Improving household wireless connectivity

This is a discussion on Improving household wireless connectivity within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I've got a 801.11b/g capable wireless card with an airlink 101 801.11b/g capable router. Both the card and router are ...

  1. #1

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    Improving household wireless connectivity

    I've got a 801.11b/g capable wireless card with an airlink 101 801.11b/g capable router.

    Both the card and router are capable of WEP encryption, which I currently have enabled, with a single key (which, as far as I understand, has weaknesses for 'real' determined crackers/hackers, but is fine to block out casual snoopers).

    I use zone alarm pro, with settings such that I can access the internet and the other computers in my house (an ip range allowed for networking).

    Channel 11 seems to work the best (I read that in the US 1, 6 and 11 are the ones most likely to produce good results; I haven't tried the rest as of yet).

    I have it set so that the wireless will only look for access point infrastructure signals (which, I assumed to mean something other than a random hot spot).

    Most of the time, the internet access via radio (wireless) works fantastic, but often enough it will die out and then quickly reconnect. I simply cannot rely on downloading a significantly large file without a download manager of some sort, or transfer a large file from my desktop to this computer, for fear the signal will stop and reconnect.

    I've been doing a lot of reading, but there seem to be so many variables with wireless that I don't really know how I can strengthen the signal connection. Right now, I'm sitting right next to the router, and just about five minutes ago while I was transferring visual studio files to my laptop from my desktop wirelessly it died out halfway through (only to reconnect about 5 seconds later).

    Does anybody have any suggestions from past experience that might make things a bit more reliable?
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  2. #2

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    Also, I was hoping somebody could shed some light on what these other networks showing up are...this is in the wireless card's utility program. 27 beech is the network I've setup for myself...are these other 'networks' external 'noise' or something akin to that?
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  3. #3

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    as a side note, the only network I can manually connect to is 27beech, I'm still worried that the other 'networks' are some source of noise that I can't get rid of.
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    My wireless router isn't that great either (D-Link). I too cannot rely on huge file downloads. Basically, I fixed the problem by restarting the router, and disabling encryption (had WPA2 on before).

    Why? I'm living on a farm, so the wireless network doesn't even extend to the road. Without encryption, my network runs much better (or maybe it was the restart that did it, I don't know).

    [Back on topic] I would recommend changing to channel 6. My D-Link router's configuration page states, "To enable Super G Turbo Mode, you should set your wireless radio to channel 6". Probably a good idea.

  5. #5

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    Hi there, thank you for the reply!

    What exactly do you mean by 'restarting the router' ? As far as I know that can mean several different things. For one, once I change a setting for my router (by going to 192.168.1.1 in a web browser) I must hit the 'reboot' button (in the browser), but the router never actually gets turned off, or do you mean unplugging then re-plugging the router? Or, with some routers/modems you have to hold a button in back to change the 'mode' it is operating (effectively 'resetting it' to some setting). If you could clarify what you mean I'd appreciate it.

    On another note, I went to the back of my house, further away from the router, and while it says that I have a weak signal I have done bandwidth tests at bandwidthplace.com/speedtest, and the results are just as fast as they were upstairs (which then must mean the communication between the laptop and router is also okay) and on top of that the other two networks that I posted above are now gone, and 27beech is the only network that is being picked up on. Strange!

    I will continue fiddling with the channel and different encryption, as you suggested. Thanks again for the reply, I appreciate it.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  6. #6
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    >What exactly do you mean by 'restarting the router' ?
    On my D-Link, there's a little hole on the back, and you stick a paperclip in there, and hold it until the lights turn off, and turn back on again. I think this is more effective than unplugging the router (which I have done many times), or changing some settings, and hitting "apply", which then says, "Please wait while the router restarts."

    I don't know if your router has a little restart button at the back, but hopefully it does. Also, you can try making a special attennae for your router (try googling it).

  7. #7
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    I would need to go into the channels stuff in order to help out there, but your wireless card is able to see ALL wireless networks in range of their routers.

    For me, an occasional neighbour's wireless network will show up, and will indicate whether it's a secured (encrypted) connection or not.

    Connect to your own network as attempting to connect to a neighbour's network and using it would be construed as stealing bandwidth if you got caught.

    Those funny numbers for the other networks are simply there because they haven't named thier networks with the names they would like - they've left the default names there.

    The orange signal strength meters show that they're quite a way from you as well.

    So no, they're not noise!

    My laptop is only a short distance from the router, and I get these "jip-outs" all the time. They're very annoying!
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  8. #8

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    Thanks again for the suggestions, I shall look into all of what you said.

    I just had a 'doh' moment...the room with the router is nearly directly above a sat. dish that we have mounted outside...when I moved to the back of the house, I moved away from the dish. Hmm, gee, I wonder if that might have anything to do with it?!?

    I'm guessing that, above anything else, if I move the router to another room away from the one directly above the sat. dish then i'm going to be doing better

    Thanks again!!!!
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

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