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wireless signal drops

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#1 Finsteigle


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Posted 14 February 2010 - 04:09 AM

Life gets complicated! I have a part-wired/part-wireless network connecting (or not) the following:

- My trusty XP-Home Edition PC - wired (i'm giving it a pat as I write this)
- Xbox - wired
- Mac Mini - wireless
- Vista Home Premium Edition PC
- Ipod touch

The problem started with the Xbox (wired) which kept losing connection during a game (xbox live). I wasted some time opening ports, setting a fixed IP, putting the Xbox in the DMZ and fiddling around with the QoS settings - all to no result whatsoever. After that I thought it would be worth trying a different router (anything to avoid ringing my ISP right!). After a brief spell with a nasty Netgear router (which I took back), I replaced my old router/modem with a Linksys Wireless-N ADSL router/modem WAG120N.

Everything connects fine. Router looks cool. Signal strength is mainly good and the itouch stays connected anwhere in or around the house. Xbox issue seems to be fixed. Hooray........except son2 (with the Vista PC) now complaining that when playing Roblox (a live server based online game) the connecting drops every 15 mins or so.

Now this is annoying. To rewind slightly, the Vista PC used to connect wirelessly to the original router (a BT2110) and the connection was flawless. During my brief foray with the Netgear device there were major issues with the Vista PC dropping wireless connection. The Vista PC has a built-in wireless b/g adapter. In order to try to eliminate potential wireless interference I purchased a Linksys Wireless-N USB adapter. With the router and the adapter both set to N, signal strength was going up and down like a yo yo, cycling from nothing to full strength every couple of minutes. I tried all the channels to no avail. After much wasted time I took the Netgear router (although I was tempted to drop-kick it over the fence) and the Linksys USB plug-in adapter back to PC world....and purchased a Linksys Wireless-N ADSL router/modem WAG120N.

So - ignoring everything else - we now have the Vista PC, with its original built-in wireless b/g adapter, and the Linksys router/modem. Connection is pretty good but son 2 still complains of regular drops (every 15-20 mins) when online gaming (Roblox). To eliminate a problem with Roblox; yesterday, I fully wired his connection and that completely solved the problem, but unfortunately unless I start ripping up carpets I can't have wires everywhere. I did look at powerline adapters yesterday but baulked at spending another 75. I really want to find a solution to the wireless issue.

Hmm. what else can I tell you? The Vista pc is a couple of rooms away from the wireless router. When the wireless drops this accompanied by the strength dropping to poor. This can happen at any time but seems to be worse between 4-6pm (he says). I have unselected the power-saving options. Something that threw me yesterday was that after downloading a signal stregth meter app for the Vista side-bar I thought I would unscrew the little aerial at the back of the PC to see what difference that made. Signal strength was stated as 76% before unscrewing the aerial. After unscrewing the aerial I discovered that signal strength was still stated as 76% and I could still surf, watch you tube videos (not very scientific I know) etc etc. I can't believe unscrewing the aerial makes no difference! Starting to doubt myself now! :thumbsup:

Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing these wireless drops? Should I just quit and go wired?

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#2 CaveDweller2


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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:05 AM

Wired would solve the issue but what fun is that?

I would get the latest driver for the wireless card then uninstall it from device manager and any programs in Add/Remove that has to do with the wireless, reboot and install the new drivers. See if that takes care of the problem.

You mentioned your son says its worse between 4 - 6, see if maybe something is turned on during that time. Lots of things can interfere with wireless signals. Just do what you'd normally do but if he complains, stop and look around see what is turned on or has been turned on just before. WOOHOO Detective work I know. Need to borrow my pipe?

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College

#3 Finsteigle

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 01:44 PM

Thanks CaveDweller2,

The drivers for the wireless card are already the latest available.

Having invested quite a bit of time into this I've decided I'm beaten. I have installed a wired connection today with lots of shiny new trunking. I think it is unlikely I will return this PC to wireless, although I confess I would like to have known the solution (or at least the cause).

Thanks again


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