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Weak wireless signal


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Hello

 

I wonder if someone might be able to solve a problem that I am having with my Uncle and Aunt’s wireless signal. They have two desktops and a laptop, connecting via a Netgear router, all of which I set up for them. The desktops connect via Ethernet cables and reach speeds of 6.5Mb/s. If I sit next to the router in the hallway, the laptop also reaches the same approximate speed and the wireless signal is 5 bars. But if I enter the sitting room and sit in a chair literally on the other side of the wall to where the router is positioned, the signal just drops off to 1 bar. Trying to access a website like Speedtest is pointless as it just gives up. I have tried changing channels from 11 to 6 and 1 and I found that channel 1 was probably the strongest for speed.

 

It is not easy for me to get to their house from where I live so I was wondering if there is anything else I need to know before I visit them again. I can’t really take up too much of their time by constantly visiting them to try different things out.

 

I know I must be missing something but I can’t figure out what. If anyone has any idea’s to help me out I would really appreciate your thoughts.

 

Thanks, Rich :)

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What is the model number of the router and what speed is it rated for............ 54 Mbps? 108? 300?

 

What is their actual internet provider advertised speed?

Have you tried to hard boot the devices?

Turn off the computer, unplug the router, unplug the modem.

Count to ten

Plug in the modem and wait for it's lights to illuminate properly.

Plug in the router and give it a minute to reset.

Boot up the computer and try again.

 

Let us know how you make out and what model that router is, Rich.

 

:) Y

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Hello

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

The router is a DG834G v4 and the speed is 54Mb/s.

I think the advertised speed is "up to 8Mb/s" but I don't think they know anymore than me about what they are getting.

 

I have not tried to hard boot the devices so that is something that I must try when I go to visit them next. (By the way, the router is a modem router).

 

What else do I need to try after that?

 

So to be so vague but it is hard because when I try to instruct them over the phone, they tend to get very frustrated and things get very complicated. It is just easier on them to wait until I can follow procedures myself.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

 

Rich :)

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Thanks Rich,

 

The "G" series routers do tend to drop strength (somewhat) when passing through walls and other obsticles, but from your description it seems rather extreme.

Next time you're there, see if a simple turn of 90° helps.

 

Also, since you've noticed improvement with channel changing, see if using the inSSIDer utility brings about any new information:

I’ve fired up a copy of inSSIDer in several different home and SME environments where the owners were complaining of poor wireless speeds and frequent drops, only to find their wireless router working on exactly the same channel as several of their neighbors, and so all of them were competing for a time-slice of the same frequency

http://www.metageek....ducts/inssider/

 

Best to go in armed and ready. Believe me, most of us here know full well what "fun" remote help to family members can be. LOL! :lol:

 

:) Y

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Hello again Y,

 

There is a very large wooden cabinet right behind the chair that is in the sitting room. so I shall try turning the router to see if this helps make the signal stronger. I did load the inSSIDer utility at one point and if I remember correctly the router was on channel 11, and as one of the neighbours was on 6, I changed to 1 to see if that made a difference, which I think it did, slightly!

 

Somehow I must help my Uncle, in particular, see that technology is a useful tool that he can take advantage of, but to be honest, it is like pushing water uphill!! :bang:

 

Thanks, Rich :)

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Another option, if you are not opposed to spending a couple of bucks, is to buy a wireless "N" router and hard-wire it into the Netgear router/modem. Keep DHCP running on the Netgear router/modem, but turn off it's wireless broadcast.

 

The "N" signal will be stronger, covers more ground and does better through walls, etc.

 

If you're not familiar with the process, this should help: http://www.labnol.org/internet/connect-two-routers/13517/

 

:) Y

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Thank you Y

 

Very interesting info there - I wasn't aware of the procedure so it's always useful to learn new techniques. The only problem with buying a wireless N router is that it's not my money to spend but it's a possible solution that I'd have to consider if all else fails.

 

In the meantime you have put me on to something other things I'd like to try - I have a Devolo Wireless N Starter Kit connected to my router (DG834Gv1) at home. I'd be interested to find out how the signal on that compares to the Netgear in a like for like situation.

 

I could also try matching the settings on my router to their router. My house is semi detached (I reckon circa 1950) and the signal has to reach through 2 walls and a ceiling. There is one dead spot in the sitting room (thus the reason I bought the Devolo) but otherwise I consider it to be strong enough for my needs. My Uncle's house is a bungalow and much younger than mine and I can't get the signal to literally reach round the corner!! And so you see the reason I created this thread.

 

If matching the settings doesn't work then I guess I could try using my router on their network and see if that solves the problem (I have ordered a new router for delivery this week so the old Netgear will be spare for when such a 'challenge' arises)

 

I'll keep you posted.

 

Rich :)

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I was having a similar problem with my old laptop. Not only would the signal die out just 1 room away but it would disconnect itself randomly. I have recently freshly installed windows and both of those problems have disappeared. .

 

Have you tried connecting to the router with a different device? Try an iPod or something and see if the problem arises with that as well.

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Hi

 

Thanks for your input. The laptop is about 6 months old (Acer 5742, I got it set up for my Aunt) and if I remember rightly the weak signal was there from the start. I would not like to suggest reinstalling windows at this point but I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. My gut instinct is telling me that it's just a setting somewhere and I should be able to find out if that is the case when I visit them next (hopefully sometime this week). I have several things I can try to give the signal a boost (see my previous post).

 

I do now have a smartphone which I could connect and that might narrow my search down a bit. I'll also take my own laptop over and connect using that too.

 

Thanks once again, Rich :)

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Yeah, I wouldn't suggest starting over. It just happened to fix my problem and that wasn't even the problem I was trying to fix, lol.

 

But I do think connecting some other wireless devices is a good starting point. Good luck with your problem.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, sorry it has taken such a long time to get back to you.

 

I believe the problem is solved - I had a look at the date of the driver for the wireless adapter inside my Aunties laptop and found it to be about 3 years out of date. Although the Acer website was not bringing up a newer driver I did a Google search of the specific name of the adapter and found one on the Atheros website which was released at the end of May. Great I thought - it took a bit of perseverance to get it to download but once I did, I installed it and I got 4-5 bars of signal strength. The speed test brought up a great result with very little loss over the wired connections and now my Auntie can use her laptop in the sitting room so she was really impressed!

 

I guess the moral of the story is that the problem can be right under your nose you just have to be looking in the right place. I hope this information helps someone else - I didn't want to leave the question unanswered because I don't think that is fair when people are trying to figure something out for you (it really annoys me when people don't update their thread as 'Problem Solved!')

 

Many thanks for all your comments. :clap:

 

Rich :)

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