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Just moved; trying to setup a new wireless network

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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May 21, 2009 9:03:22 PM

Hello. My fiancee and I just recently moved into a new apartment where our internet situation ha changed abit. Back in our old place I was able to wire in directly to our wireless router(a Linksys WRT54G, one of the newer versions I'm afraid :/  ), and the apartment was fairly small so the router didn't have to broadcast very far at all or through any outside walls. Life was great :p  The laptop got on the wireless no problem with full signal strength, and my desktop being wired right in was perfect.

The new place has a different situation, and it's been frustrating me a bit with trying to setup the wireless network. Same ISP (Comcast). Here, we're working with our landlord's internet. They have a sort of exterior shack/office in their drive way, that's about 11 or 10 meters away from the house. Throughout most of the apartment the signal in the laptop is 2 out of the 5 bars, but it usually at least tends to still keep good speeds at least. The real problem seems to be with trying to get my previously wired PC online.

I've tried several solutions now. First I tried a few Linksys USB wireless adapters. I forget their model numbers now, but it was essentialy their most recent basic adapter, followed by their range plus version of the same adapter. These worked terribly. They'd get very poor signals, fairly slow speeds when they did get a signal, and they'd frequently "drop the connection". By that I mean they'd still say they have a signal (usually "poor" or only one or two bars), but everything internet wise would just seem to be dead. I've moved the adapter around to multiple USB ports. and usually they'd only pick the signal back up again if I physically moved the entire PC case around a little bit, and then they'd lose it again after just a short while.

The answer to my solution was a PCI wireless adapter. Namely I picked up this little card. The signal strength ALWAYS came in at the two bars, but it stayed there, didn't fluctuate, and never dropped the signal like the USB ones did. The speeds still seemed pretty poor compared to what I was used to, though. A much greater latency to most places than before the move.

Now, however, I'm getting a new PC in, as the current one is rather broken in several ways. Part of the problem is, the new PC won't have an open PCI slot for me, so I'm back to having to find other means to get on the wireless. I recently, with some doubt, tried picking up a set of those Ethernet powerline adapters, these from netgear, but I didn't hope for much, especially with the modem being on a different breaker all the way outside the main building. It worked better than I expected, but the result seems alot worse than the PCI card with the wired antenna I was using before. Usually just over 1 Mbps d/l with a really bad ping. The laptop, when it gets a good signal, can usually see a 12 Mbps d/l with 22 ping and a 1.6 Mbps upload. If I remember the test right, I think the upload when wired to the router was something like 5 Mbps, with 15 Mbps d/l. I think a pretty decent speed for most services and gaming...just not something I can seem to get all the way over to my PC.

I've been doing alot of exchanges at Best Buy to try and find somthing that works for me. I'm thinking about my next visit to be exchanging the Netgeat powerline ethernet adapters for a Linksys WRT110. If I understand it correctly, it sounds like the MIMO that it uses might actually help alot with boosting the signal through the exterior wall of the house? (the walls of the office itself don't seem to interfere much at all on their own, from testing with the laptop). This still leaves me with the need to pickup a wireless adapter of some sort, and I was thinking of getting this Belkin - Wireless-N+ USB 2.0 Adapter , but also noted this other Belkin - Wireless-G Plus MIMO USB 2.0 Network Adapter . I don't know much about how the standards work other than what I've read across a few articles, but would getting an adapter that says it uses MIMO help if I'm getting a router that says it uses it as well? Does this seem like a good option, period? Or maybe should I get something like this? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!
June 5, 2009 8:03:06 AM

Hey mpx, you'll really need to get a wireless adapter with a dedicated antenna—those that go on your PCI slot in other words. What else is on your new computer, that you've got no more space for your WLAN adapter? Maybe you can get the USB equivalents of those instead?
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