Belkin Wireless Issues: Connected, but not really

I have multiple computers running off a Belkin F5D7230-4 802.11g wireless router, each using the paired Belkin F5D7000 version 3000/3001 NIC. I've had 0 problems regarding installation, and it was fairly newb to setup.

I am having a MAJOR problem staying connected however, Router properties shows me as being connected to the internet, and my signal strength does not drop below 80% @ 54mbps. I bought this solely so the computers in my house can online game, as I am unable to run CAT5 through some areas of this house. The network is secured with 128bit WEP Encryption, and it only connects computers that I specified w/MAC addresses.

Im finding that my ping fluctuates between 17000 and 50ms in Ventrilo, First person shooters are out of the question due to the EXTREME spiking in game which leaves me dead after I recover, and sometimes I cant connect to servers / go linkdead after about 20-45 minutes of gameplay in a Role Playing Game. I have been resetting the modem and router to get it back up and working for 20-45minutes, but this is extremely frustrating. If anyone has run into this problem with this product please let me know, Im open to suggestions so please feel free (The hammer and duct tape fix has already been suggested:) ).

Edit: The latest firmware/drivers have been downloaded
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  1. Try removing wep. Sometimes that can add a little to much strain on the accesspoint ;)
    If that makes things run better try doing 64bit wep instead. If you are in a sparcly populated area or small town 64bit wep is usually sufficient, especially if you know your neigbors well. I'd only go for 128bit wep or wpa if you are in a big city location.

    Also, spyware/virus scan the heck out of all of the computers. That has always been the leading cause of ping spikes in my book. Let your computers just sit idle, if the activity light on your router is still blinking fairly quickly/regularly you probably have a spyware/virus issue.
  2. I suggest you try to separate out any wireless problems from router connect problems by temporarily connecting one of the machines in question via Ethernet, even if you need to move it into the room or temporarily string a long cable.

    If that checks out ok, then move the wireless clients around while running a continuous ping to a local WIRED pc to check for dead spots, wireless problems. Don't rely so much on what Windows tells you about signal strength and connect speed, since my experience is the interface between the adapter driver and Windows can be buggy. If you can, try running the Belkin utility instead of the built-in Windows wireless Utility and see if its signal strength indicator is any better.
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