I have a networking/database question that I'm hoping I can get some advice on.
Because of limited budget and a paranoid boss, the MS Access database at work is running through a simple Linksys wireless E2000 N router rather than a more dedicated server setup.
A desktop server PC is storing the Access database and 3-4 laptops are connecting to the split database linked tables via laptop wireless N adapters only.
Upon having several people accessing and updating records we've noticed a huge amount of instability frequent network interruptions.
I have several theories/observations but would like anyone's take that may have some insight:
1) While not an ideal location (one end of the building), signal strength is consistently shown as 4/5 bars to 5/5 bars, even through several walls
2) Interference: Several other routers, all on 2.4Ghz could be creating too much interference. (none of the laptops support 5Ghz)
3) Number of individuals accessing the database at one time. This is where I'm unclear. Could having 3-4 people working on the database at once pose any potential problems? I'd ordinarily think not but I am coming up short with explanations.
Last week two of us were working with the database, updating records and such, from probably 100 ft or more away with no issues. Then the last few days just to stay connected requires being within 5-10 feet of the router AT MOST. No settings have been changed and network disconnects/interruptions in Access are happening every few minutes. I'm totally confused and convinced it is router related in some way.
Well 2.4 ghz is lousy when it comes to interference. You could be knocked down by micriwaves, cordless phones and wireless networks. This what I would do. First, I would flash tomato USB on you E2000. If your scared pick up a refurb E2000 on Amazon for $45. It can scan the channels for interference and allow you to pick the best one. You can also force it to 40 mhz mode which should increase bandwidth. You can also tweak the transmit power and many other factors to get the most ideal settings. Commercial routers do deal with interference better so if you can't get there with a firmware flash and some tweaking either go 5 ghz or spend the money on a commercial router.
I also don't know the bandwidth requirements of your database but conservatively a 40mhz mode 2.4 ghz signal with no interferance can only do 70 Mbs. In this situation I would hope for like 30 mbs. If this is not enough bandwidth for your application you may not want to go wireless.
Thanks for your help! Do you know how risky flashing tomato is? I'd like to try it but am concerned with possibly bricking the router if I mess up (and work would not be pleased with such an outcome).
Our bandwidth requirements aren't that steep. 3-4 people are just calling up records, typing in a few fields and then closing them. It's a school/student database with address, contact info, things like that. Nothing too intense.