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Please help a newbie: Wireless network working sometimes

Last response: in Networking
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March 21, 2006 7:04:00 PM

I recently got DSL and installed a D Link wireless router to allow my wife to access the 'net and printer from her laptop. I tried setting up a home network with the included software, but it did not recognize the laptop. Then after random fiddling, trying the Win XP wireless network set up, it finally recognized the laptop, which appears in the Network "map" fromt eh software. Unfortunately, it only works on and off. Sometimes the laptop is recognized and can reach the network and sometimes not. We had the local shop test the laptop's wireless card on his network and it picked it up immediately.

Could the router be not working on and off? We're not moving the laptop around, so it's not a positional problem. The router is on the desk with the speakers, monitor, printer, DSL modem. I wouldn't expect intermittent interference.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!
March 21, 2006 10:52:12 PM

The only things I can think of that would make intermittent interference would be the speakers or printer (depending on how big the printer is). Of course you would be able to tell right away because it would only be if the speakers were on/playing or the printer was printing.
Are there any devices with large motors in them or that pull quite a bit of power near by? Such as a refrigerator, microwave, washer/dryer, etc.

Beyond that I would blame the router. I dont think I've seen random signal variation yet but I've seen d-links do quite a few other things, most of the time they just lock up. Some people swear by them but I for one believe their stuff for home use is junk.
March 22, 2006 11:12:32 AM

Where is the laptop located?? Try moving the laptop to see if you can get a better signal in a different location.

If it is the same room with clear sight of the router then I agree with Folken, best to check the router.
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March 22, 2006 11:54:12 AM

Thanks!
March 23, 2006 3:24:11 PM

After 2 hours with tech support, I'm returning the router for a new one.

Anyone know if I simply plug in the new one, or do I need to set up the new router with the software?
March 23, 2006 3:35:04 PM

When you return it I would recommend getting a Linksys wireless router, they are easy to set up and configure.
In the past with Linksys I have just pluged into them and they have worked. But you still need to configure the wireless security settings so that you don't have just anybody using your Internet connection.

Good Luck!!!

:) 
March 23, 2006 7:36:41 PM

Most of the time the problem is the min-pci WLAN card installed in the LT. The one in mine is junk, line of site for 30ft, with AP on max power. If you by chance have a Raylink card, its the problem for the dropped connections. For best performace, try to get the same chip sets in the router as the LT.

I use USR AP (5dbi antennas) and PCMCI card. I found you can get better coverage with a seperate AP. It allows you to position it for best coverage.

Linksys makes good equipment. And there is nothing wrong with the d-link. As for wireless Routers, they only have low gain antennas installed (2 dbi).
March 24, 2006 2:29:34 PM

Thanks Blue for your reply. I only wish I understood it :) 
I barely understand what routers do, let alone how to tweak performance, switch antennae, etc.
!