Wireless Internet doesn't work on laptop, works on desktop??


I just moved to a new house. I am using Windows XP and the wireless internet doesn't seem to work on my laptop. It says it's connected but I can't access any webpages on firefox or ie. When I click on "Repair" suddenly I can open up one page but the connection only lasts for 5 seconds and I can't go anywhere else. I'm back to the "Server not found" message.

The weird thing is that my desktop is using the SAME wireless internet and it works fine on this computer. So I'm thinking it's not my router that's the problem. Something's wrong with the connectivity on my laptop. But then it's never had this problem before and connects fine when using the wireless at internet cafes or at a friend's house, etc.

I'm not very knowledgeable on this subject so any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks so much!
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  1. I suspect the clue is in the fact of moving house. If the two computers are in different rooms or different parts of the same room, it seems logical to look at wireless reception/interference.

    Experiment with channels. Some work better than others, depending on environs.

    If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, opt for a channel which works well but is five stops away from strongest neighbour.

    Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc away from router or computer.

    If this is a recently constructed or renovated home it may have foil insulated dry wall panels -- these provide a pretty good barrier to wireless.
  2. Thank you for your reply fihart!

    I took my laptop right next to the desktop computer that's able to connect and it still doesn't work. The router is downstairs and my desktop and laptop are upstairs. If my bring my laptop right next to the router, then yes, it does seem to work. It does look like it may be a reception/interference issue. But why would my desktop work fine but my laptop won't even if they're right next to each other?

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by experimenting with channels though and using one that is 5 stops away. Do you mean other wireless networks that are nearby?

    Any other suggestions are always welcome!
  3. Your router's setup screens, wireless section, will allow you to define, among other things:

    1) wireless mode (choose n, g or mixed mode depending on your computers' wireless mode capability).

    2) the wireless channel. There may be up to 13 channels representing slightly different frequencies. The different frequencies work better in some environments (it's a physics thing). If your wireless adapters detect neighbouring wifi on (say) channel 6, to avoid interference select 11 or 1 for your router.

    The antenna in your laptop is probably built into the screen surround, turning the laptop may improve reception.
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