novatech, and I must admit to be extremely disappointed in their attitude. They will not discuss Linux, apart from to say, that they cannot guarantee even a laptop with no OS to install Linux on. The Novatech Inspire I have, was bought by my brother, in the UK,t years ago I live in Gran Canaria, and he installed Mint 17.0 on it for me, and one of my Grandsons bought it across with him a few weeks later. I have updated the OS to 19.1 over the years, so how Novatech can say what they do, is beyond me. However, I have found a Spanish company,, that will supply preloaded Linux software, and even a dual boot with Windows 10, so I am looking to buy a laptop from them. Many thanks for your advice.


In linux mint would you go to the terminal and type this code then post the output here:
inxi -Nn
That will tell us which wireless card you are using and there may be some help there.
Also if you have your own router you might want to change the channel that is being used.
to something less populated since there are others on the same network.
That may help.
Good luck


Realtek RTL8723AE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
driver: rtl8723ae
IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: 24:0a:64:dd:a8:18
Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
driver: r8169
IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: 54:be:f7:43:99:d5
Router is a Televes but have no idea how to change channels. any help would be appreciated.
Many thanks indeed


Let’s try turning off the wifi power management first.
Got to a terminal and type this command: xed admin:////etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf (just copy and paste it into terminal.) When file comes up it should have a line that says [connection] wifi.powersave = 3 Change the 3 to a 2 and save the file then reboot. See if that makes any difference. If it does not you can change it back.

In order to change channels you will have to log into your router on mine I can do that through any web browser, just do a google search for your make and model and look at the user manual on line it should tell you how to log into it.
good luck.


did you install the driver or did mint do that for you?

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I assume Mint did it when I reinstalled the OS system fom a USB stick.

i just wanted to make sure it wasn’t the custom install that i had found which might help. i found a few different posts in the linux mint forum about issues with realtek wifi drivers. the most comprehensive one shows issues going back a few years, but this page has the most up to date answer. the stated reason in that post is that there is some issue with the installed driver and 4.15.* series kernels (going back to 4.2 according to the repo readme).

i didn’t ask what kernel you are using, but it will probably be helpful to check with uname -a. my recent install of 18.3 (along with recent update && upgrade) has a 4.15.0-54 kernel so i figure yours might be similar. the solution in that post directs you to clone a repo with “the newest Realtek rtlwifi codes”. the readme of that repo says it won’t do you any good if you have a 4.17 kernel or newer so checking yours will let you know if that might be a fix you want to try.

if you decide that is a fix you do want to try, i would suggest creating a system backup just in case. the lure of fixed wifi is strong, but at least at this point you have wifi. being able to back up to a partial working system is better than being stuck with an entirely broken one in case this fix doesn’t work on your particular system.

to that end, i have found a few different places this solution is suggested. this is another. both are by the same person who not only has many posts, but also a high level which i assume means they have some respect in the community. add to that the fact that there are replies on both about how the solution worked and i feel like it might be a good one to check out.

finally (i know this is getting long) if you make it through the solution from the first link and it works, there is a bit of extra at the end of the second one to make sure your wifi antenna is set correctly.

OK Into router we page, but how do change channels?

If looking into the router, I read / hear several times that it is a good idea to re-set the router every month. Re-set = turn router off, wait one minute, turn router back on.