Weak WiFi?

Hi guys. I’ve been trying to set up a home WiFi network between my desktop and my laptop. The WiFi router I have is a Dell branded Ornicon/Lucent RG-1000 and my laptop has a Mustek 22mbps Wireless Lan PCMCIA card. I think the output of the RG-1000 is only 11mbps. Anyway, while I’ve gotten the two devices “talking” to one another, the laptop seems to really have a hard time picking up the WiFi when they are doing anything besides sitting right next to each other. Moving 20 feet away from the router, the laptop basically completely loses the signal with no blocking walls. Since this is my first time attempting this, I’m puzzled by the cause. Could there be some interference of which I’m not aware? Is there some sort of logic towards placing the RG-1000 optimally? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

you may need some of this:


Wifi is radio. Its wierd. See if you can find another card and try that to see if works better. Try rotating the wifi access port. Try standing on your head.

Okay, nothing I’ve tried works. So what are my options here? Does the 802.11 g have a better broadcast range? What if I wanted to get a broadcaster with an excellent range - what would you recommend?

802.11g has a much higher broadcast range.

It sounds to me more like a problem with the hardware than the Wi-Fi. I don’t see any plausible reason for no connection at 20 feet besides hardware failure; it’s my understanding the straight broadcast is distance of 802.11b exceeds 100 feet, with no walls.

802.11g is supposed to exceed 500 to 1000 feet, if memory serves me. I haven’t looked at the specs in a while though.

Anyways, Mustek and Omicron. Ugh.

Go to Best Buy (or whatever place sells this that is palatable to you) and buy a DLink or Microsoft router and PCMCIA card.

First try replacing the PC Card with the new one, and see if it works then. If it still doesn’t, replace the router with the new one. If it suddenly works, now put the old PC Card back in and see if it works.

This way you can determine which of the two items is defective, and return the unnecessary stuff back to the store before your return period is up.

Also, check to make sure that the card and the router at set to broadcast on the same 802.11 channel. There are 12, once again, if memory serves me. This should be available through the router setup program and through the driver of the PC Card.

Good luck.

I know Linksys makes antenna boosters for their wireless stuff. Don’t know about other manfacturers.

I also agree that it sounds like a hardware problem; I’ve got a wireless access point stuck on the floor in a closet, and can still get reception (through several old concrete plaster walls and one brick wall) outside.

Just don’t get 802.11a. It works on a higher frequency (in the 5GHz range, IIRC), so it doesn’t penetrate stuff as well.

DLink, Linksys, and if memory serves, Microsoft all make Access Point boosters.

But personally, I stay the fuck away from Linksys. I’ve never had a D-Link product fail on me, and I’ve installed their NICs in dozens over computers over the years, and have used D-Link switches and routers since '99.

YMMV, of course, but for my money, I’d stick with D-Link.

The Linksys WRT54G wirless router (802.11g) http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?prid=508&scid=35 has worked extremely well for me. No problems, and the range is very, very good.

If I’m going to resurrect an old thread on a very general subject, by golly, it’s going to be the OLDEST one!

I’m looking for ways to improve my WIFI reception around my house. It’s a two story house with my teenager living in the basement, and reception is often slow (maybe that’s just heavy use) and doesn’t reach reliably to the master bedroom or basement and is weak at my computer just 6 or 7 yards away on the same floor.

I have Comcast as my internet provider and my cable modem/WIFI gateway is from them. It’s one of these from Technicolor. My computer has a new TP-LINK N900 as the network adapter. The devices I want to get good reception upstairs and downstairs are our iPhones/iPods.

Is there hardware anyone can recommend to really improve the range and stability of the signal? Ditch Comcast’s option and get a better cable modem? Shut down the wifi on the cable modem and run through a separate wireless router?

Have you turned off the Xfinity hotspot setting. Someone my be using up your bandwidth through this. One of the good things is you have access to the internet any where there is an Xfinity wifi connection. Must be a Comcast subscriber or a good hacker to use this. Bad thing, if you use the router Comcast gives you this setting is turned on by default. Comcast basically allows you to pay for the privilege of letting others use your internet band width.

As for your reception, is your house old? Might it still have remnants of lead based paint. Some houses, especially older houses will never have good wifi reception. You may need to place wired access points using powerline adaptors or MoCA adaptors.

Awhile back after doing research I found out about that Xfinity hotspot thing and disabled it. Double checked it today. But good advice!

Never even thought of lead paint. My house is from the mid-70s, which I would hope is late enough to not have that problem, but maybe I need to make sure (for any number of reasons).

Tell me about powerline and MoCA adapters. Powerline use the in-house electrical wiring? Are they reliable? Any brands anyone has used and recommends?

Before you go crazy with powerline and moca, have you considered buying a good router instead of the piece of garbage that Comcast gave you?

Totally considering that. Got one you would recommend?

I have an Arris/Motorola SB 6141 modem and a Linksys 14910 router. Craploads better reception than the Bright House modem. And I don’t have to pay the rental fee anymore.

Although Comcast will claim that isn’t the case, since it reserves a whole separate band that doesn’t interact with your wifi at all.

I can’t keep up with wireless standards anymore. If I have phones and game systems and a wireless-n card on my PC, should I just forget about wireless-ac or whatever is latest? Or will that still benefit me? Or is it badass enough that I should get ac adapters for my PCs?

Wireless AC only works in the 5GHz frequency, so even though it’s fast, it also has a shorter range than 2.4GHz. It may actually be worse than what you have now.

The problem with 2.4GHz is it’s overcrowded in most neighborhoods and subject to interference.

I use powerline ethernet. It’s a great solution if your home’s electrical wiring works with it.

Yep, tell Comcast to put your modem in bridge mode and setup your own router. Go with the Wirecutter’s recommendation.

If that doesn’t cut it, then you look into setting up powerline ethernet and extending your wireless network on a separate floor of your house.

Thanks, stusser, that was the router I was looking at. Grabbing one of those. Now cost of leasing from Comcast aside, will getting one of these cable modems perform better than Comcast’s, do you think?

Nope. You will likely save money, though, in the long run. Be sure that Comcast says it’ll work before buying. They have a list.