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Horrible signal with Netgear WNDA3100

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 6, 2010 3:07:47 AM

alright, after dropping 80 bucks today, I'm thoroughly p!$$3d.

I have a netgear WPN824v3 router and I get full bars everywhere in my house with my macbook pro and HP laptop

My desktop in my sig can't fit a conventional PCI adapter in it because of the SLI setup, so I got a USB wireless adapter and I'm getting 2 bars with a WNDA3100 which cost me 80 bucks at best buy.

And those 2 bars are terrible, the lag is worse when I play games online with this adapter than when I use my macbook at a wireless adapter (which isn't terrific either)

does anyone have any ideas on what to do?

I'm thinking about getting a linksys ae1000 but i'm afraid i'm just going to suffer the same woeful performance.

I am definitely going to return this tomorrow for something else.
Anonymous
September 6, 2010 3:49:30 AM

Presumably the different computers you mention are in different rooms:

You should try to optimise reception and avoid interference to the problem computer.

1) raise the router above furniture level
2) Experiment with channels (some will work better or worse depending on your environment)
3) If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, use a channel 5 stops away from strongest.
4) Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc.
5) Be prepared to move the computer (or at least turn it so your body is not between the router signal and the wireless adapter's antenna.
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September 6, 2010 4:16:50 AM

alright so here is my setup, first we have our modem, which is connected to a wired linksys router (which needs to be there for our slingbox and tivo), then off of that we have a wireless netgear router mentioned above.

1-the router is about 3 feet off the ground and can't really be moved because it's attached to our tivo and slingbox
2-Tried every channel, 1-11 and i get 2, maybe 3 for a little while
3-there are no other wireless signals being recieved
4-no cordless phones near my computer
5- I have the adapter attached to a USB cable so I can angle it around, and even then I don't have much luck, and i can't move the computer to a different spot outside my room.


The annoying thing is that my macbook and HP laptop both get full bars in my room, and I can play games on them without lagging like I do on my desktop with this adapter.
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Anonymous
September 6, 2010 4:37:52 AM

Obviously you're going to swap out the Netgear adapter -- this time go for a Linksys model which may be more compatible with the router.
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September 6, 2010 4:45:44 AM

do you know of any other options? seeing as I'm only a floor up and about 30 feet from the router, I don't get what could kill the signal?

should I go for a wireless g adapter because my router is wireless g

are you aware of any other generic adapters that have proven to be reliable to others?
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Anonymous
September 6, 2010 4:54:44 AM

Hang on where did I get the idea that the router was a Linksys. Ignore that.

Both pieces of equipment are Netgear and both are wireless n not g (aren't they ?).

I don't use n equipment so I can only suggest you download the full manual for the router and read it. I suspect that you've set the router's wireless to mixed mode because you think the adapter is wireless g -- if it's not you will compromise the performance.
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September 6, 2010 4:57:55 AM

no no no, my adapter is n, my router is g
sorry if there was any confusion

will that make a huge difference?
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Anonymous
September 6, 2010 5:08:17 AM

You're right, I just checked the manual. Netgear are N-nuts with their naming policy.

A wireless n adapter should work with a g router -- as probably demonstrated by the other wireless devices in the house, assuming they are n and within similar range.

To be safe buy a g wireless adapter -- it'll cost less too. I personally much prefer PCI to USB but you say you have no choice.

Netgear USB stuff isn't too great so don't worry about brand -- g devices seem to be fairly compatible between brands.

You can't do much about the layout of your house but it is possible there are metal beams or foil insulated dry walling causing problems.
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September 6, 2010 5:12:44 AM

I've also seen a few PCI-E cards floating around the internet, would those provide better performance despite being a brand like D-link or asus?
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Anonymous
September 6, 2010 5:20:48 AM

Internal cards can draw more power and I think that's why they work better.

The problem comes with the computer location and with PCI (unlike USB) you can't extend the antenna without signal loss.

I have no wife to bitch about how the room looks and have my computer jammed against the wall nearest the router (which is 40 feet away and down one floor) and because I don't game or torrent or whatever I can put up with a 50% signal.

You've tried USB and it wasn't great -- I'd consider PCI-E but be prepared to move the computer around because there may be special problem in the room your in (such as metal beams, foil wall insulation).
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September 6, 2010 5:32:49 AM

well it's worth a shot I guess. It's just kind of ironic how my laptop which chugs while playing COD 4 on lowest settings can get a better signal than my enormous desktop that puts damn near everything to shame.

too bad I couldn't just get LAN ports everywhere in my house :p 
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September 17, 2010 7:02:12 PM

the WNDA 3100 is not the most recommended adapters it's got its own share of woes ...being a dual band adapter and an eye candy it's a marketing face of NG and nothing more...if possible replace WNDA 3100 with WPN 111 which is a pre-n standard the same as ur router as its far better than wnda...if u want to use the same USB adapter for a mac i'd suggest WG111v3 or WN111v2 which have respective drivers...
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