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PCs and Wireless Networks

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 22, 2008 12:10:20 AM

I have never had luck getting a wireless card to work in a PC. I've had PCs refuse to boot, some can't browse the network, others can't connect to a wireless network...just multiple issues. Does anyone know why that is? Is that typical in PCs, or have I just been extremely unlucky?

The current system I'm trying to work on can connect to the wireless network and can browse the internet just fine. It used to be able to browse the Workgroup, but now it can't. I've also noticed that, even when the signal is excellent, the throughput will vary from 1 mbps to 34 mbps. It's a g card connecting to a g-only network, so it should be getting 54 mbps.

Any thoughts?

More about : pcs wireless networks

February 22, 2008 6:05:42 PM

Quote:
I've also noticed that, even when the signal is excellent, the throughput will vary from 1 mbps to 34 mbps. It's a g card connecting to a g-only network, so it should be getting 54 mbps.
Unless you're right next to the router transfering a 400MB file, don't count on that kind of throughput. What you're seeing is about what is expected. (Although, if you're browsing the internet at 34Mbps, I'd like to know who your ISP is. That's nearly DS3 speeds!)

As for browsing the workgroup, try pinging another computer on the network. If it is successful and file sharing is enabled on that computer, then you do have access to workgroup computers. Explorer or something might just be hanging when you try to use the GUI to get to them.
February 23, 2008 12:12:49 AM

Quote:
Unless you're right next to the router transfering a 400MB file, don't count on that kind of throughput. What you're seeing is about what is expected. (Although, if you're browsing the internet at 34Mbps, I'd like to know who your ISP is. That's nearly DS3 speeds!)


When I'm connected to wireless networks, it pretty much always says I'm connected at 54 mbps, regardless of whether or not I'm transferring anything.

As for pinging...it will resolve the IP address when I try pinging the machine name, but I don't get any ping responses.
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February 23, 2008 2:56:21 PM

Dude, take it from me, I have a 4 year degree in networking. 54 mbps is the peak throughput, the maximum you can get. Will you ever get that? Probably not. Of course it says connected at 54 mbps, that's the spec, will it actually run at that, of course not! Think if you buy a car, say a cheap one. The speedometer says 150 mph. Do you actually expect to drive 150 mph in say a honda civic? Come on man, there's no way, not without a lot of modification, that's not even a guarantee that you could reach that speed, or if you did, be safe at it.

54 mbps is your peak throughput, real world, you'll likely NEVER see that. Just because the box says that, you can't actually expect to see that speed, though that is the max speed of that specification. But you have to realize too, if you are a hardware company, you are going to put on that box the highest speed that your allowed to in order to sell that product. But there are all different kinds of factors in the real world and it's unrealistic to actually see the maximum speed on almost anything you get for networking computers together. If your ISP promises you 10 mbps, again that would be max, I'm guessing you may not see that very often either.

On pinging, you are sure you have the right IP address? Also, have you tried pinging from the other machine? Can you see or ping any other devices on your network? Have you updated drivers for your new card? If these don't work, maybe make sure your wireless router/access point is still working, maybe reboot that. Check the settings and make sure you don't have MAC address filtering enabled. Once had that happen, then a mobo died, had to grab my wife's laptop and get into my router wirelessly to turn off the MAC address filtering. Because I had gotten my new mobo, but was locked out of my own network. Isn't that a kick in the head? Lol.
February 24, 2008 10:56:43 PM

I realize I will never get the max speed. The point I was trying to get at is that the max speed I could possibly get with the connection I had was 1 mbps. Maybe I'm wrong, but with an excellent connection (it had the strongest signal possible), it seems pretty ridiculous for hardware that is installed properly to get that little performance. Anyway, that point aside...

Had the right ip/computer name. Can access the problem computer from other computers, just can't access other computers from the problem computer. Internet works...so I'm assuming the router settings are right, and I'm positive MAC address filtering is off, but I'll check that again. I'll double check the drivers.
February 25, 2008 1:51:14 AM

Any software firewalls or anything installed? Uhm, could also try a usb wifi card, don't know if you'd have any better luck with that or not.
February 25, 2008 3:03:51 PM

Disabled all the firewalls already. I had the thought of trying a USB one. Hopefully I'll have the chance in the next couple of days. If I do I'll let you know how it turns out.
February 27, 2008 3:31:43 PM

Well it turns out there was a Trend Micro install on one of the machines on the network, and when the problematic PC was trying to connect to the network, the person I was setting this up for blocked access when Trend Micro prompted him to, but he didn't think anything of it because he just thought it was someone else trying to access his wireless network (he didn't have a password on it until I set one up for him). Since he didn't think anything of it, he never mentioned it to me until it just randomly popped into his head.

I didn't realize that a Trend Micro firewall on one of the network computers could block another computer from accessing the entire network, and not just the machine with the firewall...does that sound right?
February 27, 2008 9:34:23 PM

Doesn't really but good to know. So in your router, I'd definitely be making sure that your settings are set up to use a firewall. Also, maybe MAC address filtering. If you or he is concerned about someone hacking into his network, here you go. Set him up for WPA or WPA2 if supported...then use a password from here.

https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm

Basically this should give you a unique one time only password, they claim that it can't go into your internet cache and what not b/c of the way they have things set up. These should be harder to crack than standard passwords. I know myself, I'm using firewall on the router, software firewall on my pc, then there's the laptop which is a mac, so not as worried about that. Plus a 64 character hex password with WPA. So maybe I'll turn on MAC address filtering and that should take care of it. I know I can't keep people out of my network if they really want in, but I can try to make their lives miserable while they hack into it, lol.
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