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Problem with my wireless network connection

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Hello all.

 

I?m looking for some help regarding a computer problem I?m having. My guess is that it?s hardware-related, but I?m no expert at this and the possibility exists that it could be a software problem instead.

 

I have a well-maintained 5 year old IBM desktop (Windows XP) at my home. Three years ago we went wireless and bought a Westell Versalink modem and a Netgear WG111 V2 wireless USB adapter. Regarding the USB wireless adapter, I had problems with the CD installation software that came with it, so instead I used the ?found new hardware? Windows wizard that popped up and gave it permission to automatically search for whatever it needed (driver?) to install and run the adapter. That process worked perfectly and for most of these three years I?ve had no problems.

 

A few months ago, however, I started noticing my system began taking longer to establish the wireless network connection when I would try to log onto the internet. And now, starting this past week, it has gotten much worse to where it may take 30 minutes before my system finally makes the connection. Once I am logged on, sometimes my system drops the connection.

 

I don?t think the problem is with the Westell Versalink modem; my wife has no problems connecting wirelessly via her Mac laptop. So I?m guessing that my Netgear WG111 V2 wireless USB adapter may have gone bad. I used Device Manager to update the driver, but that hasn?t made any difference.

 

My two initial questions are:

1) Do you agree that the next step would be to replace the wireless USB adapter?

2) If so, then what?s your opinion regarding my preference to buy one (Netgear?) that I can plug in and install solely using Windows? new hardware wizard versus the wireless USB adapter?s own CD installation software and the potential, associated bloat?

 

Thanks, in advance.

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There are many factors that could influence the performance of wireless connectivity:

 

-poor signal strength due to faulty router (unlikely)

-transmitter and receiver antenna badly positioned

-nearby wireless router(s) using the same channel causing interference

-2.4GHz cordless phones (or other devices that are using this frequency i.e video senders)

 

First inspect the signal strength of your wireless connection and adjust the position of your router and the antenna to try and improve things.

Also if your neighbourhood has a lot of wireless routers try changing your transmitter channel to avoid nearby interference.

To inspect what channels are in use you'll need something like NetStumbler - http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/ (unfortunately the main download link is down today)

 

Richard S.

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Hi Chris.

 

Forget my idea as I missed this bit in your post ...

 

... my wife has no problems connecting wirelessly via her Mac laptop.
Edited by DennisD

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I would put my money on the wireless usb adapter.

 

They are quite cheap now so that even if I was wrong you shouldn't be much out of pocket.

 

I use one upstairs on a pc to connect to my router downstairs and really you should be able connect straight away. (I use the disk, there's not much bloat) There's quite a few different makes on the market so you'll be spoilt for choice really.

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Excellent feedback, folks. I hope to start implementing the suggestions this weekend and will follow-up.

 

Much thanks.

 

Chris

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Update: I took a look at Redhawk's suggestions and couldn't find anything that looked suspicious. My signal strength was excellent and, as far as I could tell, there was no interference. So, I bought a new USB wireless adapter, plugged it in, and voila...success.

 

It's great to be connected again and I appreciate the suggestions you provided.

 

Thanks to all.

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