I just moved into a house with wireless internet, and we're having some odd problems receiving a signal from the router. I'll try to explain all this as coherentely as possible, but bear with me
Right now I have the router wired directly to my computer, using the cable that the ISP provided, and I get internet just fine, sometimes it slows to a crawl but the signal never drops.
Roommate #1 is using a laptop with a wireless card, Cisco brand, and she gets a signal at times, at other times it drops off completely, but mostly she can't get a signal. She's located just down the hall from the router, maybe 25-30 feet away with 2 walls between.
Roommate #2 is the furthest away from the router, but he gets a fairly solid, consistent signal. Sometimes however he gets an extremely weak signal and has to come upstairs to the living room, where his signal is nice and strong again, that's pretty rare though, he usually has no problems. I should note that he's lost the signal maybe 3 times in the past week, to solve that I simply unplugged the router for 30 seconds then plugged it back in and he could it again. His wireless card is a Hawking brand.
Roommate #3 has the strangest problems of all. Her laptop is the exact same as roommate #2, and she has the same brand wireless card, but she can't get a signal at all, no matter where in the house she is. More over, even when she connects her computer directly to the router she still can't get a signal. Sometimes she gets a signal but it drops off within 3 minutes or so, and then she can sporadically get one that almost instantly drops off. I've even tried connecting her laptop to the same ethernet cord as the one on my computer and she still can't get a signal.
For a while we just thought we had a very weak signal and that roommate #3's computer had a problem. She took her computer to a local store and had them look at it, they hooked it up to one of their routers and it worked just fine. I made sure they left it connected for at least 10 minutes just to be sure it wasn't going to drop the signal like it did at our house, it stayed connected just fine and had a very strong signal (like it should while wired directly to a router).
I think that's the bulk of our problems. Can anyone help us with this? I want to update the firmware for the router, could that help? Maybe the router is just a lemon and we need to get a new one...or maybe it's not the router at all.
So please any advice would be wonderful, cause in a few more days I have a feeling there's going to mass murders if these people can't get intenet
WIFI Routers are not the greatest for signal strength. I would use a regualr router and a AP serperate to get full strength but you may not want to go that route. I would then suggest getting a higher gain antenna. That should help somewhat. Going through walls is the tricky part. Since one roomate is going through two walls and the other is in a different spot in the house it may jsut be the way the signals are passing through the house.
I dont think it is generally the router. I also have a DI-624 and have had issues with a computer 10 feet away not getting signal but a laptop getting signal through a wall about 50 feet away. I since changed to seperate AP's and get signal abotu 200 feet from my house.
I had the same problem at my house. I had a Linksys router that would broadcast awesome signal strength one time and virtually none the next. I have a different router now and an AP instead of a wireless router and its been running great. The problem I have with wireless is sometimes it seems to stop working almost as though its not broadcasting its signal.
I agree with Mike though especially if you say it works with one of your roomates laptop with very little problems.
Did you try running the Hawking wireless card in one of the other laptops to see what you get?
Thanks for the replies, I'm going to try all of the advice here and see if I can narrow down the problem. I didn't realize wireless routers were so inconsistant.
The first thing I want to try is using a different router. One other strange problem is whenever the wireless signal drops, the computers still show a strong signal strength, usually full bars. But for some reason it just won't connect. We've tried using Windows software and the included software on the Hawkings card and both have the same problem with a seemingly strong signal but it just won't connect. Then for some reason it picks it up and reconnects automatically.
The one roommate who can't get connected at all is usually in the room right beside the router, so I can't see how it's a weak signal when the other roommate who's on the other side of the house and downstairs gets a strong signal. Remember they both have the same computer and wireless card.
If using a different router exhibits the same symptoms then I'll try using an AP. I'm sure that'll fix our problem but there's always the drama of roommates to deal with and who should be the one to pay for the new equipment and all that crap hehe (just fyi we're all still sort of strangers to each other, been living together for maybe 3 weeks, so seemingly trivial matters like buying new hardware for the internet is always a little shakey at first until we get to know each other more)
huff....sorry for the long winded posts, it's hard to explain all this in text thanks for helping, we all really appreciate it
oh and we've tried swapping wireless cards all over the place, it never made a difference. In fact the girl who can't connect at all had a Belkin wireless card but thought it was defective so she bought the Hawking card. The only time it 'seemed' to work was when her computer would connect for a few minutes, which it did a few times when we tried a different wireless card, it would connect right away then drop the signal after 5 minutes.
anyway thanks again!
Can anyone suggest a good quality router and AP in case we decide to go that route?
You mentioned that the person right next to the router could not connect... I had a computer witha DLink card in it with the DLink DI-624 about ten feet away at a desk not blocked by anything and it would not connect. Just to give you a little more info for your decision.
As far as a AP goes. I would just get a simple AP since you do not do much other then surfing or whatnot from the sounds of it. I personally have a DLink DWL-2100AP. I use WDS though so that is why I have that one. There are lower end models that can be bought for around 50 dollars. Mwave.com is where I bought my 2100's at 75 dollars a piece.
Either which way you go GOOD LUCK!! Hope we helped you a bit.
Before you jump out and go buy stuff check on the router and disable any encryption/security for the wireless connection and let it run for a day and see what happens. An AP won't let you share an Internet connection so you'd need to keep the router there and setup the AP to associate with it. Don't do that yet.
Also try changing the channel that the router is using for the Wireless. Usually it selects channel 6 by default and i think 1, 6, 11 are common numbers but you can use any of the numbers between 1 and 11. But if say a neighbor is on the same channel as you it will mess with your connection.
Well I went to D-Links website and downloaded the lastest firmware, version 2.70 and it pretty much fixed all of our problems. However it took off the encryption we had so right now the settings are back to default and it's unsecured.
I'm going to have everyone in the house disconnect then reapply the username/password to the signal and see if they can reconnect. I think if they cannot then we'll have our problem much more defined.
I'll post back again with the latest update when I have more news