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Home Network Range Problem/Paradox...Advice?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
November 28, 2005 2:58:30 AM

Hi All:

I would like to run something by the people here. I own a IBM Thinkpad T42p. I have installed a wireless router in my parents home for when I visit them (Netgear WGT624 802.11a/b/g). When I use my notebook in a far room of the house away from the router, the notebook adapter connects and gets an IP from DHCP but it's an unstable signal strength - usually somewhere around 15-20%. The adapter speed is usually between only 2-6 Mbps at this location. When I try to access the internet from the notebook in this room (via browser), I get the typical dead page for no internet access. OK, so it's out of range and the signal is too weak so no access. What's strange is that if I use XP's Remote Desktop to start a terminal session on another workgroup computer wired directly to the router, the RD session starts right up. Then, of course, I can access the Internet through this Remote Desktop session from the notebook in this far room. (Hopefully I've explained this well.)

Can someone help me with this technically? Why can I access my workgroup computer on the LAN at this distance (via router) and yet not access the Internet? It seems that if I can route internally to another computer and connect via Remote Desktop terminal services that I should just as well be able to connect externally to the Internet.

By the way, as soon as I leave the room and walk a couple rooms closer to the router so the signal strength and adapter speed jump up a bit, I can access the Internet directly from the notebook. And, of course, the wireless internet performance of the Thinkpad when in the same room as the router is excellent.

Advices anyone on what is happening?

Thanks in advance for your help.

PS - I have all the updated drivers and firmware installed for the hardware mentioned here.
November 28, 2005 3:18:18 AM

Could be something to do with the low signal still responds in time for network access, but the internet connections do not handshake in a timely manner due to signal strength that it perceives a failed connection. JAG
November 28, 2005 4:53:14 PM

Thanks for the timely response.

Do you know if these handshakes are time-settable? If routers or software have a timeout setting I could alter to correct the situation?

Anyway, I'd really like to get as fast and responsive a wireless network as possible throughout the house (and the yard). We live in the country so I'm not really worried about security.

In getting the most bang for my buck, would you suggest replacing the router with a MIMO or Pre-N router to resolve the back room issue? Or are there extenders compatible with my existing Netgear router that would work better or be more cost-efficient? (I really don't know much about range extenders except that they exist.) Also, could I expect any improvement with a MIMO or pre-N router replacement if I don't buy a correspnding MIMO or Pre-N network adapter card for the notebook? (I really don't want to do that.)

I hope that I haven't burdened you for information. I have researched this but I'm still confused on the implications of the differnt strategies. Suggestions/recommendations?

Thanks once again in advance.