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Old 10-13-10, 07:29 PM   #1
metabike
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Wireless network woes

I hope someone can offer a little help here. Our wireless router is on the main floor of our house. Why is it that my kids can go outside into the backyard and still pick up our wireless network on their Mac-books but our PC downstairs can't even find a hint of signal? Their damn laptops don't even have a cool little antenna like the one on the PC wireless card and they still work better. Any hints on what to do?
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Old 10-13-10, 07:35 PM   #2
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Can you give us a little detail about the materials that the wireless signal must penetrate and the distances traveled when going from A to B and A to C?

That said, is the wireless card in the PC known to be fully functional?
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Old 10-13-10, 07:38 PM   #3
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Does your wireless router have little antennae? You may want to move them around to change the signal strength in various directions.
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Old 10-13-10, 07:55 PM   #4
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Signal strength is greatly affected by walls, electricity lines and general interference. That's why most antennas work better outside of the house. Try moving the router away from the power lines in the walls, microwaves and cordless phones. You should also try different orientations for the antenna.
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Old 10-14-10, 04:59 AM   #5
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I have heard about walls, wires, etc. which is why I don't get it.
Straight lining it from the router to the backyard, there is an interior wall, an exterior wall and a enclosed porch wall. Signal has to go past the cordless phone & microwave oven.

From the router to the downstairs computer, there's the floor and an interior wall with bookcases on it. No phones, no appliances.

Sometimes I can get the signal on the PC, albeit a very weak one, so does that mean the card is working or could it be failing intermittently?
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Old 10-14-10, 08:02 AM   #6
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It could be that your card and your router are not the same standard. There are several wireless network standards, if the card is old and the router is new that could be your problem.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:11 AM   #7
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It could be that your card and your router are not the same standard. There are several wireless network standards, if the card is old and the router is new that could be your problem.
this
or the interior wall is shielded with lead.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:13 AM   #8
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As others have said...

We had a difficult set up as our house was built in 1939 and there are still plaster/lath walls and regular drywalled walls at the new addition, as well as a TON of computer and stereo equipment. The rooms closest to the router don't necessarily work as well as rooms farther away. We have great signal outside as the router is in the new addition with regular walls and siding, vs. plaster walls and stucco.

It took me a while to get the perfect location for the router, but my experiments paid off. We can use wireless anywhere in the house or outside with any laptop that has visited us (Macbooks and PCs).

Some other tips--make sure there isn't any interefernce. Years ago, I had my router between two monitors and sitting on top of a computer. I would lose the signal even if the laptop was practically right next to the router.

Put that router up high on the wall. Again, it gets it away from intereference.

It's also possible that putting it up by the ceiling of the lower level may actually work better than having it in the main floor of the house. Again, this is all about the materials involved and interefence.

How well does it work if your laptop is in line of sight of the router? Do you still have issues, or is it as strong as can be?

Also, how well does your laptop's wireless capabilities work if you take it to, say, a coffee shop or a friend's house? This could help determine if your router's location is actually the issue.
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Old 10-14-10, 09:07 PM   #9
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Does your router have two antennas that's movable? Aim one vertically and one horizontally. The signal coming out is a toroid/donut-shaped and moves out laterally at 90-degrees to the antenna. With a vertical antenna, the strongest signals are in a pancake-shaped area roughly at the same height as the antenna. Aiming one horizontally will send the signal up & down to reach the lower floors.

Anyway, I always suggest people drill holes and run cat-6 cable in cases like this. Wireless is simply too fickle, unpredictable and slow. Streaming HD-video to a TV/DVR/BD player is becoming more common; no way wireless can keep up with that. Heck, even 100mbps fast-ethernet has trouble with HD.


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Old 10-15-10, 05:56 AM   #10
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I appreciate the insights! This weekend I will experiment with different locations for the router and see what that does.
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Old 10-16-10, 05:57 PM   #11
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I appreciate the insights! This weekend I will experiment with different locations for the router and see what that does.
If your Wifi card has detachable antenna, you can get an extension cable and mount the antenna high and away from the PC. There's huge amount of interference around a desktop case and moving the antenna away will significantly boost Wifi reception. Something like this Hawking RP-SMA TO RJ-SMA cable.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417uhuI1xEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


Make sure you get connector ends that fit the equipment you have; there's several different types out there.
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Old 10-16-10, 06:04 PM   #12
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Just for giggles, do the Mac laptops work well when right next to the PC ?. What your doing is sorta using the Macbooks as a signal strength meter. If the Mac's can't get a signal, then router antenna location might be an issue. If the Mac's work fine, then look at the PC WiFi setup

SB
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Old 10-16-10, 11:42 PM   #13
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I picked up a used macbook that always had poor wireless reception, turns out it was just a bad airport card. Are you absolutely certain that the wiireless card in the PC is good? Maybe try moving it into the same room as your router to check...
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Old 10-24-10, 05:33 PM   #14
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Are you logged in to your admin account on your laptop or pc? I had the same experience before and I wondered why I can't connect through the router. I called our internet service provider and they sent me a technician and when he logged in to my laptop he saw that I wasn't in the admin. Try it maybe it will work or call also your internet service provider.
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Old 10-25-10, 05:31 PM   #15
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Probably the most basic question as you compare Mac reception outside, an PC reception downstairs inferring that a problem exists.
1) how is the Mac reception downstairs? 2) how is the PC reception outside. Ideally, both should be side by side when troubleshooting to assire equivalent signal strenth to each laptop at the same time.
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Old 10-26-10, 12:01 PM   #16
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Try a Wireless Repeater, I have a Hawking Technology HWREN 1, wireless N extender. Works great for me. I get a strong signal with pretty good data transfer where as I got little to no signal whatsoever.

http://www.hawkingtech.com/products/...105&ProdID=394
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Old 10-26-10, 12:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
Just for giggles, do the Mac laptops work well when right next to the PC ?. What your doing is sorta using the Macbooks as a signal strength meter. If the Mac's can't get a signal, then router antenna location might be an issue. If the Mac's work fine, then look at the PC WiFi setup

SB
This

Figure out what your problem is before you try solving it.
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Old 10-26-10, 01:24 PM   #18
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This
Figure out what your problem is before you try solving it.
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